SAN DIEGO — General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. recently completed full-scale static (FSS) testing on the MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) wing after three months of extensive testing, the company said in a Dec. 7 release.
MQ-9B variants include SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian RPA produced by GA-ASI.
The testing included multiple load cases to 150 percent of expected maximum flight loads. The wing was loaded using specially designed fixtures to apply a distributed load across the wingspan – simulating gust and maneuver flight conditions – with no failures.
“Successful completion of FSS testing on the MQ-9B wing was a critical step in proving that our design meets stringent certification standards for structural strength and integrity,” said Dee Wilson, vice president, Engineering Research Development & Design Hardware. “The wing performed as expected, matching analytical predictions closely. Our engineering design, stress and test teams are commended for an exceptional effort in meeting this critical milestone.”
This particular wing design is the culmination of a large development effort from multiple areas within GA-ASI and represents a major milestone in qualifying the MQ-9B SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian RPA to fly in non-segregated airspace. The wing test success also establishes the baseline wing design for the entire MQ-9B product line. This is critical as GA-ASI starts deliveries to the multiple customers pursuing the MQ-9B including the United Kingdom, Belgium and Australia.