MQ-1B Predator


Manufacturer: General Atomics
Designation: MQ-1
Version: B
Nickname: Predator
Type: Attack / RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft)
Length: 27 ft
Height: 7 ft
Wingspan: 55 ft
Crew: (Remote): 2 (pilot and sensor operator)
Armament: Two laser-guided AGM-115 Hellfire missiles
Gross Weight: 2,250 lbs takeoff weight
No. of Engines: 1
Powerplant: Rotax 914F four-cylinder engine
Thrust: 115 hp
Range: 770 miles
Cruise Speed: 84 mph
Max Speed: 135 mph
Ceiling: 25,000 ft
Payload: 450 lbs
Armament: 2 laser guided AGM 115 Hellfire missiles


Harbinger of a new age of aviation the MQ-1B Predator is a high endurance, medium altitude remotely piloted aircraft built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. of Poway California. Widely used by the United States Government, several federal agencies have operated the Predator including the United States Air Force, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.


The single-engine low-wing monoplane is flown by a fully qualified aircraft pilot in collaboration with a sensor/weapons operator, both are located in a Ground Control Station connected electronically to the aircraft by sophisticated data links and/or satellites. This capability permits the aircrew to successfully operate the aircraft from thousands of miles away, far from any physical danger. 


The Predator carries a Multi-Spectral Targeting System, which integrates an infrared sensor, color/monochrome daylight TV camera, image-intensified TV camera, a laser designator and laser illuminator. Though initially designed as a surveillance platform equipped only to gather intelligence, the Predator has been modified to carry two supersonic AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles. Equipped with a relatively quiet engine, the addition of the supersonic air-to-ground missiles permit the aircraft to strike high-value targets without warning thereby minimizing their opportunity for escape. Since 1995, Predators have seen combat in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria and Somalia.


The museum’s MQ-1B is on exhibit courtesy of the 163rd Military Attack Wing, March Air Base, CA