Skunk works’ Stalker VXE Sets a New World Record

Stalker VXE, photo by Lockheed Martin
Stalker VXE, photo by Lockheed Martin

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Skunk Workshop’s unmanned aircraft Stalker VXE broke a new record in the category of UAV flight for Group 2 (5-30kg) in a flight held this February. In total, the flight lasted 39 hours, 17 minutes, and 7 seconds, and its results were transmitted to the International Federation of Aeronautics (FAI), the administrative unit that monitors flight data internationally.

Based on Lockheed Martin’s Stalker system, VXE Stalker is an unmanned aircraft (UAS) with small, quiet aerodynamic characteristics, providing long-range imaging capabilities in different environments. The new system combines the functionality of the existing one with increased payload and performance, enabling a wider range of precise launch and landing operations.

Lockheed Martin has attached an external fuel tank to the wings of the Stoker VXE as part of a planned test flight to test possible improvements to the UAV, highlighting the company’s plans to expand the capabilities of its advanced UAV in the near future. Currently, the Stalker VXE sets new records because of its long endurance and broad operating envelope, modular payload compliance, vertical takeoff and landing capability, and open architecture – all of which reduce operational traces while also saving crew time and money.

As part of that world record effort, Lockheed Martin partnered with Edge Autonomy as an original equipment developer and manufacturer of unmanned systems; Adaptive Energy helped develop advanced fuel cell technology, and Composite Technology Development helped develop lightweight outdoor wing tanks.