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Altus I aircraft in flight, retracting landing gear after takeoff Altus I aircraft in flight, retracting landing gear after takeoff

Photo Number: EC97-44175-14
Photo Date: Aug 1997

Formats: 511x480 JPEG Image (74 KBytes)
1091x1024 JPEG Image (400 KBytes)
2985x2800 JPEG Image (3,901 KBytes)

The landing gear of the remotely piloted Altus I aircraft retracts into the fuselage after takeoff from Rogers Dry Lake adjacent to NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. The short series of test flights sponsored by the Naval Postgraduate School in early August, 1997, was designed to demonstrate the ability of the experimental craft to cruise at altitudes above 40,000 feet for sustained durations. On its final flight Aug. 15, the Altus I reached an altitude of 43,500 feet.

The Altus I and its sister ship, the Altus II, are variants of the Predator surveillance drone built by General Atomics/Aeronautical Systems, Inc. They are designed for high-altitude, long-duration scientific sampling missions. The Altus I incorporates a single-stage turbocharger, while the Altus II, built for NASA’s Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology project, sports a two-stage turbocharger to enable the craft to fly at altitudes above 55,000 feet.

NASA Photo by: Carla Thomas

Keywords: Altus I; Altus II; ERAST; Naval Postgraduate School; high altitude; long duration; turbocharged; 43;500 feet; Predator surveillance drone; General Atomics/Aeronautical Systems Inc.; Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology program

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
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