Saturday, November 27, 2010

Aurora rolls out Orion UAV in Mississippi

Aurora Flight Sciences of Manassas, Va., rolled out the first of three planned Orion five-day-endurance unmanned aircraft demonstrators at its Columbus, Miss., plant Nov. 22. That's barely three months after being picked by the Air Force Research Laboratory for the first phase of the Medium-Altitude Global ISR and Communications (Magic) program. Aurora is in talks with potential system integrators to help put Orion into production if a U.S. Air Force-funded technology demonstration proves successful. Orion is designed to fly for 120 hours at 20,000 feet with a 1,000-pound multi-sensor payload. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker attended the roll-out ceremony. (Sources: Aurora Flight Sciences, 11/22/10; Aviation Week, 11/26/10)