In March 2023, we completed our first flight testing milestone for Magpie Aerotowing, demonstrating the world’s first automated towing reconnections between two aircraft.

Following a comprehensive program of qualifying tests, veteran US Air Force and Airbus program test pilots Jim and Tim took our two prototype aircraft to the skies from our flight test facility on a crisp day in March.

Our tests were focused on the Active Hook, the device responsible for autonomously connecting the two aircraft in the sky. The device performed beautifully, connecting the two aircraft repeatedly, and with centimeter-level precision.

“The automated connection technology makes life simpler for the pilot. Connecting to the stabilized Active Hook is much easier than ‘probe and drogue’ aerial refueling used in the military, which requires a considerable amount of pilot skill.”

–Jim Payne, Magpie Test Pilot

We are incredibly proud of this achievement and see it as a significant step in validating the Magpie approach. But we are not stopping there – we continue to improve and test the technology across a range of conditions.