General Atomics used its ground control station to manage the entire flight of an MQ-9B SkyGuardian from takeoff at Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona to landing.
The GCS architecture is built to separate the remotely piloted aircraft's flight and mission-critical functions and and equipped with the FORCE2 flight computer from Abaco, Pro Line Fusion avionics from Collins Aerospace and weapons and payload controls for the SkyGuardian, General Atomics said Tuesday.
David Alexander, president of General Atomics' aeronautical systems business, said the company must obtain a type certificate for the terminal in order to showcase SkyGuardian as the first certified RPA to perform international and domestic flights.
"Completing an end-to-end flight was an important step in achieving that ultimate goal," Alexander added.
The company tested GCS in conjunction with SkyGuardian last year and demonstrated aircraft flight capabilities such as flap movement, landing and hand-flying maneuvers.