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Boeing develops unmanned system in Australia; Flirtey, Reno receive FAA approval for drone delivery

April 3, 2019

A model of the unmanned Boeing Airpower Teaming System was unveiled at the Australian International Airshow.

Boeing develops unmanned system in Australia

The Boeing Airpower Teaming System (BATS) unmanned aircraft designed for global defense customers by Boeing Australia will be the company’s largest investment in a new unmanned aircraft program outside the United States.

The unmanned aerial system (UAS) will complement and extend airborne missions through smart teaming with existing military aircraft. It uses artificial intelligence to fly independently or in support of manned aircraft while maintaining a safe distance. BATS, 38ft (11.7m) long, can fly more than 2,000nm carrying sensor packages to support intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions and electronic warfare. It can integrate local content to meet global customers’ country-specific requirements.

The Australian Government and Boeing will produce a concept demonstrator called the Loyal Wingman that will be used in developing the first production model. The first flight is planned for 2020. 


The XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator completed its inaugural 76-minute flight at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona.

XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator completes inaugural flight

The XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator, a long-range, high-subsonic, unmanned air vehicle (UAV) developed by Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), completed its inaugural flight March 5, 2019, at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona.

The runway-independent Valkyrie was developed through the AFRL’s low-cost attritable aircraft technology (LCAAT) program, which designs and builds UAVs faster by developing better design tools and maturing and leveraging commercial manufacturing processes to reduce build time and cost. Time to first flight took a little more than 2.5 years from contract award.

Flirtey, Reno receive FAA approval for drone delivery

Independent drone delivery service startup Flirtey has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct drone delivery flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) in Reno, Nevada. The approval enables drone delivery operations with a pilot controlling the flights from a remote location.

Flirtey received BVLOS approval with its next-generation drone, which can carry heavier payloads longer distances, allowing Flirtey to deliver automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and commercial packages.

Flirtey and Reno participate in the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP), a fast-track regulatory program that accelerates the integration of life-saving and commercial drone operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).

As one of 10 selected governments for the program, the City of Reno chose Flirtey as its partner to deliver AEDs to immediately treat a person experiencing cardiac arrest and to pioneer a scalable model for commercial drone delivery.