Feeds

US gov silent robot white (?) helicopter prangs itself

Groundbreaking technology

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A revolutionary* new robotic whisper-mode helicopter under development in America has crashed, according to reports.

The A160T robot whisper-copter

The US government's silent robot helicopter.

Not black! What were they thinking?

The A160T "Hummingbird" unmanned chopper was under development by US aerospace colossus Boeing for the Pentagon deathboffin bureau, DARPA (the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the Special Operations Command. Likely end-users would include top-secret American special-forces units operating undercover.

The design features a new variable-speed rotor configuration which Boeing believes will offer improved range, speed, height and the ability to "operate much more quietly than current helicopters".

Given this background, Boeing's choice of colour scheme seems at odds with popular culture to say the least. White is the new black when it comes to silent government helicopters, seemingly.

However, it appears that the you-didn't-see-us crowd may have to wait a while for their new ride. Flight International reports that the sole flying A160T prototype was destroyed in a crash on Monday during trials in California. The cause of the wreck is unknown thus far. Apparently this was the turbine-powered T model's tenth flight, though there was an earlier test programme involving basic piston-engined A160s. (That version suffered three crashes in 36 sorties.)

Flights of the (literally - cough) groundbreaking new helicopter will be suspended while an investigation takes place. There is apparently one further A160T in existence, but it is only being used for ground testing at present.

The Flight report is here. ®

*Ha ha

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.