September 23, 2013
Credit: Aurora Flight Sciences
Long in gestation and in endurance, Aurora Flight Sciences' Orion unmanned aircraft has made its first step toward demonstrating a 120-hr. flight at 20,000 ft., carrying a 1,000-lb. multi-sensor payload.
That would allow the Orion to provide continuous surveillance carrying a Predator-class payload with fewer takeoffs and landings than current medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs flying 24-hr. missions, significantly reducing the manpower burden and operating cost.