General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ NATO airworthiness standard compliant Predator B unmanned aerial vehicle has passed the internal first phase of its critical design review (CDR).

“Completion of this first CDR is the culmination of several years of review of requirements and design compliance with the certification agencies,” says GA chief executive Linden Blue.

Under the Certifiable Predator B programme, the company has been working to make the UAV compliant with appropriate civil regulations for operation in civil aerospace, in conjunction with two European customers.

Linden adds that the company has made “significant investment” to solve issues around flying the Predator B in civilian airspace, including the development of detect and avoid capabilities to autonomously deconflict the aircraft from other traffic.

Various elements of the Certifiable Predator B concept are already in stages of flight testing, and a production variant will make its first flight in 2017.

GA adds that it has applied for US Federal Aviation Administration type certification for the new variant, and is working with the regulator to develop standards for UAVs.

Source: Cirium Dashboard