MQ-9B SKYGUARDIAN COMPLETES FAA APPROVED FLIGHT
- tical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) flew a MQ-9B SkyGuardian™ Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) from Laguna Airfield at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., through National Airfacility near Palmdale, Calif. The MQ-9B
standard for Unmanned Aircraft Systems)compliant version of the Predator® B product line. The 275 mile trip lasted approximately one hour, 45 minutes and required FAA approval to fly through various classes of non-restricted airspace.
“This flight is another milestone in our progression towards delivering an - ness requirements for UAS,” said Linden - ian will be the first RPA system of its kind with a design-assurance level compliant with international type-certification standards, and can therefore be integrated more easily than legacy RPAs
into civil airspace operations around the world.”
A weaponized variant of the system is being acquired by the UK Royal Air Force program. A maritime patrol variant, SeaGuardian™, is designed to support openocean and littoral surface surveillance. All variants are designed to fly in excess of 35 hours with airspeeds up to 210 knots, and to reach altitudes of more than 40,000 feet.
Development of MQ-9B began in 2012 as a company-funded effort. Program highlights include first flight in November 2016 and an endurance flight in May 2017 of 48.2 hours.