Preda­tor B demon­strates au­to­matic take­off and land­ing ca­pa­bil­ity

SP's MAI - - UNMANNED -

Gen­eral Atomics Aero­nau­ti­cal Sys­tems, Inc. an­nounced that its Preda­tor B/MQ-9 Reaper RPA has suc­cess­fully com­pleted 106 full-stop au­to­matic take­off and land­ing ca­pa­bil­ity (ATLC) land­ings, a first for the multi-mis­sion air­craft. The mile­stone was first achieved with four ATLC land­ings on June 27 at the com­pany’s Gray Butte Flight Op­er­a­tions Fa­cil­ity in Palm­dale, Cal­i­for­nia.

“We are pleased that all land­ings have been text­book in ex­e­cu­tion with no is­sues,” said Frank Pace, Pres­i­dent, Air­craft Sys­tems Group, GA-ASI. “The ad­di­tion of ATLC will greatly re­duce the land in­ci­dent rate and the train­ing ex­pen­di­tures for our cus­tomers.”

Dur­ing the land­ings, the air­craft tracked the cen­ter­line, de­cel­er­ated smoothly, and ap­plied re­verse thrust and full brakes at the ap­pro­pri­ate ground speeds to a com­plete stop.

En­ve­lope ex­pan­sion for take­offs and land­ings at higher wind lim­its, max­i­mum air­craft gross weight, dif­fer­en­tial GPS (dGPS) en­hance­ments, and ter­rain avoid­ance with ad­justable glides­lope has now be­gun.

The de­sign of the ATLC sys­tem was lever­aged di­rectly from the highly suc­cess­ful and proven Au­to­matic Take­off and Land­ing Sys­tem (ATLS) de­vel­oped by GA-ASI for its Gray Ea­gle un­manned air­craft sys­tem, which has reached a record of 10,000-plus suc­cess­ful au­to­matic take­off and land­ings.

A tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced de­riv­a­tive of the com­bat-proven preda­tor, the multi-mis­sion Preda­tor B pro­vides es­sen­tial sit­u­a­tional aware­ness for warfight­ers, ex­celling in com­bat mis­sions fo­cus­ing on in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance, and re­con­nais­sance (ISR), pre­ci­sion strike on time-sen­si­tive tar­gets, close air sup­port, laser des­ig­na­tion and il­lu­mi­na­tion, sig­nals in­tel­li­gence, for­ward air con­trol, con­voy pro­tec­tion, im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice (IED) de­tec­tion, and bomb dam­age as­sess­ment.

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