MQ-9B SKYGUARDIAN COM­PLETES FAA AP­PROVED FLIGHT

SP's Aviation - - NEWS DIGEST -

- 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.

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