Enduring Overhead Eyes

An Air Force MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft recently became the first Predator airframe to reach 20,000 flight hours, announced manufacturer General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. Predator air vehicle 107 reached the milestone during a 21-hour combat mission in support of operations in Afghanistan on May 5, states the company’s release. “Amassing 20,000 hours on a single RPA airframe is a remarkable achievement and a true testament to the [company’s] team, which strives to create highly reliable, durable, and life-saving tools in support of the warfighter,” said Frank Pace, president of the company’s Aircraft Systems Group. The Air Force took delivery of P107 in October 2004; more than 95 percent of P107’s flight time has been in combat in support of overseas contingency operations, states the company’s June 28 release. The Air Force announced P107’s accomplishment in late May. The company’s release adds more details.