General Atomics‘ aeronautical systems business has conducted the first test flight from its new Flight Test and Training Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
GA-ASI deployed a Block 5 Predator B/MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft which flew approximately 1,075 nautical miles in Class A civilian airspace, General Atomics said Monday.
The Federal Aviation Administration granted a certificate of waiver or authorization for the MQ-9 flight which recorded the longest flown transit of an RPA platform.
David Alexander, president of aircraft systems at GA-ASI, said that the flight represented the company’s capacity to fly RPAs alongside passenger planes.
General Atomics noted that the flight also covered the first time that an unmanned aircraft passed through multiple High-throughput Satellite spot beams.
The company launched the Flight Test and Training Center hangar in August to house operational hardware including MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Predator B RPA and ground control stations.