Although the footage is a bit bumpy, it provides a cool point of view: that of an RQ-4 Global Hawk spyplane’s chase car during the huge drone take off from Beale Air Force Base, California, home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing.
Chase cars are a safety measure used during take off and landing phases in order to give pilots assistance: highly trained pilot in those cars act as ground-based wingmen for the remote (or actual) pilots talking them through runway operations.
They are particularly useful when the size of the aircraft (either manned or unmanned) is such that the pilot’s view is obstructed by the airframe itself or there’s a risk of hitting any ground obstacle with a wingtip during taxi.
The U-2 Dragon Lady is the most famous aircraft assisted by a chase car during take-offs and landings.
- NASA Global Hawk Pilots Face Challenges Flying Hurricane Missions (terradaily.com)
- Two hurricane global hawks, two sets of instruments (sciencedaily.com)
- A Drone’s-Eye View of Afghanistan (aircraftoverhead.com)