Boeing QF-16 aerial target completes first flight test
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., 12 May 2012. Boeing Co. [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Air Force completed the first manned flight of the QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target (FSAT) on May 4 at Cecil Field in Jacksonville.
The functional check flight of the F-16, under control of a Boeing test pilot validated the aircraft's performance with the QF-16 drone modification package installed. During the test phase in Jacksonville, a GRDCS mobile trailer with portable transmission towers will provide communications between the flight controller and other personnel on the ground and the QF-16 pilot.
The QF-16s are a higher-performing aircraft than the QF-4 they replace, QF-16s are able to travel at speeds in excess of Mach 2 and maneuver more tightly, and represent fourth-generation targets. They will be flown manned or unmanned within a controlled range and equipped to evaluate how U.S. fighters and weapons will operate against potential opponents.
Boeing will deliver six QF-16 test aircraft to Tyndall in October for additional testing over the Gulf Range. After the conclusion of these tests Boeing will support government flight testing from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., over the WSMR complex.