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X-56
The X-56A on its first flight
Role Experimental aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin Skunk Works
First flight July 26, 2013
Primary users NASA
Air Force Research Laboratory
Number built 1

The Lockheed Martin X-56A[1] is a modular unmanned aerial vehicle designed to explore high altitude, long endurance (HALE) flight technologies for use in future military unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, as well as contributing knowledge to the future X-54 low-boom supersonic research programme, and future low emissions transport aircraft.

Design and development[edit | edit source]

Designed by Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs, known informally as the Skunk Works,[2] the aircraft was first revealed by Aviation Week,[3] and is intended to research active flutter suppression and gust-load alleviation technologies. The X-56A is based on Lockheed's earlier UAV work, showing influence from the Polecat, Sentinel and DarkStar UAVs. The programme calls for the construction of two 7.5 feet (2.3 m)-long fuselages and a wingspan of 27.5 ft,[4] with four sets of wings being constructed for flight testing.

Operational history[edit | edit source]

The X-56A made its first flight on July 26, 2013,[5] flying from Edwards Air Force Base; twenty flights were to be flown on behalf of the Air Force Research Laboratory before the aircraft would be handed over to NASA for further testing.[6]

Specifications (X-56A)[edit | edit source]

Data from [5]

General characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Wingspan: 28 ft (8.5 m)
  • Powerplant: 2 × JetCat P400 turbojets, 89 lbf (0.395 kN) thrust each

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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