Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pilotless Airplanes

Today I had the pleasure to visit General Atomics-Aeronautical, the designers and builders of the Predator and Sky Warrior pilot less airplanes.
Jim, my former boss at General Dynamics-Convair Division, gave me the tour.
Several years ago I visited General Atomics at their old plant in Rancho Bernardo. The new plant in Poway is much larger. They have big, modern machining centers and fabricate many parts on the premises.
The body of the plane is made from composite material, and also made in house.
Besides the US Forces, foreign countries and the Border Patrol use these pilot less airplanes.
They are equipped with cameras and also can carry Hellfire missiles and small bombs.
Some of them are stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The pilot and the person who controls the weapons are based on a military base in the United States.
The Sky Warrior flies at an altitude of about 25,000 feet and can stay 40 hours in the air.
San Diego is the center for pilot less airplanes. Northrop Grumman builds the Global Hawk in Ranch Bernardo.
I was also happy to see some of my former work mates, who work now for General Atomics.
Of course taking pictures is not allowed in the plant, the poster has to suffice.

1 comment:

Barbara and Ron said...

That sounds really interesting. It must have been a special day for you.