The US Navy wants its Fire Scout drones to grow up in a hurry.
Late last week, the Navy and Northrop Grumman sent word that the latest version of the unmanned rotorcraft, the MQ-8C Fire Scout, made its first flights on October 31. They weren't long affairs -- the first lasted 7 minutes, the second one, 9 minutes -- but the key is that the latest Fire Scout airframe got off the ground.
The first flight served to validate the autonomous control systems of the fledgling robo-copter, which was operated by a ground-based flight test team. The second saw … Read more