Boeing

Unmanned Little Bird H-6U

This new aircraft offers search, re-supply, communications relay and surveillance and more, all with a low-risk approach, low operational costs and high flight readiness.

A Little, Innovative Bird

The Unmanned Little Bird H-6U is the unmanned variant of the AH-6i manned scout helicopter. Its unique design combines the autonomous flight capability, networked payloads and communications of an unmanned aerial vehicle with a combat-proven rotorcraft platform. The unmanned system provides over-the-horizon search, re-supply and retrograde, communications relay and surveillance capabilities. All with a low-risk approach, low operational costs and high flight readiness on a proven platform.

Technical Specifications

Rotor Diameter27.5 ft (8.38 m)Max Speed145 KTAS
Ceiling20,000 ft (6,100 m)Empty weight2,200 lbs (998 kg) manned, 1,900 lbs (862 kg) unmanned
Useful payload1,200 lbs (544 kg) manned, 1,400 lbs (635 kg) unmannedCommand LinkKu-band TCDL
Electrical Power11kW @ 28VDCCommand and ControlSTANAG 4586 Compliant
EnduranceAbout 6 hoursMission PlanningPre-launch and dynamic during mission
AutonomyWaypoint control from take-off to landingNavigationFixed (land-based) or relative (sea-based)

Feature Stories

A Little Bird Not in the Hand

A Little Bird Not in the Hand

June 26, 2014 in Defense, Technology

Thanks to a kit Boeing is developing for the Unmanned Little Bird, hundreds of rotorcraft could eventually be capable of flying unmanned.

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Boeing's Flexible Flyer: Unmanned Little Bird

Boeing's Flexible Flyer: Unmanned Little Bird

September 20, 2012 in Innovation, Defense

See how innovative Boeing engineers took the ultra-flexible Little Bird to a whole new level of capability by turning the proven multi-role helicopter into an optionally-manned air vehicle.

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Quick Facts

  • Has 27.5-foot (8.38-meter) main rotor diameter with blade fold capability
  • Based on an FAA and military-qualified manned platform
  • Can demonstrate compliance to be under CAT I and II MTRC levels
  • Capable of flying missions autonomously from takeoff to landing with very high precision and accuracy
  • Features an open architecture design that allows U.S.-government-approved design enhancements to be incorporated easily
  • Leverages existing logistics, documentation and training of the manned helicopter platform