Northrop Grumman HALE aircraft breaks record

Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk HALE just completed a 33.1-hour unmanned flight over the weekend at Edwards Air Force Base in Rosamond, CA. The High-Altitude Long-Endurance aircraft set an endurance record with the flight that reached upwards of 60,000 feet and when it landed still had two hours worth of fuel remaining. The RQ-4 is the “world’s first fully autonomous HALE unmanned aerial system” that will aid in the war on terror because of its ability to fly up to 65,000 feet while cruising for more than 35 hours without its vision being impaired by squally weather.

“Northrop Grumman’s 60-year history of providing more than 100,000 unmanned systems to military customers in the U.S. and abroad, coupled with this endurance record, have cemented their reputation in producing outstanding unmanned systems,” added Col. Coombs. “Under the Air Force contract, Global Hawks cost approximately $28 million each averaged across the entire fleet of 54 aircraft.”