AFRL XQ-58A Valkyrie Long-range Subsonic UAV Demonstrator Completes First Flight
11:09 AM, March 8, 2019
XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator (Image: US Air Force Research Lab)
The XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator, a long-range, high subsonic unmanned air vehicle completed its inaugural flight March 5, 2019 at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona.
The Air Force Research Laboratory partnered with Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems to develop the XQ-58A. This joint effort falls within the Air Force Research Laboratorys Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology (LCAAT) portfolio, which has the objective to break the escalating cost trajectory of tactically relevant aircraft., AFRL said in a statement Thursday.
The objectives of the LCAAT initiative include designing and building UAS faster by developing better design tools, and maturing and leveraging commercial manufacturing processes to reduce build time and cost.
Developed for runway independence, the aircraft behaved as expected and completed 76 minutes of flight time. The time to first flight took a little over 2.5 years from contract award. The XQ-58A has a total of five planned test flights in two phases with objectives that include evaluating system functionality, aerodynamic performance, and launch and recovery systems.
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