Sept 25 - Two U.S. Air Force test pilots in a ground control station remotely fly an F-16 jet modified to be an aerial target. Jillian Kitchener reports.
A modified F-16 fighter aircraft is about to take flight. A pilot performs all the normal preflight checks, With no one sitting in the pilot's seat, it taxis and takes off. The F-16 is now under the control of operators sitting in a flight center at the other side of the base. It's all part of a trial by Boeing and the U.S. Air Force, who are adapting their retired aircraft for autonomous operation from take-off to landing. They're called QF-16s. Six F16's have been modified into the QF-16 configuration for the eventual use in weapons testing and other training, taking human pilots out of the equation…and out of danger.