Northrop Grumman Firebird
At the Northrop Grumman Firebird is a OPTIONALLY Piloted Vehicle, a hybrid of a classic spy plane and a UAV, as it can be both manned and used as unmanned.
The built at Scaled Composites in Mojave as Model 355 prototype had its maiden flight on 9 February 2010. On 9 May 2011 Northrop Grumman presented the Firebird before officially. A second, enlarged and two-seat prototype flew on 12 November 2012 for the first time, with a speed of 185 km / h was achieved. This as " RO2 Firebird " designated prototype has for reconnaissance missions over a second cockpit space for a sensor operator.
The Firebird has been developed due to the increasing U.S. national debt in particular in terms of cost, since cuts are expected in Verteidigungsbugdet. The special feature of the machine is that it can be both manned unmanned used from the floor ( OPTIONALLY Piloted Aircraft). It is, according to Northrop Grumman, the largest cost savings, because the machine can be adapted for any applicable reconnaissance missions thus. The structural design of the Firebird with double tail booms is that of the Rockwell OV- 10 is similar, but has a single pusher propeller at the rear fuselage. The derivation of the OV -10 has made it possible to limit the development time to less than one year.
The Firebird will be presented again at the " Empire Challenge" that keeps the U.S. armed forces from 23 May to 3 June 2011.
By 2017, a total of ten machines are made for a previously unknown customers at a rate of two per year.