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BAE Systems has achieved fully autonomous flight of its second-generation ducted-fan unmanned aerial vehicle. The vertical takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft took off and landed automatically in two flight tests, each time completing a course of 10 waypoints at Southern California's Hansen Field. The autonomous tests followed more than 100 flights conducted with assisted takeoff and landing over the past several months. BAE Systems has developed a family of ducted-fan UAVs in which mission requirements for payload weight, altitude, and endurance will determine the size of the platform. The ducted-fan design shrouds the fan, making it ideally suited for company- and platoon-level operations in which takeoffs and landings occur in close proximity to troops.