Video: Exclusive clip of the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Polecat high altitude UAV in flight

London
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

Flightglobal.com has been granted exclusive access to a video clip of a test flight sequence of the previously-secret P-175 Polecat high altitude unmanned air vehicle (UAV) technology demonstrator from Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs division, also known as Skunk Works.

The video shows the UAV taking off from a salt runway at an undisclosed location thought to be in the southwestern USA. Lockheed Martin's Skunks Works announced the Polecat programme at the Farnborough air show, stating that it was designed and built in just 18 months and flown in secret in the first quarter of this year.

The video below shows the all-composite flying-wing UAV perfoming a fully-automatic take-off before continuing on to a stable flight.

The Polecat has a wingspan of 27.4m (90ft), 4,080kg (9,000lb) gross weight, 450kg payload, and is powered by two Williams FJ44-3E turbofans producing a combined 6,000lb thrust (26.7kN). The laminar-flow Polecat is designed to cruise at altitudes of around 65,000ft (20,000m) to get above contrails.