Air Platforms

Avalon 2019: Global Hawk appearance marks first for an airshow

28 February 2019

A US Air Force Global Hawk landed at the Avalon Airshow, marking a first for the unmanned aircraft type. Source: Northrop Grumman

A Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has landed during the operational hours of an airshow for the first time.

The US Air Force (USAF) high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) UAV landed at the 2019 Avalon Airshow on of 28 February after a 13-hour flight from Guam.

The platform’s arrival was part of an effort to demonstrate its potential when in service with Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The Australian Triton is a larger and more powerful version of Global Hawk and will perform a maritime patrol mission alongside Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft.

The Global Hawk had flown from San Antonio, California, to Guam three weeks earlier in anticipation of deployment to the airshow, weather and permits allowing. The flight and landing into Melbourne had been controlled from Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Australia is purchasing seven Tritons, with first delivery expected in 2023 and the last in 2025. Australian crews are expected to start embedding with USAF personnel for training to become instructors in 2020/21. Training will take place in Jacksonville, Florida.

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