Boeing Unveils Low-Cost, Versatile 'Little Bird' That Can Fly Manned or as UAV

A unique aircraft combining the advantages of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a combat-proven manned rotorcraft helicopter - an MD 530F helicopter known as the Unmanned Little Bird - flies over the Sonoran desert near The Boeing Company in Mesa, Ariz. The proof-of-concept demonstrator, which has been flying since Sept. 8, made its first autonomous take off and landing Oct. 16. During the test program, an on-board test pilot monitors the aircraft's performance but does not actively fly the aircraft.

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Hal Klopper