Lockheed Martin successfully completes record-breaking endurance flight of Stalker VXE UAS

According to information published by Lockheed Martin on April 11, 2022, the firm demonstrated the expanded endurance capabilities of a specially configured Lockheed Martin Stalker VXE unmanned aerial system (UAS) through a world record endurance flight on Feb. 18, 2022, at the Santa Margarita Ranch in California.

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Lockheed Martin successfully completes record breaking endurance flight of Stalker VXE UAS Stalker VXE Unmanned Aircraft System (Picture source: Lockheed Martin)

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.

Stalker VXE’s class-leading endurance, broad operating envelope, modular payload compliance, vertical take-off, and landing capability, and open system architecture allow it to execute diverse and demanding missions while maintaining a small operational footprint and crew.

Optionally powered by a ruggedized Solid Oxide Fuel Cell, Stalker uses propane to achieve 8+ hours of operation.

To support the needs of the mission, the system can also be easily reconfigured in the field to a battery-powered option that provides 4 hours of endurance.