Innovations in Advanced Components


MQ-4C Triton Engine Maintenance Trainer Empennage

Padden Design Engineering has successfully completed the design and development of the MQ-4C Triton Power Plant Maintenance Trainer’s aft fuselage assembly (empennage).

This device will support various maintenance and service training for the MQ-4C Triton, an unmanned surveillance aircraft built by Northrop Grumman for the US Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Program (BAMS). Training functions include aircraft engine removal and installation as well as system maintenance.

Dave Padden in front of Trainer Main Fuselage (formerly an RQ-4A Global Hawk fuselage)

Dave Padden in front of a wing from the former RQ-4A Global Hawk

The trainer’s aerostructures were fabricated from composites that simulate the surfaces of the original aircraft, a re-purposed stricken RQ-4A Global Hawk. They were then mated up to the fuselage thus completing the training device assembly.

Aft Fuselage Assembly installed to maintenance trainer fuselage

We used CATIA V5 to redesign the empennage by modifying the original aircraft configuration. This reduced cost while achieving desired training device functionality.

Aft ISO image of the Triton Fuselage

Triton V-Tail Bonding Mold

The team at Padden Design Engineering is currently supporting the fabrication of Ship Set No. 2 and designing tooling for various auxiliary components to support trainer functions including radomes and underwing pods.

For more information on the MQ-4C Triton, visit the following:
Northrop Grumman