First QF-16 target drone flies without pilot

qf-16-no-pilotThe first Boeing QF-16 has flown at Tyndall without a pilot. Up next, live fire trials at Holloman AFB, New Mexico–where probably some F-22s or possibly even some operational F-16 will have a field day blowing them out of the sky. The format is jacked-up as usual, but still better to have a video than to have no video.

9 Responses to First QF-16 target drone flies without pilot

  1. Tritium 25 September, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    WTF?? Is the USAF still using some F4′s in a chase plane role? Or, is this something Boeing is doing, on their own. I thought all the Phantom’s were retired?

  2. Bobby 25 September, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    I’m a bit confused on this, in the video it states this is the first unmanned F-16 flown, I thought old F-16s were being used as drones for a while? Or was it older F-4s being used as drones?

  3. F-4ever 25 September, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    Well, Vipers shooting down Vipers at Combat Archer would be interesting…
    I say speed up the introduction of the QF-16s, stop shooting down the QF-4s and save them for the museums.

    Phantoms Phorever!

  4. jetcal1 25 September, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    CR*P! Am I Getting that old? I doubt I will long enough to see a QF/A-22.

  5. demophilus 26 September, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    Might make for a cost effective UCAV or SEAD platform, too…

  6. Sylvester 27 September, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    Ok, so I have to ask, what is to stop us from using these magnificent older birds as ‘War-Drones’. If they are in storage, we could send a stack of them on a tough mission and get the ordinance onto target with out a man/woman lost.

    Just wondering.

  7. El Sid 27 September, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    @Tritium
    QF-4′s are scheduled to be retired next year, they’ve run out of Phantoms with wing slats and have had to convert some F-4C’s as that’s all that was left in the desert. The QF-16 has been planned for some time now.

    • Tritium 1 October, 2013 at 3:13 am #

      Hi El Cid. Thanks for the info. I am still a bit confused by the video, however. The video clearly shows (and the narrator identifies) an F-4 being used as one of the chase planes….so I assume it was manned? That was why I was wondering what the deal was.

      Or, are you saying the the F-4 was actually a QF-4, that was being piloted and used in the role of a chase plane for this particular test. That would also make sense.

  8. F-4ever 29 September, 2013 at 5:57 am #

    Just noticed something peculiar about the vid: at the start, the HUD camera can be seen aft of the combiner glass (F-16A config, which aircraft 83-110 certainly is). But in the cockpit close ups, you can see the camera isn’t there, and the HUD appears to be the WAC type used on F-16Cs. Seems like they used 2 different jets in making this vid.

    @El Sid – I didn’t know about the slatted wing requirement for QFs, learn something new everyday. But the last jets that were droned were RF-4Cs, not F-4Cs.

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