Edwards Resumes FIDLing Around

Boeing announced Monday that the Air Force has commenced the next phase of flight tests with a B-1B bomber fitted with the fully integrated data link, or FIDL. This new gear features a Link 16 data link that adds line-of-sight capability to the aircraft’s existing beyond line-of-sight data link. The first flight of this new test round took place June 4 at Edwards AFB, Calif. During the four-hour mission, the B-1 aircrew successfully tested the data link by sending and receiving text messages and receiving data such as target coordinates for a weapon, according to the company. With the new gear, the aircrew will no longer need to type in target coordinates by hand, said Mark Angelo, Boeing’s B-1 program manager. This round of flight testing is expected to run through January 2011.