Predator C Avenger program's second UAV makes its first flight

SAN DIEGO. The second unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the jet-powered Predator Avenger C series of (UAVs) from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems made its first flight.

The flight of the aircraft, dubbed Tail 2, took off from the company's Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. Tail 2 met all performance objectives in its first flight., according to General Atomics officials.

The Tail 2 aircraft features a longer fuselage than the previous – an increase of four feet that enables the aircraft to accommodate larger payloads and fuel. An Avenger UAV can carry as much as 3,500 pounds internally and its wing hard points are capable of carrying weapons ranging from the 500 pounds to 2,000 pounds.

Production for the third and fourth aircraft in the Avenger series is already underway, with Tail 3 expected to fly by late summer and Tail 4 by early next year.

The Avenger's are based on the Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, UAV. The Avenger can perform high-speed, long-endurance, multi-mission Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and precision-strike missions over land and sea.

The aircraft's fuselage is 44 feet and its wingspan is 66 feet wingspan. The aircraft is capable of flying at over 400 KTAS, with an endurance of more than 16 hours.

Avenger supports a variety of sensors and weapons loads and is 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). It can also perform long loiter ISR and precision-strike missions.

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