General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has completed the full-scale static (FSS) testing on the MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) wing, following three months of testing.

The MQ-9B includes the GA-ASI produced SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian RPA.

The testing featured several load cases to 150% of expected maximum flight loads.

Using the specially designed fixtures, the wing was loaded to apply a distributed load across the wingspan even under simulating gust and manoeuvre flight conditions, with no failures.

GA-ASI Engineering Research Development and Design Hardware vice president Dee Wilson said: “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.

“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.”

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By GlobalData

The design of the wing is the culmination of large development effort from the different areas within GA-ASI.

It represents an important milestone to qualify MQ-9B SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian RPA to operate in non-segregated airspace.

The test is expected to establish the baseline wing design for the complete line of the MQ-9B products.

It is claimed to be important for the delivery to different customers who aim to purchase the MQ-9B, including the UK, Belgium and Australia.

Last week, GA-ASI announced the delivery of the final two MQ-9A Block 5 RPA and a ground control station (GCS) to the Spanish Air Force (SAF).