back to article US gov silent robot white (?) helicopter prangs itself

A revolutionary* new robotic whisper-mode helicopter under development in America has crashed, according to reports. The A160T robot whisper-copter The US government's silent robot helicopter. Not black! What were they thinking? The A160T "Hummingbird" unmanned chopper was under development by US aerospace colossus Boeing …


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  1. laird cummings

    White is right... sorta.

    Actually, for medium to high operating altitudes during daytime, white is the correct color for stealth. Black is for night operations and for lower-altitude intimidation operations during the day.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's it...

    I demand a White helicopters logo !

  3. Steve Evans


    ... The best finish to give it for good stealth performance would be a cotton wool cloud look!

  4. Sampler
    Paris Hilton

    Maybe it got distracted

    Flying over a golden painted Paris?

  5. TeeCee Gold badge

    One other?

    Er, surely they've *all* been used for "ground testing" so far?

    My Irvin flying jacket please.

  6. Tawakalna
    Black Helicopters


    they are black helicopters - it's all a whitewash!

  7. SoupDragon

    Maybe it got distracted...

    by an automated lawnmower cutting the grass next to a large conservatory.

  8. P. Lee
    Black Helicopters

    re: white helicopter icon

    An extra icon isn't needed.

    The thing is unmanned! That just isn't scary. What is scary is men in black wearing night-vision goggles rappelling down to take you to where they "trained" the additional shooter used to assassinate Kennedy.

    Unless there is a stonking great big gun underneath it'll be target practice for every tom, dick and harry with an assault rifle.

  9. Kurt Guntheroth

    easy-to-find white

    All black helocopters are born white. They turn black when their stealth grows in.

    To be more specific, you want to paint your prototype unmanned stealth helocopter white for the same reason your toy airlpane is brightly colored, so you can locate it when it falls into brush after its first wobbly flight.

  10. Paul F

    @ P. Lee

    What do you mean that unmanned "just isn't scary?" Good grief man, haven't you been paying attention? There are killbots everywhere! This thing will be directing them! It's the Rise of the Machines! Don't be lulled into foolish complacency! They are planning our systematic eradication!


  11. Colin Millar

    Model T

    and not black?

    Henry Ford would not be amused

  12. TeeCee Gold badge


    If they put weapons on it, will it be the Future Airborne Rotorcraft Terminator?

    Silent, but deadly.

    Ok, I'll stay outside this time, no need to get nasty.....

  13. Gary


    "There is apparently one further A160T in existence..." Really?

    "The vehicle was one of three A160s on flight status at Victorville, says Boeing."

  14. Mark Roome

    Re: Lewis Page

    Lewis, you made me splurt beer all over my computer, twice.

    Once for Revolutionary and once for Groundbreaking.

    Well done that man.

  15. Dave

    Boeing chopper proves black is white...

    ...gets killed flying over zebra crossing.

  16. Rick Brasche
    Black Helicopters

    @ TeeCee

    perhaps they were working on "penetration testing" as well. It was a white-hat model. Depends on how fast it was going when it tanked, I suppose.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    yeah, so it crashed..

    that's why they call it a *prototype* ya gits. so they can learn how to do it right *before* production.

    I'd compare the process to foreplay but methinks the folks who need the explanation would be the ones least likely to understand the reference.

  18. Alan Donaly
    Paris Hilton

    Exscuse me it's white

    for the same reason golf balls are white so you can find it in the trees when it goes astray. It makes perfect sense you wouldn't want to lose it now would you.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shocked, I am!

    4 crashes in, what, 46 flights? This is appalling!!!

    If this was a Blackhawk or an Osprey we wouldnt be able to move for investigative journalists! Its as if there is something "special" about losing a manned helicopter!!!



    Plummet away, unmanned whirlybird, plummet away. We may mourn your crumpled shell, and the comparatively small dent you make in the ever burgeoning military capital budget, but nothing more - and thats not such a bad thing.

  20. Gower
    Dead Vulture

    Now availbile in White or Black!!!!

    Obviously this White Silent Helicopter is to distract you from the Black silent helicopter, both of which distract you from the silent killbots sneaking up behind you... I predict doom... Killbot Doom I tells yer!!! silent Killbots choppers in white and black emblazoned with a mysterious glowing logo shaped like an apple... oh yes and its probably Americas fault.

  21. Les Matthew

    @Stu Reeves

    "I demand a White helicopters logo !"

    On a white background?

  22. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Black Helicopters

    Ground testing a helicopter??

    I still wonder what the ultimate use of ground testing a helicopter is? OK, testing circuits, engine, etc, before flying off and pranging it makes sense, up to the "join-the-choir-invisible" moment. But building one JUST for ground testing seems a bit odd (unless they were testing colour-schemes (SO BLACK it hurts the eyes!!)).

  23. Slaine


    ...a sign lit up telling me, "please do not press this button again"

    anyway... are we still permitted to call these devices "black" and/or "white", surely they are either "refectively challenged" or "non-luminously absorbant"

  24. James Battersby

    Clearly being made by Apple

    ...they'll release a black version soon enough.

    I wonder where the iPod goes?

  25. lglethal Silver badge

    @ Ground testing a helicopter??

    *boffin hat on*

    You ground test helicopters (and all aircraft) in order to test systems, engines, etc although these tests are usually done on aircraft that will be used later on in flight testing.

    The helicopters/aircraft that are built PURELY for ground testing are your fatigue test helicopters/aircraft. Basically you simulate the pressure and load changes on an aircraft that it will experience throughout its life time and cycle it through thousands of cycles to find out at what point the structure will fail. At which point you cross your fingers, clench tight and hope like hell that its a larger number then what you've stated as your aircraft's expected working life!

    *boffin hat off*

  26. Brian

    1/11.5........ crash / successful test ratio.......

    Something Microsoft could aspire to.

    No coat...I'm calling in via the payphone down the street.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    White is in this year

    ...except in panties, where you're best not wearing any.

    Hmmm, that makes me wonder I wonder how many "choppers" have crashed/lost their payload near Paris?

    Maybe I should just fetch me coat?

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