Predator B Demonstrates Automatic Takeoff and Landing Capability
Capability Significantly Reduces Land Incidents and Operator Training Costs
AFA AIR & SPACE, WASHINGTON – 17 September 2012 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, today 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, Calif.
“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.
Hi-resolution photos of Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper are available upon request to qualified media outlets from the GA-ASI media contact listed below.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted 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 remotely piloted aircraft systems, including Predator A, Predator B, Gray Eagle, 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 RPA 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 remotely piloted 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 www.ga-asi.com.
Predator, Gray Eagle, Avenger, Lynx, and Claw are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
For more information contact:
Public Relations Manager
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.