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General Atomics to operate SkyGuardian from RAF Waddington this summer

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General Atomics to operate SkyGuardian from RAF Waddington this summer

Old 4th Feb 2021, 14:43
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General Atomics to operate SkyGuardian from RAF Waddington this summer

Plans to operate a pre-production standard version of what will be the Protector RG Mk1 in service have been announced on the RAF website, The RPAS will be used to conduct development and trials flying connected to its Detect and Avoid technology and refining "the requirements needed to fully integrate Protector operations into Waddington where the RPAS will operate alongside the based fixed wing aircraft".

It is planned to participate in Joint Warrior.

https://www.raf.mod.uk/news/articles...n-this-summer/

What's the betting we get see some scare stories in the press? "US company flying secret pilotless bomber in crowded UK skies" etc. Or I am being too cynical


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Old 4th Feb 2021, 15:17
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Often wondered, why stick a cockpitesque bulge on a unmanned aircraft when surely they could make it more streamlined and incorporate the hardware it houses throughout the design. I take it C of G may be a factor, but it does seem to be a hang over from manned aircraft design.
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Old 4th Feb 2021, 15:21
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Often wondered, why stick a cockpitesque bulge on a unmanned aircraft when surely they could make it more streamlined and incorporate the hardware it houses throughout the design. I take it C of G may be a factor, but it does seem to be a hang over from manned aircraft design.
There's something hidden under that bump...and it's not a pilot.
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Old 4th Feb 2021, 17:10
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Often wondered, why stick a cockpitesque bulge on a unmanned aircraft when surely they could make it more streamlined and incorporate the hardware it houses throughout the design. I take it C of G may be a factor, but it does seem to be a hang over from manned aircraft design.

Ugly looking thing.
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Old 4th Feb 2021, 18:14
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Interesting that the RAF is calling the thing Protector, a nice comfy name, instead of the more ominous Reaper or Predator.
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Old 4th Feb 2021, 18:23
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Originally Posted by OldLurker View Post
Interesting that the RAF is calling the thing Protector, a nice comfy name, instead of the more ominous Reaper or Predator.
Yes, that is some 'Protector' with 8 hard points ! Smarm speak, politician style!
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Old 4th Feb 2021, 18:28
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Ahh, but it allows it to potter around the U.K. while politicians can spout on that its spying.... protecting us. Hence the name.
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Old 4th Feb 2021, 22:02
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Often wondered, why stick a cockpitesque bulge on a unmanned aircraft when surely they could make it more streamlined and incorporate the hardware it houses throughout the design. I take it C of G may be a factor, but it does seem to be a hang over from manned aircraft design.
There's a steerable SATCOM antenna under there.
Flat-panel antennae aren't quite up to the job yet, though they probably will be in five or fewer years
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Old 4th Feb 2021, 23:35
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Ahh, but it allows it to potter around the U.K. while politicians can spout on that its spying.... protecting us. Hence the name.
its not for civil powers and RIPA prevents random spying.
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Old 4th Feb 2021, 23:39
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Originally Posted by kiwi grey View Post
There's a steerable SATCOM antenna under there.
Flat-panel antennae aren't quite up to the job yet, though they probably will be in five or fewer years
https://images.app.goo.gl/vDK6DCdmJpArK8hV7
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 08:52
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Trans Atlantic Hop RIAT 2018

Remember itís maiden trans Atlantic hop in July 2018 just in time to appear at RIAT?? My pics below from static at the show.






Wondering if the protestors presence outside the fence will increase.... the spotters outside the fence and at the WAVE thankfully never encountered them. Though did read about one older lady who use to camp outside RAF Molesworth and then RAF Greenham Common protesting against GLCM deployments set up camp outside Waddo few years back.

cheers
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Old 23rd Feb 2021, 13:58
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Surprise, surprise Drone Wars are opposed to the operations but only seem to have interested the Lincolnite who picked up on the groups concerns over safety as "RAF Waddington has many homes, businesses and a school as near neighbours"

https://thelincolnite.co.uk/2021/02/...af-waddington/

I may be wrong but the Drone Wars blog post appears to me to be implying that due to former CAS Sir Stephen Hillier being is its chair the CAA may bend its regulations to permit the operations. Seems to be some 2 + 2 = 5 going on.

https://dronewars.net/2021/02/15/gen...us/#more-14094
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Old 24th Feb 2021, 10:42
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(I realise this is redundant re a post above, but I thought I'd leave it for the sake of the hilarious NAB reference)

Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Often wondered, why stick a cockpitesque bulge on a unmanned aircraft when surely they could make it more streamlined and incorporate the hardware it houses throughout the design. I take it C of G may be a factor, but it does seem to be a hang over from manned aircraft design.
What's under there is the uplink antenna, which requires space to move around and be aimed at the relevant satellite. At least early versions of this sort of thing used exactly the same system as satellite TV newsgathering video feeds, which is why the hilarious lack of encryption was discovered by bored people sitting doing customer demos in outside broadcast trucks at the NAB broadcasters' expo in Las Vegas just down the road from Drone Central (I was there). Note that it's been normal for broadcasters to encrypt their uplinks for at least twenty years.

What's more interesting is that satellite newsgathering trucks are increasingly starting to use a phased array antenna on top of the Transit van, which don't require such bulky hardware nor mechanical steering, and also maintains a lower profile in more ways than one. The military sometimes seems alarmingly behind the times these days.

P
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Old 24th Feb 2021, 10:50
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Originally Posted by SLXOwft View Post
Surprise, surprise Drone Wars are opposed to the operations but only seem to have interested the Lincolnite who picked up on the groups concerns over safety as "RAF Waddington has many homes, businesses and a school as near neighbours"

https://thelincolnite.co.uk/2021/02/...af-waddington/

I may be wrong but the Drone Wars blog post appears to me to be implying that due to former CAS Sir Stephen Hillier being is its chair the CAA may bend its regulations to permit the operations. Seems to be some 2 + 2 = 5 going on.

https://dronewars.net/2021/02/15/gen...us/#more-14094
The good citizens of Lincolnshire will undoubtedly benefit from their proximity to Waddo should the balloon go up. They will reach the Pearly Gates in 0.03 microseconds rather than loitering for days in purgatory.

IG
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Old 24th Feb 2021, 11:55
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Originally Posted by Phil_R View Post
.........Note that it's been normal for broadcasters to encrypt their uplinks for at least twenty years.

Indeed we do. Not always though
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