“Seeing MQ-25 in the sky is a testament to our Boeing and Navy team working the technology, systems and processes that are helping get MQ-25 to the carrier,” – Said at Spazio-News Magazine Boeing MQ-25 Program Director Dave Bujold -. “This aircraft and its flight test program ensures we’re delivering the MQ-25 to the carrier fleet with the safety, reliability and capability the U.S. Navy needs to conduct its vital mission.”
The MQ-25 test asset, known as T1, completed the autonomous two-hour flight under the direction of Boeing test pilots operating from a ground control station at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., where the test program is based. The aircraft completed an autonomous taxi and takeoff and then flew a pre-determined route to validate the aircraft’s basic flight functions and operations with the ground control station.
“Today’s flight is an exciting and significant milestone for our program and the Navy – Said the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation – PMA-268 Program Manager Capt. Chad Reed -. The flight of this test asset two years before our first MQ-25 arrives represents the first big step in a series of early learning opportunities that are helping us progress toward delivery of a game-changing capability for the carrier air wing and strike group commanders.”
The Boeing-owned test asset is a predecessor to the Engineering Development Model – EDM aircraft and is being used for early learning and discovery to meet the goals of the US Navy’s accelerated acquisition program. Boeing will produce four EDM MQ-25 air vehicles for the US Navy under an $805 million contract awarded in August 2018.