Contact: Mark Day
Phone: (619) 260-4355
Global Hawk Testing Resumes with
Successful Flight of Air Vehicle One
All Test Objectives Met During 7-Hour 48-Minute Sortie
SAN DIEGO, June 3, 1999 Global Hawk resumed flight testing on Tuesday, May 18, 1999 with a highly successful flight of air vehicle number one. The unmanned reconnaissance aircraft took off at 8:15 a.m. (PDT) from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. It flew for 7 hours 48 minutes and reached an altitude of 62,000 feet. All objectives of the flight test mission were achieved and the aircraft returned safely to Edwards Air Force Base.
Global Hawk is being developed for the Department of Defense by Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical (TRA) and its team of suppliers and is designed to operate at high altitudes for long periods of time to provide military commanders with reconnaissance images of large geographic areas in near-real-time. The program is managed for the Department of Defense by the Reconnaissance Systems Program Office of the US Air Force Aeronautical System Center, Wright-Patterson Air force Base, Ohio.
This was the first flight of a Global Hawk aircraft since air vehicle number two crashed on March 29, 1999. The US Air Force investigation into that incident continues. With completion of this flight, which was the tenth sortie by vehicle one and the 19th in the program, a total of 122.9 flight hours have been accumulated.
The purpose of the flight was to evaluate the system's wide-band command and control and imagery data links, evaluate the aircraft's environmental control systems, demonstrate Air Traffic Control (ATC) voice link via Ku-band satellite, and perform a functional checkout of the aircraft and its instrumentation during flight. The mission was flown without sensors onboard the aircraft.
"Global Hawk's performance throughout the mission was superb," said Claude Hashem, TRA vice president and program manager. "Solid UHF line-of-sight, Ku-band and UHF satellite communication links were maintained between the aircraft and the ground segment throughout the mission. The environmental control system onboard the aircraft performed as designed. Navigation was precise and Global Hawk properly executed every aspect of its autonomous flight plan with the robustness of the aircraft continuing to be noteworthy. Successful completion of this flight, which was conducted with a full green system status from take-off to landing, will enable us to prepare air vehicle one for the program's upcoming Military Utility Assessment (MUA) phase."
Air vehicle one is now being prepared for the installation of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor. Upon final integration of the sensor, it will undergo additional flight testing and then will be ready to initiate the MUA by participating in a series of military exercises.
Air vehicle number three has been completed and delivered to Edwards Air Force Base where it is being prepared to conduct air worthiness flight testing in the near future. Air vehicles number four and five are in assembly at TRA's plant in San Diego, Calif. and are expected to be completed and delivered to Edwards Air force Base later this year.
Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical is an Allegheny Teledyne Incorporated company. Allegheny Teledyne Incorporated is a diversified manufacturing company serving global markets with specialty metals, aerospace, electronic, industrial, and consumer products. The company is one of the largest and most diversified specialty metals producers in the world.