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Boeing and USN fly unmanned Growlers

Swanee

Self aware since 2014
pilot
None
Contributor
And, no, this doesn’t involve the standing joke about what you call a jet with an all-female crew. :D

I’m curious about some of the implementation details and the capes and lims, but I’ll probably just have to remember to go poking around next time I’m on SIPR. That said, at the AWs level, interesting new use of existing assets. I wonder how much work was involved over and above, say, turning an F-16 into a QF-16.
Misnomer on the article that says "This allows manned aircraft to stay out of harm's Way."
Two things: manned or not, this is a limited asset, and I'm not sure the risk to attrition matrix is less because the crew isn't in the airplane. And, this really missed the mark on why unmanned airplanes are great- you're not mission limited by the fleshy pink being in the front.

So it's the worst of both worlds, and completely misses the mark. Yay.
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Misnomer on the article that says "This allows manned aircraft to stay out of harm's Way."
Two things: manned or not, this is a limited asset, and I'm not sure the risk to attrition matrix is less because the crew isn't in the airplane. And, this really missed the mark on why unmanned airplanes are great- you're not mission limited by the fleshy pink being in the front.

So it's the worst of both worlds, and completely misses the mark. Yay.
I did cock my eyebrow at the use of VAQ vs VFA assets, for a number of reasons best discussed in the appropriate venues. But maybe they were just using what was available to get data on the Super Hornet platform in general.

That said, I still think there’s value in at least throwing the idea of optionally-manned assets at the wall and seeing what, if anything, sticks. Maybe it’s a stopgap or complement for the existing “loyal wingman” stuff that’s floating around. Maybe, like you said, it’s a dead end. But finding out why it’s a dead end is the first step in getting out of the maze anyway, so I’m glad to see folks at least thinking outside the box.

Fail fast and learn before the war, while you can do that without a body count.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
This is a demonstration of concept. There is no intent to fly Growlers or Rhinos unmanned. FWIW, all the test aircraft were fully manned. Very basic stuff at this point, light maneuvering while flying in section. Ultimately, this will be for Growler crews to control yet to be fielded unmanned platforms.
 
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