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Photo Funday — Boeing’s Condor

17 September 2010

Photo Funday — a photo with an informative caption for the weekend

Boeing’s Condor

Condor UAV — photo by Joe May

The Boeing Condor lives up to its name having a wingspan of more than 200 feet (~61m), greater than almost any aircraft that one could name. Two were built and the one suspended from the ceiling in the Hiller Aviation Museum was the only one to fly. Designed in the 1980s with carbon fiber technology — the carbon fiber built Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk started in the 1980s, as well — as a totally robotic aircraft and it was the first aircraft to fly from take off to landing completely autonomously. Using two supercharged internal combustion engines it had an endurance of 80 hours and could operate at above 67,000 feet (20,300m). Too slow and large for military applications and too expensive for commercial applications the program was forced to end. One could think that this aircraft, or one like it, could be produced for scientific uses — scientists could use a data stream from days of continuous observation of wind blown dust, as could meteorologists to study storms as well as waves, ice pack patrol, routine patrols for picking up signals of distress from people, for examples.

Posts on the Hiller Museum have been made during the month of August 2010, by typing “Hiller Aviation Museum” in the search box the links to those posts will appear. I would place the links into this paragraph but they become invalid with the publishing of another post.

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