Predator C Avenger Receives FAA Experimental Certificate

By Mike Ball / 13 Jul 2016

Predator C Avenger

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) has announced that its company-owned Predator C Avenger RPA system has achieved a historic milestone in receiving a FAA-issued Experimental Certificate (EC), enabling it to perform routine operations in the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS).

“Beginning with the Predator B Altair program in 2005, GA-ASI has worked closely with the FAA in the airworthiness certification of RPA systems, promoting their integration in the NAS,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “GA-ASI is proud to be the leader in RPA airspace integration, as evidenced by Avenger, the first-ever jet-powered RPA to receive a FAA EC.”

With avionics based upon the battle-proven Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, Avenger is designed to perform high-speed, long-endurance missions over land or sea. The aircraft has a 44-foot long fuselage and 66-foot wingspan, is capable of flying at over 400 KTAS, and has an endurance of 15 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-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), delivering an optimal balance of long loiter Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and precision-strike capability.

GA-ASI plans to begin flight testing of an extended-range Avenger in September 2016. With an increased wingspan of 76 feet, Improved Avenger will extend the aircraft’s endurance to 20 hours.

In related news, GA-ASI also announced another significant accomplishment with its fleet of Avenger aircraft surpassing 11,000 flight hours, noting that 95 percent of those hours were accumulated in the past three years.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact