Would you like a free digital subscription?

Qualified international subscribers can receive full issues of High-Performance Composites and Composites Technology delivered in a convenient and interactive digital magazine format. Read at your convenience on your desktop or mobile device.

Yes, I would like a free digital subscription!

No thanks, please don't ask again.

Industry News
AeroVironment's Global Observer crashes in California

AeroVironment's hydrogen-powered, composites-intensive unmanned aircraft crashes April 1 during flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Author:
Posted on: 4/4/2011
Source: CompositesWorld

Click Image to Enlarge

Aerovironment Global Observer

Global Observer during first flight in January 2011.

AeroVironment Inc. (Monrovia, Calif., USA) announced on April 1 that the composites-intensive Global Observer unmanned air vehicle undergoing flight test envelope expansion at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California experienced a mishap at 2:30 am Pacific Daylight Time and crashed, approximately 18 hours into its ninth test flight. There were no reports of injury or damage to other property.

"Flight testing an innovative new solution like Global Observer involves pushing the frontiers of technology and convention," said Tim Conver, AeroVironment chairman and chief executive officer. "Risk is a component of every flight test program, and the learning that results from a mishap enables us to improve system reliability and performance. One benefit of testing an unmanned aircraft system is that pilots and crew are not in harmís way when a mishap occurs."

Conver added, "We will work closely with the Investigation Board to determine the cause of the mishap and once its findings are available we will apply its recommendations to future activities. Global Observer remains a compelling solution to important government and commercial needs."

The joint U.S. government and AeroVironment Global Observer team was in the process of expanding the flight envelope of the first air vehicle, which had been operating for nearly twice the endurance and at a higher altitude than previous flights. The second air vehicle developed as part of the joint capability technology demonstration (JCTD) program is nearly complete and remains at AeroVironment's development facility.

AV received the contract for developing and demonstrating Global Observer as a JCTD program in September 2007. Six U.S. government agencies have provided more than $140 million in funding for the program, most of which has been expended.

Learn More

Editor's Picks

Editor's Picks

AeroVironment's hydrogen-fueled Global Observer begins flight testing

The initial flight test phase of the demonstration program used batteries to power the hybrid-electr...


Channel Partners