Arresting hook for MQ-25 drone completes testing

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Engineers at General Atomics have successfully validated the arresting hook being developed for the launch and recovery of the MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling aircraft being developed for use off US Navy aircraft carriers.

The performance testing of the arresting hook Hold Down Damper (HDD) for the proposed MQ-25 refuelling UAV was conducted with GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business unit in Helmond, Netherlands. Fokker is slated to supply the arresting hook for the GA-ASI bid.

The test simulated dynamic conditions to provide the performance characteristics of the HDD, such as damping, spring rate and pressure control functionality. The test results have validated computer models and will provide quick reaction capability for engineers completing the design and manufacturing of the HDD.

David Alexander, president of aircraft systems for General Atomics, said, “The validation of this model gives us confidence ahead of production and eventual deployment. This is part of our ongoing effort to reduce risk and accelerate capability for the Navy.”

The model verified key requirements for HDD performance testing with positive results for initial bounce, upswing and rebound, and bolter at nominal, cold, and hot operational temperatures. The preliminary design also validated construction and manufacturing methods for production use.

Validation of damper modeling and construction methods in this test also mitigates technical risks and helps to met the goal of reducing the development schedule and cost of arresting hook during the MQ-25 program’s pending engineering and manufacturing development phase.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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