Autonomous X-67A maiden flight

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) autonomous X-67A maiden flight.

This is the first aircraft of its kind built on a shared chassis, similar to a car frame. The success of the XQ-67A’s maiden flight demonstrates the effectiveness of this design approach, which aims to produce aircraft more quickly and affordably.

This new method addresses the need for rapid deployment of advanced, cost-effective capabilities in response to global power competition. AFRL continues to provide advanced technologies to support national defense and enhance warfighter capabilities both now and in the future.

Autonomous X 67A maiden flight 2

Developed in just over two years, the XQ-67A follows the XQ-58A Valkyrie and supports the Air Force Test Center’s X-62 VISTA and F-16 VENOM projects. These efforts aim to expedite the deployment of Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA). AFRL’s flight testing focuses on delivering cutting-edge science and technology swiftly through flexible and ongoing development.

Although remotely piloted, the XQ-67A can fly autonomously. Under AFRL’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Platform Sharing (LCAAPS) program, the Aerospace Systems Directorate developed a core architecture, or “genus,” from which various “species” of aircraft can be created. This innovative approach enables faster development, reduced costs, and frequent technology updates.

source AFRL