SkyGuardian RPA progresses civil airspace integration operations

On 16 August General Atomics Aeronautical Systems flew a MQ-9B SkyGuardian™ Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) from Laguna Airfield at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., through National Airspace, to its Gray Butte Flight Operations facility near Palmdale, Calif. The MQ-9B is a STANAG 4671 (NATO airworthiness standard for Unmanned Aircraft Systems)-compliant version of the Predator® B product line. The 275 mile trip lasted approximately one hour, 45 minutes and required FAA approval to fly through various classes of non-restricted airspace.

“This flight is another milestone in our progression towards delivering an RPA system that meets NATO airworthiness requirements for UAS,” said Linden Blue, CEO,General Atomics Aeronautical Systems “MQ-9B SkyGuardian will be the first RPA system of its kind with a design-assurance level compliant with international type-certification standards, and can therefore be integrated more easily than legacy RPAs into civil airspace operations around the world.”

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