13 June 2018
The AP reports that NASA flew a “large, remotely piloted aircraft equipped with detect-and-avoid technologies through the national airspace system for the first time without a safety chase plane following it.” According to NASA, Tuesday’s flight over California moves the US closer to allowing unmanned aircraft operation within the US national airspace. NASA’s Ikhana, a “non-military version of the Air Force’s MQ-9 Predator B,” was used in the test, and flew west from Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert “into Class A airspace where airliners fly, north to Fresno and south through Class E general aviation airspace, including an approach to Victorville airport.” As part of the test, the aircraft also transitioned between air traffic controllers. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (Associated Press)