Recent advances in electronics have enabled the Air Force to consider using remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs) for missions now performed by manned aircraft. This paper describes the research and development program for the FDL-23 RPV, an extensively modified Air Force Model 147G drone. The vehicle is being used to initiate studies of techniques and applications of remotely manned aircraft capable of performing various RPV operations.
A complete description of the FDL-23 RPV is offered, with special emphasis on the Remote Pilot Station, the Flight Control System, the Command/Telemetry System, and the Video System. A summary of 12 planned flight test missions is also presented.