U.S. aerospace giant Boeing has released fascinating footage showing the moved of its latest MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling drone from Boeing’s St. Louis facilities to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, a small regional airport next to Scott Air Force Base in rural Illinois.
In a video statement published on the aerospace giant’s Twitter page on May 1, said that MQ-25 drone at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport will undergo ground and flight tests for the U.S. Navy’s unmanned aerial refueling program.
According to several media reports, with assistance from law enforcement in both states, a truck carried the aircraft — which is the size of an F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter — from Boeing’s technical plant at St. Louis’s Lambert International Airport across the Mississippi River to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, a small regional airport next to Scott Air Force Base in rural Illinois.
The semi traveled on side roads and at 5-10 mph for much of the trip Sunday night, KDSK-TV reported. Temporary road closures were in Edwardsville, Marine and Lebanon as the jet moved through.
The plane arrived before 6 a.m. Monday, KMOV-TV reported.
The regional airport is in less crowded airspace, which “gives us some flexibility in how we can fly,” Dave Bujold, the Boeing program manager overseeing drone project, told The Drive.
Boeing plans to test fly the MQ-25 Stingray, known as T-1 or “Tail 1,” before the end of the year. But first it must pass ground taxiing tests and the Federal Aviation Administration must certify the aircraft and grant clear airspace for it to fly. Ground control stations are being installed at the airport.
Watch our #MQ25 test aircraft being transported from Boeing’s St. Louis facilities to @MAAirport. Here, it will undergo ground and flight tests for the @USNavy's unmanned aerial refueling program. pic.twitter.com/Qt7lg4MNGr
— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) April 30, 2019