Boeing strikes deal to acquire Aurora Flight Services

By Patrick C. Miller | October 10, 2017

The Boeing Co. will beef up its advanced autonomous technologies through the acquisition of Aurora Flight Services Corp., the two companies announced last week after signing an agreement.

Over the past 10 years, Aurora has collaborated with Boeing on the prototyping of innovative aircraft and structural assemblies for both military and commercial applications.

Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, Aurora specializes in autonomous systems technologies for future advanced robotic aircraft with aerospace applications. Once acquired, Aurora will be a subsidiary under Boeing Engineering Test & Technology and be known as Aurora Flight Sciences, A Boeing Company. It will retain an independent operating model.

“The combined strength and innovation of our teams will advance the development of autonomy for our commercial and military systems,” said Greg Hyslop, chief technology officer and senior vice president of Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology. “Together, these talented teams will open new markets with transformational technologies.”

Leveraging autonomous systems that include perception, machine learning and advanced flight control systems, Aurora has designed, produced and flown more than 30 unmanned air vehicles since the company was founded in 1989. Aurora specializes in the emerging field of electric propulsion for aircraft.

“Since its inception, Aurora has been focused on the development of innovative aircraft that leverage autonomy to make aircraft smarter,” said John Langford, Aurora Flight Sciences founder and CEO. “As an integral part of Boeing, our pioneered technologies of long-endurance aircraft, robotic co-pilots, and autonomous electric VTOLs will be transitioned into world-class products for the global infrastructure.”

Aurora has more than 550 employees and operates in six states in the U.S., including a research and development center located near MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It has manufacturing facilities in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Columbus, Mississippi, as well as offices in Dayton, Ohio, Mountain View, California and Luzern, Switzerland.