BINGEN, Wash., July 23 (UPI) -- Insitu's new Integrator unmanned aerial vehicle has achieved 24-hour flight endurance in testing with various weight payloads, the company announced.
"Today's [Tuesday's] flight is just the beginning," said Insitu Chief Engineer Peter Kunz. "We designed Integrator with growth in mind; high fuel capacity, large dedicated payload volumes and an aerodynamically and structurally efficient airframe have all been carefully implemented to allow the platform to change and adjust to our customers' priorities."
Integrator is a modular UAV with six payload spaces that can be customized with cameras, communication capabilities and a broad array of other payloads. The platform is also the basis for RQ-21A Blackjack, developed by Insitu under a U.S. Navy and Marine Corps program.
The aircraft is 8.2 feet long, has a 16-foot wingspan, and has a maximum speed of more than 90 knots per hour. It's launched by a catapult and recovered through the use of a sky hook.
"Our customers require a flexible, long-endurance system," said Senior Vice President Insitu Programs Ryan Hartman. "Taking this first step to increase the gross take-off weight opens up more opportunities for us to integrate heavier payloads while maintaining long endurance for a multi-mission platform."
Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, said additional test flights with increasingly heavier payloads are planned as it expands the aircraft's flight/weight parameters.