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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Enhanced Fire Scout Makes First Test Flights

Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy have successfully completed the first series of flights of the enhanced Fire Scout vertical takeoff and landing tactical unmanned air vehicle (VTUAV). The flights at the Webster Field annex of NAS Patuxent River, Md. tested the launch-abort functions of the First Scout’s flight control systems. The MQ-8B adds a fourth rotor blade to the RQ-8A configuration. That and other enhancements give the MQ-8B greater payload—up to 600 lb for sensors, equipment pods, and possibly weapons. Its endurance has also been increased to more than 8 hrs. More 
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