NASA Prepares to Fly a Large Unmanned Aircraft in Public Airspace Without Chase Plane for First Time


NASA’s remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft performs flight tests in preparation to fly in the National Airspace System without a safety chase aircraft. On June 12, 2018, NASA successfully flew the historic flight. News release:

The flight will help to move the United States one step closer to normalizing unmanned aircraft operations in the airspace used by commercial and private pilots. The Ikhana aircraft is based at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.

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  1. Maybe I'm numb in the head, but isn't this what our airforce drones are doing overseas? I feel like the only difference is they are performing this in the US which has more air traffic than other countries.

  2. To all the people complaining that this is just a drone, you're missing the point of the operation. It was to develop protocol and procedures for integrating drones into civilian airspace, not the flying of the remotely operated aircraft.

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