BFT and US AFRL Successfully Complete Ground Testing for Unmanned Fury Vehicle

Blue Force Technologies (BFT) has successfully completed a ground test for its Fury uncrewed aircraft, which is being developed under the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Bandit program. The test, which was conducted in collaboration with AFRL, validated the performance of the aircraft’s revolutionary carbon fibre composite propulsion flow-path system.

According to BFT President Scott Bledsoe, the proper integration of the propulsion flow-path is the most critical design aspect for an uncrewed fighter like Fury. He stated, “It was crucial for us to demonstrate, prior to building flight-test aircraft, that we could correctly predict the interaction between the propulsion flow-path components and the Williams International engine.”

The test was carried out using advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis, with comprehensive resources from the US Army Engineer Research and Development Centre and AFRL. The aim of the test was to validate the analysis and further strengthen the team’s confidence in using CFD tools for the remaining flight envelope portions. Additionally, the test allowed AFRL and BTF to gather high-fidelity data that can be used for validating computational methods in the near future.

The Bandit program contract was awarded to BFT in March of last year, with the goal of maturing a fifth-generation uncrewed aircraft that can support adversary air training missions for the US Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and can further be adapted for Autonomous Collaborative Platform missions. According to AFRL Bandit program manager Alyson Turri, “After making engine selection in June 2022, the AFRL and BFT team worked to finalize test objectives and procedures concurrently with BFT’s hardware build to ensure this full-scale test came together in under six months.”

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