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Aurora Flight Sciences' Orion UAV has been selected as the winner of the USAF's Magic (medium altitude global ISR and communications) UAV Joint Capability Technology Demonstration program. We wrote about it here in August. It's a big potential breakthrough for Aurora, which after many years of research contracts is finally looking at some operational programs. In particular, its Centaur optionally piloted vehicle has customers and is headed for operational use. Orion uses the same Rockwell Collins flight control system as Centaur, and the same Austro diesel engines, combined with airframe technology that the company has developed for Boeing's Phantom Eye, so it should be low-risk: and JCTDs have a pretty good track record of leading to production programs.
ar99, unmanned, Aurora
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