One of the last designs fully supervised by Burt Rutan before his retirement from Scaled Composites has reached the production level, and pilots are optional.
Northrop Grumman, the parent company for Scaled Composites since 2007, has named the surveillance aircraft Firebird. It can carry two pilots, or not.
A Garmin G3000 avionics suite with three 14-inch displays can be removed, the canopy replaced by a satellite antenna (if operating beyond line of sight), and flown as an unmanned aircraft, staying aloft 24 to 40 hours with a single Lycoming TEO-540E engine. After its mission, the avionics can be slid back into the panel, the canopy attached, and flown by pilots to the next mission site.
Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by Pants3204
The current customer for it is a non-US customer, who has asked to not be named. Even if it's non-LO, it is still supposed to have a decent sensor suite on it, and it's a cheap way to get an optional UAS.