Israel’s Elbit Systems flew its Hermes 900 medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aircraft for the first time on Dec. 9. The 15-min. flight demonstrated an autonomous takeoff and landing, with the aircraft carrying a dummy electro-optical/infrared sensor. With a gross weight of 1,100 kg. (2,425 lb.) and a wing span of 15 meters (49.2 ft.), the MQ-1 Predator-class UAV is designed to carry a 300-kg. modular payload, exceed 30,000-ft. altitude and stay aloft for more than 36 hr. With an ...

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