viernes, 15 de agosto de 2014

Predator B ER completes Phase 1 flight testing

Frank W Pace, president, Aircraft Systems, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc, said: ‘This flight was a significant milestone for Predator B ER in that it closes out its Phase 1 flight test period. The entire RPAS was successfully tested from start to finish, including flying a real-world representative mission with significant loiter time, and then returning to base.’

The ER (Extended Range) variant optimises the aircraft for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) 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.

The flight, which took place from 17-18 June, saw the Predator B ER demonstrate its ability to carry an external fuel tank on each wing, and used a new fuel management system which ensures fuel and thermal balance amongst all fuel sources, including the external tanks, the wing, and the fuselage.