This Upgraded Killer Drone Can Fly for Two Days Straight

Extra fuel boosts Army’s Gray Eagle

This Upgraded Killer Drone Can Fly for Two Days Straight This Upgraded Killer Drone Can Fly for Two Days Straight

Uncategorized October 22, 2013 0

General ATomics photo This Upgraded Killer Drone Can Fly for Two Days Straight Extra fuel boosts Army’s Gray Eagle by DAVID CENCIOTTI One of... This Upgraded Killer Drone Can Fly for Two Days Straight
General ATomics photo

This Upgraded Killer Drone Can Fly for Two Days Straight

Extra fuel boosts Army’s Gray Eagle

by DAVID CENCIOTTI

One of the main advantages of Unmanned Aerial Systems over conventional aircraft is their ability to stay aloft for hours. Many hours.

Between Oct. 11 and 13, a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Improved Gray Eagle drone, a next-generation derivative of the U.S. Army’s Gray Eagle, successfully completed the first of two planned Army endurance demo flights, remaining in the air for 45.3 hours.

The original Gray Eagle has a 30-hour endurance.

The IGE took off from GA-ASI’s El Mirage Flight Operations Facility in Adelanto, California at 6:56 AM on Oct. 11 and landed almost two days later at 4:16 AM on Oct. 13.

IGE has a max gross takeoff weight of 4,200 pounds and utilizes the 205-horsepower Lycoming DEL-120 engine. Thanks to an optional external fuel pod that can accommodate an additional 450 pounds of fuel, it should be able to conduct missions in excess of 50 hours.

The extended surveillance coverage and the ability to deploy itself to remote bases are among the IGE’s most important features. The increased endurance and higher payload could be added to the Army’s roughly 100 existing Block 1 Gray Eagles with only minor changes.

General Atomics developed the improved drone using its own funds. It’s not clear whether the Army will purchase the modifications.

The Improved Gray Eagle flew unarmed during this first demo flight. During the second demonstration, planned for later this year, the drone is expected to carry external payload and weapons.

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