A Little Bird Not in the Hand

June 26, 2014 in Defense, Technology

Autopilot is a common feature on most major civilian and military fixed-wing airplanes, but it’s very rare to find on vertical lift aircraft. Thanks to a kit Boeing is developing for the Unmanned Little Bird, hundreds of rotorcraft could eventually be capable of flying unmanned.

“Unmanned Little Bird isn’t about the platform,” said Mike Sahag, Business Development Lead for the Unmanned Little Bird. “It’s about the unmanned capability. It’s about the UAV kit. It’s about putting unmanned or optionally piloted capability in any vertical lift aircraft.”

Developing the kit has come through a unique process in which Boeing Test and Evaluation pilots are in the aircraft during flights, which has made development faster and less costly.

Watch the video to see the Unmanned Little Bird in action.