The X-44A was a low-cost technology demonstrator that led to more sophisticated stealthy unmanned aircraft.
Built by the famed Skunk Works, the X-44A successfully tested multiple technologies. Its composite structure airframe was quickly built using advanced manufacturing techniques. The X-44A design refined tailless aircraft aerodynamics and flight controls. The test program also improved Lockheed Martin’s unmanned command and control system.
The X-44A first flew in 2001, before other contemporary stealthy, flying wing unmanned aircraft. It also supported other test programs, including a deck-handling demonstration for US Navy carriers. The X-44A was not publicly revealed, however, until 2018.
The X-44A came to the Museum and was put on display in October of 2020.
Engine: Williams International F112 turbofan of 732 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: 176 mph
Endurance: 1.5 hours
Range: 230 miles
Click here to return to the Research & Development Gallery.