Boeing Experimental Heliwing Crashes

The Boeing Co.'s experimental Heliwing aircraft, a 17-foot-long unmanned vehicle, crashed and broke apart after developing engine trouble yesterday during a test flight at the Grant County Airport at Moses Lake.

The Heliwing, which flies like an airplane up to 200 mph and takes off and lands like a helicopter, was being flown to prove the concept of vertical takeoff and horizontal winged flight. It was flying horizontally when it crashed, said Bob Smith, Boeing Defense and Space Group spokesman.

Most of the flight testing has been completed. A decision on replacing the Heliwing will be made after test data is evaluated and the cause of the crash determined, Smith said.

The Heliwing is designed for military maritime missions.