A General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI)-owned MQ-9B SkyGuardian became the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in its class to cross the Atlantic Ocean, when it touched down in the United Kingdom on 11 July.
The medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV, which is the baseline for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) future Protector RG1 platform, made its 24-hour flight from GA-ASI’s Flight Test and Training Center in Grand Forks in North Dakota to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, ahead of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT).
The flight covered 3,760 n miles (6,963 km), during which it was flown via satellite communications before landing automatically at 1750 h local time.
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