Thursday, February 13, 2014

2nd MQ-8C completes 1st flight

MQ-8C on first flight Feb. 12, 2014
Northrop Grumman photo
Northrop Grumman and the Navy successfully flew the second MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter for the first time. Conducted at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, Calif., the flight will allow the team to ramp up testing efforts to prepare the system for operations. Current tests are focused on validating the flight capabilities of the MQ-8C before ship-based flights take place this summer. The MQ-8C upgrade, based on a Bell 407 airframe, will eventually replace the MQ-8B, based on a Schweizer airframe (now Sikorsky). The MQ-8C is larger, has a range of 150 nautical miles and a payload capacity of more than 700 pounds. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 02/13/14) Previous. Gulf Coast note: The MQ-8B is built in part in Moss Point, Miss., where work also will be done on the MQ-8C.