Empty F-16 jet tested by Boeing and US Air Force
Boeing has revealed that it has retrofitted retired fighter jets to turn them into drones. It said that one of the Lockheed Martin F-16 made a first flight with an empty cockpit last week.
Two US Air Force pilots controlled the plane from the ground as it flew from a Florida base to the Gulf of Mexico. Boeing suggested that the innovation could ultimately be used to help train pilots, providing an adversary they could practise firing on.
The jet - which had previously sat mothballed at an Arizona site for 15 years - flew at an altitude of 40,000ft (12.2km) and a speed of Mach 1.47 (1,119mph/1,800km/h).
The firm added that the flight attained 7Gs of acceleration but was capable of carrying out manoeuvres at 9Gs - something that might cause physical problems for a pilot.
Edited by seeder, 24 September 2013 - 10:01 PM.