Boeing’s A160T “Hummingbird” robot rotorcraft has been cleared for liftoff.
A series of tests conducted at the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah achieved all of the necessary goals laid out for it. The Hummingbird can successfully
deliver at least 2,500 pounds of cargo from one simulated forward-operating base to another 75 nautical miles away in well under the required six hours. The simulated mission carried 1,250-pound sling loads over two 150-nautical-mile round trips, with the A160T operating autonomously on a preprogrammed mission.
A max payload of 2,500 pounds? 20,000 foot ceiling? This thing is badass.
The real question how long before garage tinkerers make rotary-wing variants of their DIY drones. At the rate they’re advancing for fixed-wing, it won’t be long at all. Just think of all the things you could do with a helicopter as opposed to a plane…