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The BAE Systems Phoenix was an all-weather, day or night, real-time surveillance Unmanned Air Vehicle. It had a twin-boom UAV with a surveillance pod, from which the imagery was data linked to a ground control station (GCS) that also controlled the aircraft in flight. GEC Avionics was awarded the £85million fixed-price Phoenix development and production contract in February 1985 Flight Refuelling Ltd is responsible for the air vehicle, launcher, recovery vehicle conversion kit and all four types of system container.
First flight was in 1986, but introduction of the Phoenix was delayed and the program attracted a good deal of criticism. The Phoenix saw limited operational use as part of the British contribution to Kosovo Force (KFOR) and in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The final operational flight of the Phoenix was conducted by in May 2006.
Phoenix is powered by a Normalair Garrett Weslake Aero Engines WAE 342 two-stroke, flat twin fuel injection engine, which provides a power of 19kW (25hp). The engine drives a two-bladed fixed-pitch wooden propeller, each one being hand made in Wales.
The item is embossed with "NP" and "94211" in the hub's wood and also is dot-matrix ink-printed (in the reverse direction) with:
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