Global Hawk Completes Strength Tests

By Tish Drake | April 10, 2007
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Northrop Grumman said it completed three significant fuselage and empennage strength tests of the RQ-4 Block 20 Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance system. The tests were conducted at subcontractor Innovative Engineering Solutions’ facility in Murrieta, Calif. During the tests, the Block 20 fuselage successfully reached a 150-percent bending design limit load for the maximum 40-foot per second up gust requirement. Also, the Global Hawk’s V-tail successfully reached 150-percent design limit load for an oblique 40-foot per second gust. The third test consisted of a 150-percent design limit torsional load applied to the aft metallic and composite fuselage, simulating the maximum oblique gusts to the air vehicle. The Global Hawk’s metallic fuselage is manufactured at Northrop Grumman’s Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss. The composite components for the fuselage and the V-tails are manufactured at Aurora Flight Sciences’ West Virginia facility.

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