GA-ASI Introduces New Design on Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper Landing Gear


Jan 09, 2012

Trailing Arm Design Expected to Improve MQ-9 Reliability and Performance Significantly

SAN DIEGO – 9 January 2012 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, today announced the availability of a new trailing arm design for the existing main landing gear on its Predator® B/MQ-9 Reaper UAS.

"Our engineers and suppliers have worked hard to develop a landing gear design that will enhance and extend the utility of this multi-purpose aircraft for our customers," said David Alexander, vice president of engineering, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. "The new landing gear is just one of many value-added features that will be included in Block 5 Predator Bs."

The enhanced landing gear is available as a field retrofit to all Predator B/MQ-9 customers upon request and is expected to improve the reliability and performance of the aircraft significantly as it offers the following benefits:

  • 30%+ increase in landing weight capacity, at the full Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) descent rate of 10 ft per second

  • Growth path to increase gross takeoff weight by approximately 12% (10,500 lb vs. 11,700 lb)

  • Maintenance-free shock absorber, nitrogen pressurization not required

  • Full rejected takeoff brake system at growth maximum weight of 11,700 lb

  • Includes provisions for automatic takeoff and landing capability and Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) field upgrades

The new landing gear successfully underwent full qualification, fatigue testing, and flight testing in January 2011. The flight test program included fully instrumented loads validation, taxi testing, landings at a variety of weights and sink rates, and in-flight gear-swings. Only one minor revision to the original design was required following testing, which was a tribute to the success of the initial design effort.

The main landing gear titanium strut is produced by PCC Structurals, Inc; the shock absorber is made by Taylor Devices; and the wheel and brakes is a Parker Hannifin Corporation product.

Hi-resolution photos of Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper and the new trailing arm design are available from GA-ASI's media contact listed below.

About GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing unmanned aircraft, radar, and electro-optic solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company's Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable unmanned aircraft systems, including Predator A, Predator B, Gray EagleTM, and the new Predator C Avenger®. It also manufactures a variety of solid-state digital Ground Control Stations (GCS), including the next-generation Advanced Cockpit GCS, and provides pilot training and support services for UAS field operations. The Reconnaissance Systems Group designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar and sophisticated Claw® sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and unmanned aircraft. It also develops and integrates other sensor and communication equipment into manned ISR aircraft and develops emerging technologies in solid-state lasers, electro-optic sensors, and ultra-wideband data links for government applications. For more information, please visit

Predator, Avenger, Lynx, and Claw are registered trademarks and Gray Eagle is a trademark of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

For more information contact: 

Kimberly Kasitz

Public Relations Manager

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.



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