A General Atomics Avenger drone in flight. Courtesy of the company

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems said Thursday its new Avenger drone has set an endurance record of nearly a day in the air.

Over a two-day period in January, the San Diego company’s next-generation Avenger ER flew 23.4 continuous hours on a simulated reconnaissance mission. That’s a 10-hour increase over the baseline aircraft.

“Avenger ER continues to meet and exceed its development goals,” said David R. Alexander, the company’s president of aircraft systems. “By setting this new high endurance mark, we have demonstrated the tremendous capability of this aircraft to our customers.”

The Avenger ER has a wingspan of 76 feet and a maximum gross takeoff weight of 19,500 pounds. It can fly at over 460 miles per hour.

General Atomics, which is known for introducing the iconic Predator drone, is also using the new Avenger as the basis for developing a drone-based tanker aircraft for the Navy.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.