Navy’s new Fire Scout unmanned helicopter takes its first flight
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, Pt. Mugu, Calif. – The Navy’s newest variant of the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter completed its first day of flying Oct. 31 at Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu.
At 12:05 p.m. PDT, the MQ-8C Fire Scout took off and flew for seven minutes in restricted airspace to validate the autonomous control systems. The second flight that took off at 2:39 p.m. was also flown in a pattern around the airfield, reaching an altitude of 500 feet.
The MQ-8C air vehicle upgrade will provide longer endurance, range and greater payload capability than the MQ-8B, which is currently operating aboard USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58).
The MQ-8C is a larger air vehicle, has a range of 150 nautical miles and a payload capacity of more than 700 pounds.