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Rotorcraft Report: Boeing Hones In on Hummingbird Crash Cause

By Staff Writer | February 1, 2008

MILITARY

Boeing hoped to resume ground testing of its A160T helicopter drone last month and flight testing shortly after that.

This follows its investigation into the early December crash of a Hummingbird prototype. It found a flight control software problem not previously seen was the cause and has identified a fix. The A160T, designed with an optimum-speed rotor, is being developed for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Special Operations Command.

Boeing in December halted flight tests of its optimum-speed-rotor drone while it investigated the latest crash of the aircraft type.

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The turbine-powered A160T Hummingbird unmanned air vehicle crashed Dec. 10 during a flight test from Boeing Advanced Rotorcraft Systems’ facility in Victorville, Calif., about 50 nm northeast of Los Angeles. The aircraft was flying at about 2,300 ft agl, or 5,000 ft msl, when it crashed. The drone was destroyed.

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