Boeing Condor

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Boeing Condor Hiller Aviation Museum.jpg
Condor on display at the Hiller Aviation Museum
Role Research UAV
National origin United States
Manufacturer Boeing
First flight 9 October 1988
Number built 2

The Boeing Condor was a high tech test bed aerial reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle. It had a wingspan of over 200 feet, wider than that of a Boeing B-52.[1] Powered by two 175 hp, six-cylinder opposed, twin turbo-charged liquid-cooled Continental TSOL-300-2 engines, it had a top speed of 230 mph.

Carbon fiber composite materials made up the bulk of the Condor's fuselage and wings. Although the Condor had a very low radar cross-section and infrared signature, it was not a very stealthy aircraft, to the point that Boeing itself has referred to its "lack of stealth."[2] This characteristic, coupled with its large size and slow speed, made it too vulnerable for use in military operations.[2]

The Condor was completely robotic, with an on board computer to communicate with the computers on the ground via satellite to control all facets of the Condor's missions. The Condor's frame was made of mainly Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer composite, as it gives off very low radar and heat signatures.

In 1989, the Condor set the world piston-powered aircraft altitude record of 67,028 feet and was the first aircraft to fly a fully automated flight from takeoff to landing.[3] Boeing claims the Condor set an aircraft endurance world record in 1988 by flying continuously for more than 50 hours, but the flight was not witnessed by the National Aviation Authority and is not considered an official record.[4]

During its evaluations, the Condor logged over 300 hours of mission flying over Moses Lake, Washington. It is now on display in the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California.[5] Boeing developed two vehicles as technology demonstrators. The other is disassembled at the USAF Museum's restoration center in Dayton OH.



General characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Length: 66 feet (20 m) ft 0 in ( m)
  • Wingspan: 200 feet (61 m) ft 0 in ( m)
  • Empty weight: 8,000 lb (3,600 kg)
  • Gross weight: 20,000 lb (9,100 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Continental TSOL-300-2, 175 hp (130 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 233 mph (370 km/h)
  • Endurance: 80 hours
  • Service ceiling: 67,000 ft (20,500 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,000 ft/min (10.2 m/s)


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b Boeing, Condor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
  3. ^ [2], Boeing
  4. ^ Aurora seeks Orion production start after record flight -, 22 January 2015
  5. ^ The Condor, Hiller Aviation Museum

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