Friday, October 24, 2014

MQ-8C ready for at-sea tests

POINT MUGU, Calif. -- The MQ-8C Fire Scout, a larger, more capable version of the heavily tested MQ-8B unmanned surveillance helicopter, is preparing for at-sea testing after successfully completing flight testing and validation in California. The tests performed by the MQ-8C, based on a Bell helicopter airframe, are similar to those performed by the smaller MQ-8B. That smaller, combat-tested drone has been extensively tested at sea. The MQ-8C is utilizing the same proven autonomous system for takeoff and landings as the MQ-8B. Since its first flight Oct. 31, 2013, the MQ-8C has flown 219 flights and 287 hours. Its first ship-based series of flights are planned for later this year. Final assembly for both models is done in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 10/23/14) Previous