Author Topic: Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV  (Read 8173 times)

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV
« on: May 08, 2010, 03:15:05 pm »
This bird has been posted before, including on other sites (usually due to it's similarity to the RQ-170) but not named as far as I'm aware. In 'Unmanned aerial vehicles in the United States armed services: A comparative study of weapon system innovation by Ehrhard, Thomas Paul' (http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?did=728475031&Fmt=2&VType=PQD&VInst=PROD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1273356777&clientId=79356) there are a couple of references to it, identifying it as the 'Lockheed P-420 LightStar'. I've seen the name LightStar (and also a rumoured 'BrightStar') before, but never with any actually documented references:

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(Ref 1263 pg 483) Lockheed Skunk Works has an ongoing project called LightStar, its name an apparent reference to the larger DarkStar UAV mentioned later in this chapter, that could fill this mission area. Lockheeds internal designation is P-420, and it is a medium-altitude (5,000 to 25,000 feet) stealthy vehicle that looks like a small B-2. Lockheed engineers patented the vehicle in 1996 under patent D382851.... Terry Mahon provided the patent information.

The 'mission area' was [unmanned penetrator] Medium Range UAV (MR-UAV).

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(pg 620) The Lockheed Skunk Works has a model in development called P-420 LightStar that fits the bill due to its B-2 shape and jet propulsion

'The bill' here was a Predator follow-on, stealthy and jet-powered.

Patent D382851:
(http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=45EnAAAAEBAJ) or (http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN%2FD382851)

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Re: Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 03:18:55 pm »
The only web reference I've been able to find so far is this chaps (Dr. Richard Dean Colgren, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Palmdale Flight Controls Lead Engineer, Reconnaissance and Advanced Programs) CV (http://eudoxus.usc.edu/RColgren.pdf) where he mentions amongst systems he's worked on:

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various programs (including F-117A, F-22, A-X, JAST, HL-20, Tier II+, Tier III-, Tier III, Wraith, P-420, and P-610)

Offline quellish

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Re: Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 05:27:45 pm »
BrightStar was a quiet supersonic demonstrator, internally funded in the late 90s.
Lockheed has another MR-UAV that's been internally developed for some time and pitched to both the Navy and USAF. The configuration is similar to GlobalHawk, and the patent has been public for some time - though the project started in the 90s.

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=becGAAAAEBAJ
and
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,227.msg1292.html#msg1292

One, or both of these may have been pitched for Tier II+.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2010, 05:39:02 pm by quellish »

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Re: Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2010, 03:36:35 am »
BrightStar was a quiet supersonic demonstrator, internally funded in the late 90s.

I know there's something over at DLR about this, but is there anything else?

Lockheed has another MR-UAV that's been internally developed for some time and pitched to both the Navy and USAF. The configuration is similar to GlobalHawk, and the patent has been public for some time - though the project started in the 90s.

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=becGAAAAEBAJ

Thanks, I've seen this specific patent design referenced as 'DistantStar' (although the quality of the refs isn't great).

Offline quellish

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Re: Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2010, 04:42:14 am »
BrightStar was a quiet supersonic demonstrator, internally funded in the late 90s.

I know there's something over at DLR about this, but is there anything else?


I've seen LM docs that depict an aircraft very much like the "SST" seen on the runway on DLR, and *could* match the in flight photo. Two persons at LM who would be in the know independently mentioned a quiet supersonic project that was in the works during that period. LM felt that quiet supercruise may become a requirement in the 00's, and that was at least one reason they pursued it. I was told that they did not think they could develop the technology without flight test.

Online sferrin

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Re: Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 01:30:50 pm »
DLR?
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Sundog

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Re: Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 04:55:44 pm »

Offline TAGBOARD

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Re: Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 06:53:21 am »
:)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 10:16:25 am by TAGBOARD »
111231C

Offline dannydale

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Re: Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2012, 10:31:03 am »
As an aside, the project number on this thing keeps making me want a smoke ;D

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Re: Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2014, 02:07:33 am »
The only web reference I've been able to find so far is this chaps (Dr. Richard Dean Colgren, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Palmdale Flight Controls Lead Engineer, Reconnaissance and Advanced Programs) CV (http://eudoxus.usc.edu/RColgren.pdf) where he mentions amongst systems he's worked on:

Quote
various programs (including F-117A, F-22, A-X, JAST, HL-20, Tier II+, Tier III-, Tier III, Wraith, P-420, and P-610)


Specifically on 'Wraith' - Colgren was at LM 84-03 (current CV - http://www.vikingaerospace.com/Colgren_CV39f_Viking.pdf)

Resume of this former LM Employee puts 'Wraith RPV' development as *including* years 86-89:

http://paynecentral.com/tompayne/resume2003.htm

'War is Boring' already linked Wraith moniker to RQ-170:

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/d5f0a062d257

Ref to Bruce Black Bio at Gannet:

http://www.gannetinternational.com/Bruce-Black.html