Firebird flies autonomously

Departments - Up and Soaring

GA-ASI, GKN Aerospace expand partnership; FAA certifies drone transponder.

Subscribe
May 10, 2021

Watch the Firebird in flight at https://youtu.be/24QIqkbGRb8
Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Firebird optionally-manned autonomous aircraft flew almost 9,000 miles around the U.S. The multi-sensor Firebird demonstrated its ability to be flown manned, then converted to autonomous surveillance operations (as shown) in less than two hours. Firebird, a medium altitude long endurance unmanned aircraft system (UAS), allows customers to install new payloads in one day, and swap payloads in 30 minutes.

GKN Aerospace

GA-ASI, GKN Aerospace expand partnership

GKN Aerospace will manufacture advanced composite V-tails for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI)’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) from its facility in Cowes, United Kingdom. The agreement expands a 10-year strategic relationship between GKN Aerospace and GA-ASI, whose SkyGuardian is the basis of the U.K. Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Protector and has been selected by Belgium’s and Australia’s defense forces.

GKN Aerospace’s full-rate production of V-tails will support global MQ-9B aircraft production.

Uavionix

FAA certifies drone transponder

The uAvionix ping200X Mode S ADS-B OUT transponder for unmanned aerial systems (UAS), has received technical standard order (TSO) certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Weighing 50g, ping200X delivers 200W of transmit power while drawing an average of 1.5W from the aircraft’s power supply.

ADS-B technology is key to integrating UAS into mixed-use airspace. Paired with uAvionix’s truFYX SBAS GPS, ping200X delivers safe separation information to Air Traffic Control (ATC), Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS), and Detect and Avoid (DAA) systems.