Jan 11, 2011

Los Angeles, CA - New U.S. Spy Plane Tested In Calif. Desert

Global Observer, AeroVironment's Extreme Endurance Unmanned Aircraft System, Achieves Historic First Hydrogen-Powered Flight (Photo: Business Wire) Global Observer, AeroVironment's Extreme Endurance Unmanned Aircraft System, Achieves Historic First Hydrogen-Powered Flight (Photo: Business Wire)
Los Angeles, CA - An unmanned spy plane that could stay in the air for days and survey an area larger than Afghanistan at one glance has been tested in the Southern California desert.

The Los Angeles Times says the Global Observer was secretly flown last week. The $30-million aircraft has a wingspan almost as long as a Boeing 747’s.
AeroVironment Inc., of Monrovia, which built the plane, says the plane circled Edwards Air Force base at about 5,000 feet in a four-hour test using hydrogen fuel. There were earlier battery-powered tests.
Two other robotic planes will be tested at Edwards in the coming weeks. The planes don’t have production contracts and are years away from service.
But if bought by the Pentagon, they could spur Southern California’s aerospace industry.

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