Lockheed Martin demonstrated the expanded endurance capabilities of a specially configured Stalker VXE uncrewed aerial system through a world record endurance flight on February the 18th, 2022, at the Santa Margarita Ranch in California.
According to a news release, the flight establishes a new record in the Group 2 (5 to <25-kilogram) category with a flight time of 39 hours, 17 minutes and 7 seconds.
“The flight has been submitted to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world sanctioning body for aviation records, through its U.S. affiliate, the National Aeronautic Association, for certification. A production Stalker VXE was modified for this record-setting flight with an external, wing-mounted fuel tank. The flight provided valuable insight for improvements to Stalker VXE aimed at scaling its mission capabilities for the future.”
To achieve this world record flight time, Lockheed Martin say they partnered with:
- Edge Autonomy as a developer and original equipment manufacturer of high-performance unmanned systems, including the Stalker VXE aircraft.
- Adaptive Energy to develop cutting-edge fuel cell technology, investing in advanced power sources and testing innovative implementation techniques for field operations.
- Composite Technology Development Inc. to build a light-weight external wing tank.
- Precision Integrated Programs to provide flight operations support.
- Clovis Area Modelers to provide FAI official contest directors to continuously monitor and adjudicate the world record flight for ratification.
For additional information about Stalker VXE, visit www.lockheedmartin.com/stalker.