The Boeing-Insitu ScanEagle unmanned air vehicle has achieved its longest endurance flight to date - 28h and 44min - using a heavy-fuel engine introduced to increase safety during operations from naval vessels.

Insitu has amassed over 500h of ground testing and 50h of flight trials with the JP5-fuelled ScanEagle, and plans to field the new variant later this year. The latest endurance milestone bettered a previous longest mission time of 22h and 10min, and saw the UAV operate without difficulty in temperatures as low as -16°C (3°F), Insitu says.

ScanEagle systems are currently used to provide surveillance support for US Army and US Navy operations. The type also recently entered use in Iraq under a A$12.7 million ($10 million) contract between the Australian Army and Boeing Australia.

The ScanEagle has now amassed over 30,000 operational flight hours, according to Insitu.

Source: Flight International