Tuesday, May 6, 2014

MQ-8C ready for EM testing

MQ-8B, left, and MQ-8C await
EM tests at Pax River
Navy photo
In preparation for ship-board flights this spring, the MQ-8C Fire Scout will be tested at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., for its ability to operate safely in the intense electromagnetic environment aboard U.S. Navy ships. The MQ-8C uses specially-designed Faraday cages to protect sensitive equipment on the aircraft from signal interference. The MQ-8C is based on a larger helicopter airframe and can fly almost twice as long and carry three times more intelligence-gathering sensor payloads than its predecessor, the MQ-8B. The Faraday cages are built by Summit Aviation in Somerset, Ky., and installed during final assembly at Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss. Since first flight in October the MQ-8C has flown 102 flights. The initial flight tests will validate that the autonomous control systems of the helicopter are working properly before its first ship-based demonstration. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 05/05/14) Previous