XQ-58A expands performance envelope during third test flight; aircraft damaged after landing

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The XQ-58A Valkyrie completed the third flight of the Low Cost Attritable Strike Demonstration program Oct. 9, 2019, at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. (Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Joshua Hoskins)

The XQ-58A Valkyrie completed the third flight of the Low Cost Attritable Strike Demonstration program Oct. 9, 2019, at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.

Unfortunately, high surface winds and a malfunction of the vehicle’s provisional flight test recovery system resulted in a mishap after landing which damaged the aircraft.

The XQ-58A, part of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Low Cost Attritable Strike Demonstration program, completed all test objectives during the 90-minute flight. The third flight continued to expand the envelope, successfully pushing the flight demonstrator to higher speeds and altitudes to further test the system.  

“We continue to learn about this aircraft and the potential the technology can offer to the warfighter.  This third flight successfully completed its objectives and expanded the envelope from the first two flights.  We have gathered a great deal of valuable data from the flight and will even learn from this mishap.  Ultimately, that is the objective of any experiment and we’re pleased with the progress of the Low Cost Attritable Strike Demonstration program,” said Maj. Gen. William Cooley, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The scheduled fourth flight of the Valkyrie will be delayed until conclusion of a safety investigation. There was no other damage to property or personnel.