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Martin-Boeing RQ-3A DarkStar

29 June 2012

Martin-Boeing RQ-3A DarkStar

This UAV was conceived for the purpose of replacing the Lockheed U-2, though autonomously, flying high and flying far while bein undetected. First flight was in 1996 but that DarkStar crashed and it was not until two years later that flight tested recommenced. DarkStars successfully took off, reconnoitered and landed without operator input. As can be seen the overall design looks like a UFO fused to a flying wing and is sinister looking with its dark surfaces, surfaces that are actually darker than in the images below. These images were lightened to illustrate the details of the various panel lines. The UAV has a span of 69 feet ( 20.91m). The inlet and exhaust ducts have been faired over in the interests of protecting those valuable details.

Although valuable information was undoubtedly obtained this design lost out to the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk with regard to winning the manufacturing contract.

Frontal view of the DarkStar displayed at the National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall — photo by Joseph May

Aspect emphasizing the UFO-like fuselage blended with a flying wing design of the Martin Boeing RQ-3A DarkStar — photo by Joseph May


Here is the DarkStar fact sheet from the National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall

One Comment leave one →
  1. seanpcastillodm permalink
    21 September 2012 21:30

    Reblogged this on Sean Castillo Diary.

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