In an outstanding display of innovation and collaboration, Calspan has been awarded a prestigious 2024 Aviation Week Laureate Award for our instrumental role in the transformation of the U.S. Air Force’s F-16D Variable stability In-flight Simulation Test Aircraft (VISTA) into the X-62A. This project, a pioneering initiative in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and Lockheed Martin, has set a new standard for excellence in aviation and aerospace innovation.

The X-62A VISTA project marks a significant milestone in the use of synthetic artificial-intelligence pilots in a supersonic aircraft, a feat never accomplished until now. This groundbreaking work not only showcases the potential of AI in enhancing flight operations but also serves as a foundational template for the development of autonomy within the Air Force’s planned Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) family.

Awarded at the Aviation Week Laureate Awards ceremony on March 14, 2024, this honor recognizes Calspan's commitment to pioneering advancements that redefine the boundaries of technology and collaboration in the aerospace industry. The evolution of the 2024 Laureate Awards to encompass achievements across the aviation sector underscores the significance of the X-62A VISTA project as a beacon of innovation and transformation.

This accolade is a testament to the collaborative spirit and technological prowess of the teams at Calspan, the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, and Lockheed Martin. Together, we have pushed the envelope of what is possible, paving the way for future advancements in autonomous and AI-enhanced flight systems.

We are profoundly grateful to Aviation Week for this recognition and to our partners for their invaluable collaboration. This award is not just a reflection of our past achievements but also an inspiration for our future endeavors. At Calspan, we are committed to continuing our work at the forefront of aviation technology, driving progress, and shaping the future of aerospace.

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