DARKSTAR PROBE SUCCESSFUL IN SECOND TEST.Byline: Jim Skeen Daily News Staff Writer
The unmanned DarkStar spy plane completed a second successful test flight, bolstering its builders' claims the program is back on track and worthy of continued funding.
DarkStar took off from Edwards Air Force Base Edwards Air Force Base, U.S. military installation, 301,000 acres (121,805 hectares), S Calif., NE of Lancaster; est. 1933. It is one of the largest air force bases in the United States and has the world's longest runway. at 6:36 a.m. Sunday and made a 45-minute flight - fully automated from takeoff to landing - achieving its target altitude of 5,000 feet and completed all preplanned flight maneuvers, Lockheed Martin For the former company, see .
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a leading multinational aerospace manufacturer and advanced technology company formed in 1995 by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta. Skunk skunk, name for several related New World mammals of the weasel family, characterized by their conspicuous black and white markings and use of a strong, highly offensive odor for defense. Works officials said Monday.
The flight gives supporters of the program some welcomed news as debate over funding continues. Negotiators from the House of Representatives and the Senate are ironing out differences between their two defense bills. The House included $40.5 million for DarkStar, while the Senate rejected funding the program.
The aircraft, the second DarkStar plane produced by Lockheed Martin and Boeing, made its first flight June 29, restarting a flight test program that had been on hold for more than two years.
The first DarkStar aircraft made a successful first flight March 19, 1996, but was destroyed on takeoff during its second flight April 22, 1996.
Lockheed Martin and Boeing have spent $30 million to improve the aircraft, including redesigning the flight control and landing gear systems.
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and its partners in the project, Boeing and Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, are building two more DarkStar aircraft under a $58.4 million contract with the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, the same organization that initiated the F-117 stealth fighter program in the 1970s.
In a letter to Rep. Floyd Spence Floyd Davidson Spence (April 9, 1928–August 16, 2001) was a Republican politician from South Carolina.
Spence was born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1928, but spent most of his life in nearby Lexington County. , R-S R-S Reed-Solomon
R-S Relative Severity .C., chairman of the House National Security Committee, the makers of DarkStar asked for help in getting the program funded in the 1999 defense budget.
The letter was signed by Jack Gordon Jack Leon Gordon (November 10, 1939 - April 19, 2005) was the former manager and husband of singer La Toya Jackson. Early life and career
Gordon was born in Springfield, Illinois to Abraham Gordon (a native born Russian) and Faye Stein (a native of Illinois). , president of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, and Jim Evatt, president of Boeing's Information and Communications Systems unit.
``Now, with success in our grasp, is not the time to pull out of this program,'' Gordon and Evatt wrote. ``Vehicles 3 and 4 are paid for and are well along in their fabrication fabrication (fab´rikā´shn),
n the construction or making of a restoration. . We respectfully recommend that they should be flown and allowed to demonstrate their worth. The FY (fiscal year) 1999 request provides the funds necessary to assure that would happen.''
Wide, flat and tailless, with a 69-foot wingspan and a blunt fuselage only 15 feet long and 5 feet in diameter, the 8,600-pound aircraft is powered by an engine similar to the one used in the Cessna Citation The Cessna Citation is a marketing name used by Cessna for its lines of business jets. Rather than one particular model of aircraft, the name applies to several "families" of turbofan-powered aircraft which have been produced over the years. business jet.
Capable of altitudes above 45,000 feet, DarkStar is intended to be the ``eye in the sky'' for battlefield commanders, transmitting video and radar information to ground forces.
The stealthy stealth·y
adj. stealth·i·er, stealth·i·est
Marked by or acting with quiet, caution, and secrecy intended to avoid notice. See Synonyms at secret. , high-altitude aircraft is designed to be able to linger over a battlefield for more than eight.