Yes, you have well read. This unbelievable story happened on a commercial aircraft, on a red-eye flight (a flight taking off late at night and landing early the next morning) from Seattle to Anchorage a month ago. Video report – it starts with basket-ball players, then these flights stories:
The incident happened at Dallas Airport on Sunday 24 July 2011. An American Airlines Boeing 777-200 apparently had an engine fire just after takeoff, and was forced to make a U-turn and dump fuel before performing an emergency landing. You can hear the pilot’s voice in the video hereafter as well as a part of the transcript:
Thanks to its HTAL (High Torque Aerial Lift) advanced tilt-duct propulsion system, the AD-150 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) has been designed to take off and land vertically (VTOL) as well as reach a speed of about 300 knots.
It is still being developed by American Dynamics Flight Systems. Its airframe is to be made up of carbon fiber and kevlar materials. It could be one of the most effective drones of its generation with its versatile payload configuration; GCS interfaces; and interoperable data links. Its Pratt and Whitney engines could be feed with Jet-A; JP-4; and JP-5 fuel.