In an endurance flight test conducted this month in collaboration with the U.S. army, the improved UAS flew 45.3 hours while in a reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition configuration.
The earlier model Grey Eagle had an endurance of about 36 hours.
In a second test scheduled for this year, the medium altitude long endurance aircraft will fly with a wing-mounted external payload and weapons, the company said.
"This first endurance flight is a significant accomplishment ... as it demonstrates the aircraft's game-changing potential for saving the lives of Army soldiers abroad by providing extended surveillance coverage, along with the ability to self-transit to other remote distant locations," said Frank W. Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI.
The improved UAS has a deep belly design and 500-pound centerline hard point that allows for an internal fuel load of 850 pounds. An optional external fuel pod can hold an additional 450 pounds, allowing for more than 50 hours of flight.
The previous Gray Eagle had a fuel load of 575 pounds.
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