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General Atomics P46 'Avenger' UAV (Predator C)

Antonio

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While reading that interesting topic from Flateric

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,4078.msg32007/topicseen.html#msg32007

I've discovered the existence of the Predator C UCAV. I've found some info about that project but no single drawing.

Does anybody have a drawing of that C turbofan powered variant of the Predator?

Thanks in advance
 

fightingirish

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First I had a picture in my mind, but then it only was a scaled down NG Global Hawk for the US Navy BAMS program.
The Mariner has also a turbo-prop.
Ah, the picture in my memory, I remember seeing a jet powered Predator B in the movies "Mission: Impossible III" and "Transformers". But that is just fiction!
 

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Matej

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Predator C should have swept wing and some stealth characteristics. I searched a lot for any visualization some two years ago, but without success.
 

flateric

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2005
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=awst&id=news/05305p01.xml
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GAAS) also has embarked on development of Predator C, a jet-powered UAV. Though not stealthy, the aircraft's radar and infrared signature will be considerably reduced, making it harder to shoot down than its turboprop predecessors. That should make it useful for reconnaissance flights over nations with integrated air defense systems, such as Iran, whose nuclear program is being spied upon by U.S. intelligence. The company hopes to unveil the first Predator C by the end of the year.

2006
http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2006/060220-predator.htm
And somewhere inside GAAS are the closely held plans for the Predator C, a new unmanned plane with a jet engine, instead of the standard prop. “I’m not talking about Predator C,” says GAAS President Tom Cassidy.

2006

Predator C unveiling likely to slip into 2007
Posted on: Jul. 10th, 2006 || Source: flightglobal.com | E-mail Article | Print Article

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) hopes to fly its turbofan-powered Predator C unmanned air vehicle late this year, but says this target may slip as it gives priority to meeting production orders for the US Air Force and Army.

“Our next-generation aeroplane is being built and it should fly by the end of this year, but we promised that last year – that we would fly by the end of last year,” says Steve May, GA-ASI’s European marketing manager.

“We were the victim of our own success last year in terms of some contract awards. Our increased contractual obligations have slowed our own ability to perform our own research and development,” adds May.
 

LowObservable

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Adm Cassidy has been promising a glimpse of ankle on this one for years.
 
A

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the film Transformers (2007) showed a jet engined Predator. Has any body got screen capture or stills?

Thanks.
 

fightingirish

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The jet powered General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GAAS) Predator C for the first time in early April.
Chief executive Thomas Cassidy didn't reveal any details about the secretive aircraft's features or performance.Cassidy says the first flight, originally scheduled for the third quarter of last year, was delayed by several months due to technical and regulatory issues. In 2006, he described the Predator C as having a new wing-form and stealthy features.

Source: Flight International - Jet-powered Predator C makes first flight and gains funding support
 

Machdiamond

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avatar said:
the film Transformers (2007) showed a jet engined Predator. Has any body got screen capture or stills?

predator.jpg

It is just the MQ-9 Predator B without its prop. They probably should have removed the vertical ventral fin as well.

--M
 

LowObservable

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2 internetz awarded free for over-the-fence photos or other imagery.
 

donnage99

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Talking about movies, there are a fight scene between 2 jet engined predators and the alien robot. It looks alot cooler than the real thing when it thunders itself into the scene, I admit.
 

vajt

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Here is a link with a good picture of it.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/photos/photopage.jsp?plckPhotoID=5021d72b-d231-4fd6-a04e-3dcd76cbe959&plckGalleryID=b1746a72-fce6-489c-9afe-50a1413a668b

Looks a bit like a hybrid between the Predator B and Swedish SHARC.

It looks fairly stealthy to me and not just "reduced radar signature" as GAAS claims. Maybe they are down playing the stealth capabilities on purpose. Also interesting to note that on the Aviation Week article they are calling it a UCAV, so no longer just an UAV.

-----JT-----
 

AeroFranz

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thanks for the link.
I thought I would have had to wait until the 20th! ;)
 

quellish

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vajt said:
Here is a link with a good picture of it.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/photos/photopage.jsp?plckPhotoID=5021d72b-d231-4fd6-a04e-3dcd76cbe959&plckGalleryID=b1746a72-fce6-489c-9afe-50a1413a668b

Looks a bit like a hybrid between the Predator B and Swedish SHARC.

It looks fairly stealthy to me and not just "reduced radar signature" as GAAS claims. Maybe they are down playing the stealth capabilities on purpose. Also interesting to note that on the Aviation Week article they are calling it a UCAV, so no longer just an UAV.

-----JT-----


No weapons bay OR external hardpoints visible.
 

AeroFranz

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ummm....the landing gear is on the wings, so theoretically the fuselage under the wingbox is available for sensors - just a guess ???
 

flateric

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AeroFranz said:
ummm....the landing gear is on the wings, so theoretically the fuselage under the wingbox is available for sensors - just a guess ???

A long, featureless underside further provides an ideal location for a sensor such as an all-weather, active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The wide-area surveillance system - to be provided by the U.S. Air Force - has yet to be defined. It would be carried by a specialized all-reconnaissance version of the Avenger.
 

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vajt said:
Here is a link with a good picture of it.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/photos/photopage.jsp?plckPhotoID=5021d72b-d231-4fd6-a04e-3dcd76cbe959&plckGalleryID=b1746a72-fce6-489c-9afe-50a1413a668b

Looks a bit like a hybrid between the Predator B and Swedish SHARC.

It looks fairly stealthy to me and not just "reduced radar signature" as GAAS claims. Maybe they are down playing the stealth capabilities on purpose. Also interesting to note that on the Aviation Week article they are calling it a UCAV, so no longer just an UAV.

-----JT-----


WOW!!!!

look at that!!!

he he he he
 

AeroFranz

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I'm assuming the football shaped C band LOS antenna is for testing only...
If this thing is really meant to land on a carrier, then it better have a twin nosewheel.
 

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http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/AVENGER041709.xml&headline=Predator%20C%20Avenger%20Makes%20First%20Flights&channel=defense

Predator C Avenger Makes First Flights
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Thanks - but please attach images via forum rather than linking to image hosts. Its better for people on slow connections (thumbnails) and also means the pictures will be kept online.
 

AeroFranz

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Does anyone know if there is anyway of telling whether the tailhook is of the Navy type or Airforce type just by looking at it?
 

fightingirish

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Hi folks,
first this UCAS looks to me more like the German UAV Barracuda.
quellish said:
No weapons bay OR external hardpoints visible.
AeroFranz said:
I'm assuming the football shaped C band LOS antenna is for testing only...
If this thing is really meant to land on a carrier, then it better have a twin nosewheel.
Bill Sweetman said:
Given the aircraft's 41-ft length - which will increase by at least two feet in the second test aircraft - the weapons bay appears to be 10-feet long.
This is the first prototype, so during further development and flight testing we will hopefully see external and internal additions. The second prototype will be 2 ft longer. As an example they didn't add the usual Predator-style multi-sensor turret so far, but that might be replaced by a sensor system like EOTS on the F-35.
I also presume, there will be differences between the "Avenger-A" for the USAF and the "Avenger-B" or "Avenger-N" for the US Navy. The "Avenger-B or N" will have a stronger undercarriage and a tail hook.
Just like F-35A vers F-35C.
 

GTX

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fightingirish said:
This is the first prototype, so during further development and flight testing we will hopefully see external and internal additions. The second prototype will be 2 ft longer. As an example they didn't add the usual Predator-style multi-sensor turret so far, but that might be replaced by a sensor system like EOTS on the F-35.

However, given the LO focus, it may be that the sensors are more discrete rather than 'hanging out' in a turret.

I for one, would love to see a picture showing the weapons bay doors open.

Regards,

Greg
 

GTX

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Some interesting information in that article:

A weapons bay allows internal carriage of 500-lb. bombs with GBU-38 JDAM tail kit and laser guidance. Given the aircraft’s 41-ft. length (which will expand by at least 2 ft. in the second test aircraft), the weapons bay appears to be 10 ft. long.

Length is one thing, but what about width/depth - I wonder how many such weapons could be carried and whether more potent weapons such as missiles could also be envisaged.

Cassidy has earned a unique reputation by using company funds to develop what he believes the military needs rather than chasing Pentagon requirements that shift with disheartening regularity to produce cost increases and production delays.

Bravo! Someone willing to trust their own instincts and capabilities. We need more like him.
For an additional 2 hr. of flying time, fuel tanks can be installed in the weapons bay.

Ah, but what is the baseline endurance?

These 2 comments:
The Avenger’s electrical power is expected, at least initially, to be less than the 45 kva. available on Predator B variants.
and
The engine is expected to provide an airspeed of at least 400 kt., but Cassidy says envelope expansion tests may produce speeds “considerably greater” than that.

make me wonder if a more powerful engine is planned in the future?

The aircraft was designed so the wings can be folded for storage in hangars or aircraft carrier operations if a naval customer is found. Cassidy, a retired admiral, has talked about a possible Navy role for Predator C since 2002. The Navy was interested in the Predator B’s capabilities, but didn’t want to introduce any new propeller-driven aircraft onto carrier decks. The UAV also comes with a tailhook, suggesting that carrier-related trials are planned. The inner section of the cranked wing is deep, providing structural strength for carrier landings and generous fuel volume while maintaining a dry, folding outer wing.

If carrier operated, I wonder if it needs catapult assistance or whether it will be able to take-off under its own power?

First, Predator A production is being phased out as more advanced models are fielded.

Does this mean that production of the Predator A is ending or simply being moved?

and finally:

It is the same shaping discipline used on classic stealth designs like the B-22 and B-2.

I know it's a typo, but I wonder if someone will jump on this to say there is a new aircraft not being officially listed ;D.

Regards,

Greg
 

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Mithrandir said:
IMHO...... this is the best looking UAV to come out of our R&D
What program is this being built for? I take it you are in Rancho Bernardo?
 

robunos

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Looks familiar??

It's the Teledyne Ryan Model 275, a proposed follow-on to their Model 235 'Compass Cope-R' prototype, 1976.
from 'Fireflies and other UAVs' page 117.
cheers,
Robin.
 

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LowObservable

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It does have a weapons bay, and, I would suspect, a pop-out sensor turret. I would say that it offers a covert option rather than being fully stealthy.
 

Mark Nankivil

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Hi All -

More info at:

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/04/airforce_predator_new_042709/

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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flateric

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one really hi-res pic of Avenger

 

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Any further information on this ??
 

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AeroFranz

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doolyii said:
Any further information on this ??
http://picturedumper.com/picture/20090803/270530a499/000e9cbc.jpeg

haven't seen anything in AvWeek or Flight in a while...given how secretive GA has been since work started on Avenger three years ago, I can't say i'm surprised. Expect more news when the Air Force comes out with an RFP.
On another note, the picture is definitely cool, although it is questionable that the weapons loadout depicted there would ever be used. Hanging a quad launcher (M229?) of Hellfires externally on a 400+ kts aircraft is ridiculous. You can only do it on slow platforms where drag doesn't matter as much (never mind the increase in RCS; let's assume that the UAV is flying in a "permissive" airspace). An MQ-9 typically carries four Hellfires and a couple of 500-lbs JDAMs or LGBs. More than that and you start eating into the endurance. This would be especially true since the Avenger has a thirstier turbofan. If the sensors don't go in there, the weapons bay would be a good place to carry weapons too, of course.

Does anyone recognize what's hanging on the outer wing pylons?
 

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AeroFranz said:
Does anyone recognize what's hanging on the outer wing pylons?

It is not important, because this is one of the "coll looking, inaccurate pop-sci drawings". Just take a look on the wannabe unguided rocket launcher how massive it is and how little holes it has. Also the number on the wing is turned wrong, etc, etc...
 

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I wonder when this UCS will get an RQ- or an MQ- designation?
 

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