Wind Tunnel Test Program Verifies Carrier Suitability and Mission Performance of GA-ASI's MQ-25 Design

Wind Tunnel Test Program Verifies Carrier Suitability and Mission Performance of GA-ASI's MQ-25 Design

SAN DIEGO – 31 June 2018 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) is proud to announce the completion of the fourth wind tunnel test of its MQ-25 design. MQ-25 is the U.S. Navy’s program to develop an unmanned refueling tanker that provides exceptional fuel give and more than doubles the strike range of the Carrier Air Wing.

During this most recent low-speed wind tunnel test, the performance of the high-lift system and spoiler-based direct lift control (DLC) were verified in the presence of a heavily instrumented flow-through duct. The results were consistent with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) predictions and further verified the aircraft’s ability to execute launch, recovery, waveoff, and bolter maneuvers on an aircraft carrier.

“The wind tunnel testing helps us to accurately predict the aircraft’s suitability for carrier operations,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “The test results allow us to verify the aerodynamic characteristics of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). These tests are critical to the validation of the system’s ‘up and away’ mission performance and will subsequently lower technical performance risk for the Navy customer.”

Previously, GA-ASI also carried out a high-speed test at NASA Ames’ 11-foot transonic wind tunnel. Results from that test established the aerodynamic characteristics that are needed to verify the mission performance of the vehicle.

Additional tests are planned during the EMD phase, such as flowing inlet, powered exhaust, and ice shape tests to further validate the aerodynamic design characteristics. EMD wind tunnel tests will conclude with a special high-speed test to focus on the safe separation of the Aerial Refueling Store and external fuel tank.

“Completing these low speed and transonic wind tunnel tests further supports GA-ASI’s design verification and validates our long lead manufacturing activities,” Alexander said. “This will help GA-ASI to meet the Navy’s aggressive MQ-25 development schedule.”

Images of MQ-25 can be found at High resolution images of GA-ASI’s proposed MQ-25 are available upon request to qualified media outlets.

About GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is the leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator®, Reaper® and Gray Eagle UAS programs of record and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than five million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, multi-mission capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight, enabling situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas. For more information, visit

Predator, Reaper, and Lynx are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

For more information contact:

Melissa Haynes
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
+1 (858) 524-8108