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.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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ExcalibursTemplar (@guest_634831)
2 years ago

“fuel cell technology”

Now that is cool if they’re running it on Hydrogen.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_634840)
2 years ago

Probably methanol fuel cell?

ExcalibursTemplar (@guest_634842)
2 years ago

I’ve no idea.

Caribbean (@guest_656840)
1 year ago

Most likely – they are good for low-voltage/ current systems and would be far lighter than a hydrogen-based system

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_634848)
2 years ago

Propane fuel cell. I’m not even sure how that works. Bit of reading for me I thinks.
It has a vtol take off. Great video on Lockheed’s website. Looks good.
Payload of 5.5lbs. I don’t know the weight of sensors now or what that would give you.
From a U.K. perspective drones are a great force multiplier. I would ditch the watch keeper disaster and use the money and skills or better drones. If it is still costing a fortune and not working as expected

Tom Keane
Tom Keane (@guest_634851)
2 years ago

Wasn’t there a very large ‘drone’ that stayed up for quite some time, that was solar powered?

Jon (@guest_634853)
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Zephyr UAV stayed up for 26 days, but I think that’s Group 3.

Sean (@guest_634854)
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

This record is for a specific type of drone, in the “Group 2 (5 to <25-kilogram)” category.
The Airbus Zephyr drone which stayed airborne for 2 weeks weighs in at 75kg, with the version the MOD bought supposed to be capable of 26 days.

farouk (@guest_634869)
2 years ago

The first pictures of the Moskva have hit the net: