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Lockheed P-420 'LightStar' UAV

Mr London 24/7

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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:

(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).

(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)
 

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Mr London 24/7

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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:

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

quellish

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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+.
 

Mr London 24/7

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quellish said:
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?

quellish said:
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).
 

quellish

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mr_london_247 said:
quellish said:
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.
 

dannydale

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As an aside, the project number on this thing keeps making me want a smoke ;D
 

Mr London 24/7

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Mr London 24/7 said:
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:

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
 

Steve Pace

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Could this be the patent for the P-140 LightStar, the so-called follow-on to DarkStar, precursor to RQ-170 Sentinel? See pdf. -SP
 

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Steve Pace

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I thought some of you guys would have jumped all over this. I'm really curious about it. -SP
 

Grey Havoc

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I'm thinking it might be more of a direct ancestor to Polecat, though I could be wrong.
 

Steve Pace

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Grey Havoc said:
I'm thinking it might be more of a direct ancestor to Polecat, though I could be wrong.
Since it's 1997 era it seems to be too early for Polecat. I was thinking P-140 LightStar or RQ-170. -SP
 

quellish

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There was another, much earlier Lockheed Wraith RPV. No relation to this or RQ-170.
 

Stargazer2006

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Now, now... Is it P-420 (as I believe it should be) or P-140??
 
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