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November 25, 2002

Release: 02-60

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The second X-45A Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstrator completed its first flight on Nov. 21, 2002, after taking off from a dry lakebed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The flight comes six months after the first flight of X-45A vehicle one, which occurred on May 22, 2002.

X-45A vehicle two flew for approximately 30 minutes and reached an airspeed of 195 knots and an altitude of 7500 feet. This flight validated the functionality of the UCAV flight software on the second air vehicle.

"I'm extremely proud of the accomplishments of the government/industry test execution team, led by Gary Cosentino of NASA and Roy Smith of Boeing," said U.S. Air Force Col. Earl Wyatt, UCAV program manager. "The joint team deserves a tremendous amount of the credit for the success we've demonstrated to date."

X-45A vehicle one has completed a total of five flights to date, with three flights executed in October. These flights continued to expand the flight envelope and validated several contingency management routines.

The program is also designing and building two more operationally representative, robust prototypes that will demonstrate the military utility and operational value of the UCAV system.

The DARPA/U.S. Air Force/Boeing Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle represents a revolutionary new weapon system that could significantly increase the effectiveness and flexibility available to military commanders while lowering the overall cost of combat operations.

Dryden is supporting the DARPA/Boeing team in the design, development, integration, and demonstration of the critical technologies, processes, and system attributes leading to an operational UCAV system. Dryden's support of the X-45A demonstrator system includes analysis, component development, simulations, ground and flight tests.


Note to Editors: Media Contacts: Jan Walker, DARPA, (703) 696-2404, or Gray Creech, NASA Dryden, (661) 276-2662 Erik Simonsen, Boeing Communications, Southern California (562) 797-5473 Dave Philips, Boeing Communications, Chicago (312) 544-2125

X-45A UCAV photos are available online at: /centers/dfrc/gallery/photo/X-45A/index.html

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