FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 25, 2004
October 25, 2004 -- San Diego, California. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems, announced today that they have been successfully flying a Predator® unmanned aircraft powered by a heavy fuel engine (HFE). GA-ASI integrated the heavy fuel engine as a company funded development to fully meet the U.S. Army's "single fuel in the battlefield" objective. The HFE will be offered with the Warrior, GA-ASI’s solution for the Army’s Extended Range Multi-purpose (ERMP) program. Warrior will provide the US Army with an HFE version of the combat proven Predator aircraft for long endurance surveillance, communications relay, and weapons delivery missions.
The Predator is powered by a general aviation certified Thielert Centurion engine. Use of this HFE power plant enables the aircraft to fly above 25,000 feet on jet or diesel fuel with increased horsepower and significantly improved fuel efficiency. The HFE power plant reduces maintenance costs, offers increased service life, and greatly simplifies field logistics by using a more readily available fuel source. Initiated in July of 2004, the Warrior quick reaction prototype effort went from kick-off to first flight in less than three months.
Established in 1993, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. has expanded the acceptance and application of unmanned aircraft systems with combat proven products such as the I-GNAT®, operated by the U.S. Government and international customers; the MQ-1 Predator, the U.S. Air Force workhorse in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts; the turboprop powered MQ-9 Predator B "Hunter-Killer", operational with the U.S. Air Force; ALTUS®, operated in conjunction with NASA; ALTAIRTM, for a variety of mission applications including scientific and atmospheric research, surveillance, reconnaissance and now, Warrior, which marks the beginning of routine flight with heavy fuel power in a medium altitude unmanned aircraft.
For more information contact:
Public Relations Department
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.