UV - Unmanned Vehicles

GA-ASI maximising MQ-25 fuel capacity offload

9th July 2018 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has developed an integrated fuel tank structure to maximise fuel offload for the proposed MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling aircraft for the US Navy, the company announced on 5 July.

GA-ASI developed the integrated fuel tank in a large-scale wing box test article and a full-scale wing skin pre-production validation article. The wing box tested to failure via wing bending in November 2017. In April 2018, the company also verified the production readiness of the co-cured wing and tail components using both non-destructive and destructive inspections.

A full-scale inner-wing skin demonstration article built in March 2018 verified the MQ-25 tooling concepts, lamination approach and processes. The team validated the outer mould line tooling approach for the build process which enables accelerated engineering and tooling fabrication for the MQ-25 programme.

David Alexander, president, aircraft systems, GA-ASI, said: ‘The integral fuel tank wing box test article will reduce technical and schedule risk for the programme.

'Specifically, through extensive validation of fuel containment sealing methods, advanced non-linear buckling finite element analysis models and thick composite laminate construction, we have accelerated engineering design consideration prior to the detail design phase and production.'

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