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Scaneagle Completes 22 Hour Endurance Flight

The prototype ScanEagle (pictured) Block D vehicle flew 22 hours and 8 minutes in its baseline configuration.
by Staff Writers
Bingen WA (SPX) Nov 12, 2006
Insitu reports that it has flown a preproduction prototype of the ScanEagle Block D unmanned aircraft (UA) on a flight of more than 22 hours. ScanEagle is developed in partnership with The Boeing Company and is used to provide services for the US Marine Corps and US Navy. The Block D changes incorporate multiple product enhancements to ScanEagle that reflect requests from users during its more than 25,000 hours in deployment.

Block upgrades for ScanEagle are typically released every 6 to 12 months. Key product enhancements in Block D include a new improved IR (infrared) camera with a factor of 3 improvement in the resolution; a new inertially stabilized turret with a factor of 5 improvement in disturbance rejection; a custom, ultra-light, Mode C transponder to facilitate airspace deconfliction; new video transmitter system; Rover interoperability; in-flight fuel measurement systems; and numerous improvements for reliability and modularity.

The prototype ScanEagle Block D vehicle flew 22 hours and 8 minutes in its baseline configuration before a successful recovery at Insitu's and Boeing's flight test center in Boardman, Oregon. The UA landed with a fuel reserve of approximately 1 hour. The transponder was operated for the entire flight and over 100 telemetry values were downloaded more than 10 times per second to compare with nominal values during the endurance flight.

Dr. Steven M. Sliwa, Insitu's President and CEO stated after the flight: "Block D of ScanEagle demonstrates our continued commitment to listen to users and rapidly incorporate suggestions. Our engineering challenge is to integrate these improvements and still maintain the system performance, which can be a victim of "feature creep." We are pleased that we exceeded our design goals for each subsystem and for overall performance including flight endurance."

ScanEagle was introduced in 2003 by Boeing and Insitu as an economical, long- endurance UAS that could provide persistent staring and flexible deployment options. It is already a significant contributor to Operation Iraqi Freedom with the USMC and the Global War on Terror for various sea- and land-based missions.

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Tehran (AFP) Nov 11, 2006
Iran's Arabic language television station on Saturday broadcast footage it claimed showed a US aircraft carrier cruising in Gulf waters it said was taken by an unmanned Iranian drone. The brief minute-long film, which was shown on Al-Alam television's evening news bulletin, showed wobbly aerial footage of an aircraft carrier stacked with war planes as it sailed.

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