Insitu donates ScanEagle to National Air and Space Museum

By Insitu | October 13, 2016

ScanEagle N202SE was the first unmanned aircraft to perform an FAA-approved commercial beyond visual line of sight flight in the United States' national airspace system.

Now through a donation of the historic aircraft to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, visitors have the opportunity to view this ScanEagle and learn more about the part it has played in aviation history.

ScanEagle N202SE's most notable accomplishments are in commercial airspace, beginning with its historic first commercial flight on September 12, 2013. ScanEagle launched from the converted fishing vesselWestward Wind and completed a 36-minute flight over the Chukchi Sea off the northern Alaskan coast to gather data pertaining to ice floe forecasting. The flight was in collaboration with ConocoPhillips, Olgoonik Fairweather LLC, and Aldrich Offshore Services LLC.

Most recently, ScanEagle N202SE conducted the first beyond visual line of sight commercial operation with a certified UAS in the contiguous 48 states. The event was part of a week-long supplemental track inspection operation for Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, and took place between Belin and Clovis, New Mexico. The operations were in support of the FAA's "Pathfinder" initiative, a partnership with industry to explore the next steps in unmanned aircraft operations.

"At a time when the unmanned aviation industry is advancing faster than ever, we take great pride in the pioneering work Insitu has done to help shape this path," said Ryan M. Hartman, Insitu president and CEO. "We are honored to be represented in the place that embodies the spirit of aviation that we strive for each day."  

ScanEagle N202SE will reside in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.