Business

July 18, 2014

Predator B ER conducts first long-range endurance flight

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems announced June 17 the successful second endurance flight of its Predator® B Extended Range RPA, an advanced derivative of the mission-proven Predator B RPA that has accumulated over 800,000 flight hours since 2001.

The flight launched June 17 and landed June 18.

GAASI is a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions.

“This flight was a significant milestone for Predator B ER in that it closes out its Phase 1 flight test period,” said Frank W. Pace, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “The entire RPA system was successfully tested from start to finish, including flying a real-world representative mission with significant loiter time, and then returning to base.”

During the flight, Predator B ER demonstrated its ability to carry an external fuel tank on each wing and showed the utility of a new fuel management system which ensures fuel and thermal balance amongst all fuel sources, including the external tanks, the wing, and the fuselage. Additionally, the aircraft demonstrated its Alcohol Water Injection system, which provides tremendous value by shortening the required runway takeoff length, especially at higher gross takeoff weights, higher altitude take-offs, and on hot days. AWI also improves climb out performance and fuel efficiency.

Additional testing will be conducted into 2015 to validate other mission profiles and aircraft configurations.

GA-ASI introduced Predator B ER in April 2012 in an effort to extend Predator B’s already impressive endurance and range greatly while increasing its operational flexibility further. The aircraft first took flight in February of this year, and the company is currently under contract with the U.S. Air Force to build 38 Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper® RPA under the ER option that optimizes the aircraft for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions with a projected increase in endurance from 27 to 33-35 hours by adding two external fuel tanks to its existing wings and heavy-weight landing gear to accommodate an increase in maximum gross takeoff weight. At the same time, GA-ASI is using Internal Research and Development funds to develop an add-on ER option that optimizes the aircraft for multi-purpose missions with a projected increase in endurance from 27 to 42 hours for ISR-only by replacing its current fuel-filled 66-foot wings with 79-foot wings. Completion of the first fuel-filled, longer wing is expected this summer, with the first test flight to follow before the end of the year.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>