The American ‘Stalker’ Drone That Completed A 39 Hours Of Record Flight Time
The Lockheed Martin drone ‘Stalker” could successfully complete 39 hours of record flight time. The Stalker VXE drone was modified with an external wing-mounted fuel tank for a flight time of 39 hours, 17 minutes, and 7 seconds. This endurance flight provided the Lockheed team insights into how the drone can be further improved.
This flight time is a new record in the Group 2 unmanned aerial system category (5 to 25 kg). According to Lockheed Martin company, this system can also be modified to a battery-powered one providing about 4 hours of flight time. This flight time is nearly 5 times longer than an average fuel cell-operated Stalker.
Variants Of The Drone Stalker
The base model of the Stalker surveillance drone served the US Special Operations Command since 2006. Later the improved version The Stalker eXtended Endurance (Stalker XE) was introduced in 2011. After that, this drone’s vertical take-off and land versions were introduced in 2018.
Lockheed Martin Stalker Features
The Stalker drone can fly at a max speed of 58 mph (93 km/h) and a cruise speed of 36 miles per hour (58 km/h). This drone can be battery-powered or fuel cell power and a battery-powered Stalker can fly for up to 138 miles while a fuel cell-powered Stalker drone can fly 269 miles. The maximum altitude this drone can reach is 12,000 feet or 3,658 meters.
Lockheed Martin mentioned that,
“The aircraft’s open system architecture allows it to execute diverse and demanding missions while maintaining a small operational footprint and crew.”