Scaled Composites and Northrop Grumman’s new Firebird spy aircraft: pilot elective
Permits Customers to Function A number of Sensor Payloads Concurrently SAN DIEGO, Might 9, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Army customers will be capable of get actual-time excessive-definition video, view infrared imagery, use radar and even pay attention to communications alerts – all on the similar time – utilizing a brand new intelligence-gathering plane system unveiled at present by Northrop Grumman Company (NYSE:NOC).
Firebird gives a big inner payload bay and a capability to function a number of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and communications payloads concurrently by means of a common interface. The system is designed to be flown as a manned or unmanned plane.
As lead for the Firebird program, Northrop Grumman developed the unmanned techniques structure, management and mission methods. The corporate selected Scaled Composites to design, construct and check the plane – with first flight occurring simply 12 months after the preliminary idea discussions.
“We have harnessed the progressive methods of Northrop Grumman and Scaled Composites to ship an unprecedented info-gathering functionality,” stated Paul Meyer, vice chairman and basic supervisor of superior packages and know-how for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Methods. “Firebird addresses future budgetary constraints by combining the most effective of our piloted and unmanned ISR techniques right into a single answer prepared for quite a lot of ISR missions.”
Firebird’s common interface is just like plugging a reminiscence stick into a private pc that’s mechanically acknowledged while not having to load further software program.
“Not solely have we elevated the variety of ISR sensors working concurrently in an plane of this measurement, however we will additionally incorporate numerous sensors that complement one another – drastically enhancing Firebird’s info-gathering worth for warfighters,” stated Rick Crooks, Northrop Grumman’s Firebird program supervisor. “Firebird is an adaptable system that makes it extremely reasonably priced due to the variety of totally different missions it may possibly accomplish throughout a single flight. It is an actual recreation changer.”
From inception, Firebird was designed to be flown as a manned or unmanned plane and might be shortly modified for both choice.
“Army customers will even discover it a lot simpler to take advantage of intelligence knowledge from Firebird as a result of the knowledge is put right into a single device that permits them to simply make selections,” stated Crooks. “The interior payload bay additionally does away with the necessity to carry exterior pods to deal with sensor payloads that may trigger drag and have an effect on how lengthy the plane can keep within the air.”
Firebird is about for an operational demonstration in an optionally-piloted configuration from Might 23 – June three, 2011, throughout Empire Problem 2011, a army train run by U.S. Joint Forces Command.