Aeronautics giant Boeing plans to acquire Manassas-based Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation to advance development of the local company's "game-changing" technology in unmanned aircraft, according to a joint release.
"The combined strength and innovation of our teams will advance the development of autonomy for our commercial and military systems," said Greg Hyslop, chief technology officer and senior vice president of Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology. "Together, these talented teams will open new markets with transformational technologies."
The acquisition could pave the way for fleets of flying taxis, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. "Virginia-based Aurora is a specialist in autonomous systems that allow military and commercial aircraft to be flown remotely," according to writer Doug Cameron.
Earlier this year, Uber and Aurora announced the successful test of a small autonomous aircraft that could takeoff and land like a helicopter. The Uber Elevate Network has a goal of 50 aircraft ready for testing by 2020.
Aurora has designed, produced and flown more than 30 unmanned air vehicles since the company was founded in 1989, according to the joint release.
"As an integral part of Boeing, our pioneered technologies of long-endurance aircraft, robotic co-pilots, and autonomous electric VTOLs will be transitioned into world-class products for the global infrastructure," said John Langford, Aurora Flight Sciences founder and chief executive officer.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Once acquired, Aurora will be a subsidiary under Boeing Engineering Test & Technology known as Aurora Flight Sciences, A Boeing Company, and retain an independent operating model.
© Prince William Today © Copyright 2017, Sun Gazette Newspapers, Springfield, VA., source Newspapers