Feeds

F-16 fighter converted to drone

Pilotless plane used for target practice

High performance access to file storage

Kids aspiring to become fighter pilots just had their hopes and dreams crushed that little bit more, after Boeing successfully converted an F-16 Fighting Falcon into a pilot-less aircraft.

The newly-designated QF-16 had been retired by the US Air Force before Boeing acquired it, restored it airworthy condition and rigged it up for remote operations.

The aerospace company has now let it be known that the plane's new systems were pressed into service last week, with considerable success.

“While in the air, the QF-16 mission included a series of simulated maneuvers, reaching supersonic speeds, returning to base and landing, all without a pilot in the cockpit,” the company's canned statement says.

The reincarnated plane will be used as what Boeing is calling an “aerial target” that thanks to the humans behind the remote joystick will be anything but a sitting duck. That's just what's needed when training pilots of piloted aircraft, as a human-controlled adversary is a rather better training aid than a purely robotic adversary.

The test flight featured the first of six QF-16s, all of which are destined for use by the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, a part of the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group . The aircraft will join a considerable fleet of other aerial targets.

Boeing has posted a rather saccharine video of the flight here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.