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Five Facts About the Aerosonde SUAS

February 1, 2018
Test, Training &

One of Textron Systems’ most renowned products is the Aerosonde® Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS). Textron Systems was awarded a contract, valued at $28 million, from the U.S. Air Force for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services with the Aerosonde SUAS. With more than 250,000 flight hours and experience with a variety of customers, the Aerosonde SUAS has many unique features and experiences that make it stand out from its competitors – and here are the top five!

1. At any given time, there is an Aerosonde SUAS flying somewhere in the world. 

In a typical month, our customers require more than 5,000 hours of flight – and the Textron Systems’ Aerosonde SUAS conducts these hours each month at many different locations, under a 24/7 contractor-owned, contractor operated scenario.  

2. The Aerosonde SUAS has flown on all seven continents.

That includes more than 1,000 flight hours in the Arctic and Antarctica! This breadth of experience highlights the versatility of the system and of Textron Systems’ extremely capable crewmembers. The Aerosonde has conducted missions onboard U.S. Navy ships.

3. The platform was the first UAS to cross the Atlantic.

The 2,044-mile flight, which took place on August 21, 1998, was completed in 26 hours and 45 minutes.

4. The Aerosonde was the first unmanned aircraft to fly into the eye of a hurricane.

In 2007, the system flew into the eye of Hurricane Noel, allowing scientists to obtain real-time meteorological and oceanographic data. Additional details about this historical journey can be found here.

5. The Aerosonde SUAS is the only system in its class with a propulsion system completely supported by a manufacturer with:

  1. Extensive experience in manned aviation propulsion with over 700 FAA Type Certificated engine designs and that log approximately 1,000,000 flight hours per month across the globe
  2. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Production Certificate
  3. FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency Repair Station authorizations
  4. And AS9100D Registration

Thanks to the Lycoming EL-005 engine, which delivers more than 14 hours of endurance. Lycoming engines power more than half of the world’s general aviation fleet.