|Photo courtesy Northop Grumman
FAA issued a multiuse supplemental type certificate (STC) to Northrop Grumman's Air Claw, Quest KODIAK 100-based short take-off and landing aircraft.
The multiuse STC validates the quality of design and integration and allows the aircraft to operate without limitation in U.S. airspace, according to the company. It also covers modifications of the KODIAK's external cargo compartment, cabin interior arrangement and the electrical power distribution system. The Air Claw certificate adds a fixed electro-optical/infrared sensor, ground communications radios, downlink and a wide area surveillance system.
The Air Claw demonstration aircraft is equipped with FLIR Star SAFIRE 380-HD and several other innovative technology applications to include the Hawkeye wide area motion imaging system designed by Persistent Surveillance Systems, of Dayton, Ohio. Northrop Grumman said it continues to expand future command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) payloads to meet diverse customer needs in the law enforcement, wildlife management and military reconnaissance missions.
"This STC is an important step in demonstrating the safety and reliability of the system. It provides the ability for customers to acquire a fully modified aircraft and safely operate them within the FAA's 'normal' category," said Bob Gamache, director, special mission systems, Northrop Grumman Technical Services. "The certificate covers an operations-ready configuration and provides a baseline of testing and engineering for customers who may want to further tailor Air Claw™ to their specific mission needs."
The aircraft are assembled at Quest's Sand Point Idaho Facility and modified at Northrop Grumman's Middle River, Md., repair station. In 2012, Northrop Grumman established a collaborative agreement with Quest Aircraft to develop and jointly market Air Claw as the preferred single engine special mission aircraft.