GA-ASI & Fokker Teamed for Proposed Unmanned Tanker
On 23 July, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., (GA-ASI) announced that it has completed performance testing for the arresting hook Hold Down Damper (HDD) for its proposed MQ-25 unmanned inflight refuelling aircraft for the US Navy. GA-ASI has teamed with GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business unit in the Netherlands, which is slated to supply the arresting hook unit.
The test simulated dynamic conditions, providing performance characteristics of the HDD such as damping, spring rate and pressure control functionality. The test results validate modelling tools that provide quick reaction capability for completing the design and manufacturing during the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract.
The model also verified key requirements for HDD performance testing, with positive results for initial bounce, upswing and rebound, and ‘bolter’ at nominal, cold, and hot operational temperatures. The preliminary design also validated construction and manufacturing methods for production use. Validation of damper modelling and construction methods in this test mitigates technical risk and met the goal of reducing the development schedule and cost of the arresting hook during the MQ-25 programme’s pending EMD phase.
“The tests successfully validated the dynamic simulation model for our HDD for MQ-25,” commented GA-ASI President, Aircraft Systems, David R. Alexander. “The validation of this model gives us confidence ahead of production and eventual deployment. This is part of our ongoing effort to reduce risk and accelerate capability for the navy.”