AAI conducts test flight of Aerosonde Mark 5 unmanned aircraft

HUNT VALLEY, Md., 6 Jan. 2009. AAI Corp., an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, conducted a first flight of its new Aerosonde Mark 5 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) at Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz.

Jan 6th, 2009

HUNT VALLEY, Md., 6 Jan. 2009.AAI Corp., an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, conducted a first flight of its new Aerosonde Mark 5 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) at Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz.

This initial flight met or exceeded all test objectives and validated the aerodynamic capabilities of the new airframe, according to a company representative. Future flight testing is planned to validate additional key performance parameters for this aircraft class, including new payload capabilities. The validation process was initiated in preparation for AAI's possible entry of the Aerosonde Mark 5 UAS in the upcoming U.S. Navy's Small Tactical UAS, or STUAS, program as well as the U.S. Marine Corps' Tier II UAS program.

The Aerosonde Mark 5 aircraft has been under development for two years. AAI designed the aircraft's final configuration to comply with the objectives of these programs.

"We have incorporated the best features of our proven Aerosonde aircraft and Shadow tactical UAS," explains AAI's vice president of unmanned aircraft systems Steven Reid. "The Aerosonde Mark 5 delivers impressive endurance with superior intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition capabilities. Our experience and understanding of our military customers' needs uniquely position us to meet these Navy and Marine Corps requirements."

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