Drone flight from Grand Forks lands successfully in England

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) Officials say the first trans-Atlantic flight by a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft has successfully landed in England.

The General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. drone departed from the Grand Sky park at the Grand Forks Air Force Base Tuesday afternoon.

The flight covered more than 3,000 miles before landing in Gloucestershire, England, where the Royal Air Force is holding its centennial celebration.

The aircraft is an MQ-9B Predator, which is made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., a tenant at the Grand Sky park.

Thomas Swoyer Jr., president of Grand Sky Development Co., says the flight is a "critical first step" in developing a commercial network of large drones that can crisscross the United States or the world to support emergency responders, provide services in a natural disaster or deliver supplies.