Predator XP Flies for More Than 40 Consecutive Hours

General Atomics

General Atomics

The Predator XP, from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, recently flew for more than 40 hours, setting a company record for endurance.

The Remotely Piloted Aircraft is an advanced derivative of the MQ-1 Predator RPA, which has accumulated more than 2 million flight hours since 1994, according to a news release. The Predator XP’s record-breaking flight launched on Feb. 6 and landed on Feb. 8. The 40-plus hour flight was conducted at the company’s Castle Dome Flight Operations Facility located at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz.

The Predator XP flew at 10,000 feet during the flight, according to the release. The RPA is currently in production, with the first production aircraft expected to be delivered in 2016.

“This flight was a landmark event for Predator XP in that it truly demonstrated the long- endurance capability of our latest RPA,” said Frank W. Pace, president, Aircraft Systems, according to the release. “In addition, it was a new company record for our aircraft.”

An updated version of the company’s Predator RPA, the Predator XP has been licensed by the U.S. Government for sale to a broader customer base to include countries in the Middle East, North Africa, South America, and Asia, according to the news release.

Predator XP’s other features include a Satellite Communications (SATCOM) data link; Automatic Takeoff and Landing System (ATLS); a full-motion video camera (optical and infrared); GA-ASI’s Lynx® Multi-mode Radar with ground imaging (Synthetic Aperture Radar/ SAR), maritime surface search, and Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) modes; an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for maritime patrol; and triple-redundant avionics.

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