Reliable Robotics flies autonomous demonstration with USAF


Reliable Robotics conducted an autonomous flight demonstration with the US Air Force during the recent Golden Phoenix readiness exercise at Travis Air Force Base. 

Reliable’s remotely operated aircraft system completed the end-to-end automated mission including auto-taxi, auto-takeoff, climb-out and auto-landing with an onboard test pilot.

“This signifies a historic milestone as an aircraft, under the guidance of Air Mobility Command airmen, autonomously taxied, took off, and landed at an AMC base for the first time,” said Major Wesley Williams, Travis AFB Phoenix Spark Innovation Lab. “Today marked a truly historic day for the Air Force. This is how we win.”

Reliable’s remotely operated aircraft system includes navigation, flight planning capabilities and flight controls. The system Reliable is developing will enable continuous autopilot engagement through all phases of flight and support remote piloting across multiple types of aircraft. Certification basis for the advanced navigation and autoflight system was accepted by the FAA last year.

Colonel Derek Salmi, 60th Air Mobility Wing commander, said: “Commercial innovation can increase the Air Force’s ability to generate air power, more frequently and over longer distances, providing our Airmen greater options in leading critical missions around the world. It was inspiring to watch the autonomous flight demonstration… partnerships between industry and Airmen offer endless possibilities.”

Reliable’s solution will provide the Air Force with increased aircraft availability, more options in deploying aircraft in crewed, uncrewed or ‘pilot +1’ configurations while meaning the deployment of fewer personnel in high-risk regions.

Reliable Robotics is currently working with the Air Force under a Phase III Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract to demonstrate flight performance and safety of remotely piloted aircraft in dynamic operating environments. Reliable also received a recent award from the Air Force to explore the automation of large, multi-engine jets.