Second Predator C Avenger, Unmanned Aircraft Completes First Flight


  Bookmark and Share

Second Predator C Avenger, Unmanned Aircraft Completes First Flight

By Steve Hall

February 12, 2012 - General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, a manufacturer of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, announced the successful flight of a second multi-mission jet-powered Predator C Avenger aircraft. 

“The first flight of our second Avenger aircraft is a significant achievement as it refines the first prototype design to an operational capability,” said Frank Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI. 

“Avenger provides the right capabilities for the right cost at the right time and is operationally ready today. This aircraft offers unique advantages in terms of performance, cost, timescale, and adaptability that are unmatched by any other UAS in its class.”

The first flight of the second aircraft in the Avenger fleet occurred on January 12 at the company’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. Tail 2 met all performance objectives in its first flight. The aircraft features a longer fuselage than the first Avenger aircraft – increased by four feet to accommodate larger payloads and fuel. 

The General Atomics Avenger is a developmental unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the United States military. Its first flight occurred on 4 April 2009. Unlike the previous MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B) drones, the Avenger is powered by a turbofan engine, and its design includes stealth features such as internal weapons storage, and an "S" shaped exhaust for reduced heat and radar signature. 

The Avenger will support the same weapons as the MQ-9, and carry the Lynx Synthetic aperture radar SAR and a version of the F-35 Lightning II's electro-optical targeting system (EOTS), called the Advanced Low-observable Embedded Reconnaissance Targeting (ALERT) system. The Avenger will use the same ground support infrastructure as the MQ-1 and MQ-9, including the ground control station and existing communications networks.  

Avenger can carry up to 3,500 lb internally and its wing hard points are capable of carrying weapons ranging from the 500 lb class to the 2,000 lb class. Production of a third and fourth UAS in the Avenger series is also underway, with Tail 3 expected to fly by late summer and Tail 4 by early next year.

With avionics based upon the battle-proven Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, Avenger is designed to perform high-speed, long-endurance, multi-mission Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and precision-strike missions over land or sea.


The aircraft has a 44-foot long fuselage, a 66-foot wingspan, is capable of flying at over 400 KTAS, and has an endurance of over 16 hours. Avenger can support a wide array of sensors and weapons loads and has been designed to carry an all-weather GA-ASI Lynx Multi-mode Radar, an Electro-optical/ Infrared (EO/IR) sensor, and a 2,000 lb Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), delivering an optimal balance of long loiter ISR and precision-strike capability.

Other News Stories (For the latest news please checkout our home page)


blog comments powered by Disqus  
Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ©AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share


AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator