The Boeing Loyal Wingman aircraft being developed with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) recently moved under its own power for the first time, a key milestone for the aircraft that’s expected to make its first flight this year.

“Air Force partners with industry to ensure we can find innovative solutions to meet our future priorities,” said Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts, RAAF Head of Air Force Capability.

“Boeing’s Loyal Wingman project is a perfect example of what this collaborative approach can achieve. Seeing the prototype take to the runway for this low-speed taxi test is an exciting moment – another significant development milestone ahead of its first flight.”

Reaching a maximum speed of 14 knots (approximately 16 mph, or 26 kilometres per hour), on the ground, the aircraft demonstrated several activities while maneuvering and stopping on command.

“The low-speed taxi enabled us to verify the function and integration of the aircraft systems, including steering, braking and engine controls, with the aircraft in motion,” said Paul Ryder, Boeing Australia Flight Test manager.

Three Loyal Wingman prototypes will be the foundation for the Airpower Teaming System that Boeing will offer customers worldwide.

The aircraft will fly alongside other platforms, using artificial intelligence for teaming missions.

Boeing say that the aircraft has advanced design and flight characteristics, including a modular nose section that’s customizable for specific needs and a conventional takeoff and landing approach suitable for many missions and runway types.

“Runway independence ensures the aircraft will be a highly flexible and adaptable system for our global customers,” said Dr. Shane Arnott, programme director, Boeing Airpower Teaming System.

“This latest test marks the first full unmanned movement of the Loyal Wingman with our Australian partners and takes us a step closer to first flight.”

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4th watch

What has happened to UK interest in this key area. At present it seems limited to model A/C only!

Sean Crowley

Funny you ask that , it was an English Drone that pretty much kicked this thing off ,but not only the company that manufactured the drone but also the RAF wanted nothing more with it after verifying the projects goals . So RAAF went to Boeing and like IBM did with DOS asked for a TARANIS only not a TARANIS .


I thought that was Bill Gates who sold MSDos to IBM before buying it from a poor guy in his garage for a song and the erst sadly is history. Probably a different story lol.

Sean Crowley

No sadly IBM knew what they wanted and in those days IBM dressed up like Hoover men which irked the anti-establishment ideas of said provider who basically decided to ride off on his Harley , so they approached Paul Allen and told him to “re-engineer” said software and he did . The guy who should have been Bill Gates had his head stomped in and killed in a Bikes bar , morale of the story is ………….



IBM’s preferred choice was DR-DOS from Digital Research, which was an Intel x86 compatible version of CP/M. But when they showed up at DR’s office the head guy stood them up and went off to fly his light airplane.
Mary Gates served on the same charity board as the IBMer responsible for the PC project and she suggested her son’s company. Microsoft demonstrated and sold 86-DOS to IBM, before they then bought it from its creators Seattle Computing. Obviously they didn’t tell Seattle Computing about the deal with IBM.

Sean Crowley

Yeah no , while true he was Flying on one of the attempted hook ups , Jack Sams gave him two tries , and yeah it went down pretty much as i said , the guy who should have been Gates ended up dead in a bar . IBM pal are the creators of the PC , dont forget that .


Yeah no.

Kindall was flying the time IBM wanted to sign the agreement and his wife wouldn’t sign without Gary there.

And last time I checked Gates isn’t dead 🤦‍♂️

Plenty of personal computers around before the IBM PC. All IBM did was kill innovation by creating what would become the WinTel monopoly of Microsoft-Intel with a standard that was already lacklustre when it launched. Worst thing that ever happened to computing, stifling innovation for over 30 years.

Sean Crowley

Now with a name like yours espousing rubbish can only end with you inheriting the sobriquet of ” Sean the wrong” you will find my doppelganger that Gary Kildall is the guy who should be Gate’s and yeah good old Sam gave him two bites but at the end of the day …. actually no one with the Name Sean could be so wrong , your not a real Sean are you ! Yes my factually challenged opponent i am pretty sure your using that name in a bald vindictive and maybe even liable attempt of diminishing the inherit competence… Read more »


Given your blatant inadequacies with facts and grammar, I suspect you’re more likely a “Shawn” than a real “Seán like myself. Either that or you imbibe too much alcohol before making online posts.
I’ll leave you now to undoubtedly launch further ad hominem attacks to cover your inaccuracies with the truth as I, unlike yourself, have to get back to my highly paid computer science based day-job.

Sean Crowley

The fact you are worried about grammar has me suspecting your pay grade is not as high as you would try to lead us to believe . Grammar is for lesser mortals to worry about when getting a paper published , you know the kind who have to turn up to work within a set time and a designated place .


The fact you can’t grasp basic grammar shows how uneducated you are; that and your inability to grasp facts. Afraid you’ll have to tell me what it’s like clicking into McDonalds everyday to do your shift.


Just to settle this, sean is a crap name and you should write your children’s handbag tosh elsewhere.


“children’s handbag tosh” – what does that even mean?!? 🤷‍♂️😆
I’ve changed by opinion on you imbibing too much alcohol. Instead you’ve clearly misused too many mind-altering narcotics.
Good luck with the therapy.

Sean Crowley

Obviously that was not THE Sean you were originally sparing against , and the fact you could not differentiate and made no attempt to defend such an affront confirms my inference your not a Sean . Sean is synonymous with omnipotent knowledge and factual correctness , though i am only basing that on my own example i presume it to be true in others .

Mark B

Bill licenced MS Dos to IBM. IBM thought PCs were not real computers, a fad …. a little like most people’s current view of drones


The RAF turned down inflight refueling if I remember correctly. I don’t think the RAF is very forward-thinking in some recepts.


Sounds worrying typical we fight yesterdays wars until someone else proves its tomorrows wars we should be preparing for. Geez the Australians are truly showing us up in terms of weapons development and acquirement. They will be metaphorically kicking our asses within ten years at this rate. Even the stuff they buy from us will end up better no doubt, like T26.


Here’s a short video of the Loyal Wingman prototype performing its first taxi run:



Stick a cockpit on it and Shazam its the spitting image of a prototype for Tempest. I hope that remains a joke.