As part AIAA Infotech@Aerospace2011 conference is currently being held in St. Louis, Boeing hosted conference attendees and local AIAA members at the Prologue Room March 30. After a self guided tour, Eric Mathewson, Col. USAF (Ret) and Director of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Strategy for Boeing gave a presentation entitled, "Boeing's Vision for Unmanned Aircraft Systems." Several themes quickly emerged:
There is continuity between manned and unmanned systems;
A compelling efficiency can be obtained through the conscious application of automated technologies (vehicles are mission-centric, not man-centric);
Automated Aircraft Systems are best developed through cooperation between industry, government and academia;
Unmanned Automated Systems are the game-changer that will transform the structures of the Department of Defense;
The risk of autonomy can be overcome through overcoming the fear of change, establishing ethical codes of conduct and gaining trust in the reliability of automated systems.
UPDATE: Phantom Ray taxi test up to 90mph were completed at Edwards AFB.