CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, June 11 (UPI) -- Iowa-based Rockwell Collins has successfully demonstrated an unmanned F/A-18 subscale model air vehicle flying with significant damage to the aircraft.
During the demonstration Rockwell Collins officials ejected almost 60 percent of the F/A-18 UAV's right wing to simulate battle damage. While damaged and in flight, the aircraft's automatic supervisory adaptive control technology reacted and a navigation system/global positioning system successfully landed the plane.
The demonstration, sponsored by the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was held at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.
"DARPA asked us to significantly increase the level of damage and risk in this latest flight test campaign to really put the Rockwell Collins controls technology through its paces," Mike Myers, Collins Government Systems vice president of business development for Rockwell, said in a statement.
"We are pleased with the ability of our adaptive controls to instantly detect and react to the new vehicle configuration after loss of major sections of the wing. The ASAC controls technology enabled the airplane to continue to fly completely autonomously without a hitch and land without further damage."