UK & World News
F-16 Drone: Fighter Jet Flies Without Pilot
The US Air Force and Boeing have completed the first ever unmanned flight of a retired F-16 fighter plane.
Two test pilots flew the unmanned jet from a ground control station at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.
The plane carried out its take-off sequence, a series of simulated manoeuvres, supersonic flight and landing procedures - all without a pilot in the cockpit.
"It was a little different to see an F-16 take off without anyone in it, but it was a great flight all the way around," said Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Inman.
"Now we have a mission-capable, highly sustainable, full-scale aerial target to take us into the future."
The successful flight - which was carried out on September 19 - paves the way for modified F-16s to be used in weapons testing and pilot training.
Boeing has modified six F-16s - known as QF-16s - for use in unmanned flight.