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Optionally Piloted Aircraft Takes Flight Over Central New York
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Centaur Aircraft Flies Unmanned from Griffiss UAS Test Site
Manassas, Virginia, June 22, 2015 – Aurora Flight Sciences announced today that from June 12‐15, 2015 the company’s Centaur optionally piloted aircraft (OPA) flew multiple unmanned flights from Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York. The successful test flights were conducted in full collaboration and compliance with Oneida County’s Griffiss UAS Test Site, which is managed by Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR). The flights marked the first time any large scale, fixed wing aircraft has flown at either of six FAA‐designated unmanned aircraft test sites in the U.S.
“Having Centaur lead the way in the U.S. as the first large aircraft to fly in one of the FAA‐approved test sites is an important milestone for our company, Griffiss, and the FAA,” said Dr. John S. Langford, chairman and CEO of Aurora. “This aircraft is coming into high demand from a range of customers, both military and commercial interests, in the U.S. and abroad. The flights conducted at the Griffiss site enable our company to offer these customers an aircraft that has been at the leading edge of efforts to integrate unmanned aircraft into the U.S. national airspace.”
Aurora’s Centaur OPA is a highly flexible, cost‐effective airborne solution to a range of military and commercial unmanned aircraft requirements. The manned flight option enables access to airports worldwide without the need for large transport aircraft. Conversion to the unmanned flight mode, which is accomplished with minimal conversion time (under four hours) provides the flexibility needed for a wide range of applications. Centaur’s small footprint, based on the Diamond DA42, provides an unmatched solution for clandestine operations and low profile ISR missions. And the platform supports an unmatched range of payload types and specifications, making it the optimal solution for numerous commercial and military applications.