Last August, the aeronautical company GA-ASI achieved that the model of its drone MQ-1C ER (in its extended version) reached 41.9 hours of flight without interruptions. This successful launch took place last August, although the drone has accumulated more than 260 hours in the air, with a total of 43 flights. The achievement took place in California and was supported by the United States Army.
For the moment, the aeronautical company has estimated that the drone will remain a limit of 48 total hours maintaining the flight. Its operating ceiling will be about 9,000 meters and will have a maximum takeoff weight of 1,900 kg, 272 more than the conventional Gray Eagle. As the president of Sistemas de Aeronaves (subsidiary of GA-ASI), David R. Alexander, states, “this achievement in collaboration with the US military is a historic milestone for the MQ-1C ER program”.
In addition, it is estimated that at the beginning of 2018 the maintenance of the drone will be analyzed and validated. By March of the same year, it is expected to show its real capacity and meet the operational requirements demanded by the army. These drones are prepared to perform missions in: reconnaissance and surveillance operations of large areas; projection of convoys; detection of improvised explosive devices; generation of precision images for combat patrols and the use of precision weapons