Engine upgrade ups Fury drone's flight endurance
When we last checked in on Lockheed Martin's Fury drone, the Class 3 Unmanned Air System had reliably demonstrated the ability to stay in the air for more than 12 hours at a time over a series of flight tests. Now the Fury has been fitted with a new engine that Lockheed says will increase its flight endurance to 15 hours.
Developed to be a long-endurance, expeditionary aircraft to provide strategic support to tactical warfighters, the Fury is a runway-independent UAS that launches via a catapult system and lands by being captured in a large net, which Lockheed refers to as an "expeditionary recovery system." The company says the complete launch and recovery system can be set up in an area of unimproved ground just 200 sq ft (18.6 sq m) in size.
The aircraft is a blended wing design with a 17-ft (5-m) wingspan and has the ability to carry a 200-lb (91-kg) combination of payload and fuel. It can fly at altitudes of up to 15,000 ft (4,572 m) and generates thrust via a pusher propeller. That propeller is now being driven by a new 1803 engine that engineering tests indicate will extend the aircraft's endurance to 15 continuous hours.
Lockheed says this will make the Fury one of the highest endurance unmanned systems in its class and should increase its attractiveness for the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and cyber-electronic warfare missions for which it was designed.
Source: Lockheed Martin