SAN DIEGO, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A turbojet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. has successfully completed its first flight.
The aircraft is called the Avenger Extended Range, a variant of the company's jet-powered Predator C Avenger, which has accumulated over 13,000 flight hours to date.
GA-ASI said the flight occurred late last month at its Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif.
"The first flight of Avenger ER is a significant achievement in the evolution of Predator C's proven performance and multi-mission capability," said Linden Blue, GA-ASI's chief executive officer. "The increased endurance and high payload capacity will deliver tremendous capability to our customers, who need persistent situational awareness and strike mission affordability."
The aircraft has a wingspan of 76 feet and carries 2,200 pounds of additional fuel. Its flight endurance is 20 hours, five more than the legacy Avenger. The remotely piloted aircraft also features a wide array of sensors and weapons payloads to perform ISR and ground support missions.