Thursday, September 18, 2014

Triton aces cross-country trek

Triton near NAS Paxtuxent River.
Navy photo
PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft arrived at Naval Air Station Patuxent River today after completing its inaugural cross-country flight. The flight marked the transition from initial flight test, which established basic safety of flight, to testing that will demonstrate Triton's capability to perform operational missions in the maritime domain. During the 11-hour, 3,290 nautical mile flight originating from Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif., facility, the Triton flew along the southern U.S. border, the Gulf of Mexico and across Florida via an approved instrument route. Operators navigated the aircraft up the Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay at altitudes in excess of 50,000 feet to ensure there were no conflicts with civilian air traffic. (Source: NNS, 09/18/14) Gulf Coast note: The Triton central fuselage work is done in Moss Point, Miss.