GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Officials say the first trans-Atlantic flight by a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft has successfully landed in England.
The General Atomics Aeronautical Systems drone departed from the Grand Sky park at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, on Tuesday afternoon.
The flight covered more than 3,000 miles before landing in Gloucestershire, England, where the Royal Air Force is holding its centennial celebration.
The aircraft is an MQ−9B Predator, which is made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, a tenant at the Grand Sky park.
Inmarsat Government announced in a press release that it had supported the flight through the company’s L-band service.
Thomas Swoyer Jr., president of Grand Sky Development Co., says the flight is a “critical first step” in developing a commercial network of large drones that can crisscross the United States or the world to support emergency responders, provide services in a natural disaster or deliver supplies.