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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedThe Predator B Has Landed!

The Predator B lands at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh on Tuesday morning, July 21.

Kevin Krogh, Air Interdiction Agent with the CBP.

History was made on Tuesday morning in Oshkosh when a Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) landed for the first time ever at Wittman Regional Airport for participation in next week's AirVenture 2009. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) aircraft, piloted remotely from a trailer on the flight line, touched down on Runway 18's blue dot at 9:46 a.m. A number of local media representatives were on hand, along with scores of digital camera and smart phone-toting onlookers as the aircraft landed, taxied, and parked in front of the EAA Radio building. It will be on display outside the Federal Pavilion throughout AirVenture.

Kevin Krogh, Air Interdiction Agent with the CBP, had the honor of making the first Predator B landing in Oshkosh.

"It was pretty awesome," said Krogh, who is also an EAA member (866375). "Normally we're not operating at a civilian air show, so this is exciting." Control of the aircraft, which came from Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, was handed off to Krogh about 50 miles from Oshkosh. Ensconced in the high-tech trailer/cockpit, he piloted the aircraft up the length of Lake Winnebago, turned it base to final, then greased the landing on Runway 18.

Krogh attended his first Oshkosh last year and planned to fly in this year in his own airplane, a Piper PA 20. "I couldn't get off work, but next year I hope to fly in," he said.

With a wingspan of 66 feet and a length of 36 feet, the Predator is equipped with electro-optical, infrared, laser designation and laser illumination, and rapid strike capabilities along with Synthetic Aperture Radar. It's powered by a Honeywell TPE 331-10T turboprop in pusher configuration and has a payload of 3,800 pounds (maximum gross weight 10,500 lbs.). The Predator B has a top speed of 240 kts and can fly up to 50,000 feet for 30 hours.

The Predator B was first deployed by the CBP's Office of Air and Marine (OAM) on the Southwest border in 2005 and along the Northern border this year. Built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in San Diego, the Predator's priority mission is anti-terrorism, identifying and intercepting potential terrorists or illegal cross-border activity. Predator B's have to date contributed to the arrest of nearly 5,000 illegal aliens.

You can speak with crewmembers and see the Predator up close during special forums in the Federal Pavilion on Wednesday, July 29, 12-1 p.m.; and Thursday, July 30, 2:45-3:45 p.m. The Federal Pavilion is located along the flight line across Wittman Road from Homebuilders Headquarters. (Click on Federal Pavilion in the "Find It Fast Map" alphabetical list.)

The Predator B Lands at Oshkosh - 7/21/09
NEW - Flying the Predator B into OSH
Includes interviews with the director and pilot as well as footage inside the control pod and recorded video from the Predator's perspective.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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