YouTube – Boeing Condor
2- 175 hp ea.
54 ft. 5 in.
200 ft. 1 in.
2,000 gals. (est.)
2,000 fpm (est.)
On August 4, 1989 the Boeing 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.
Looking somewhat like a propeller powered sailplane, the mission of the Boeing Condor was as a high tech test bed reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle. With a wingspan of over 200 feet, the Condor’s wingspan is longer than most passenger aircraft or large bombers. It is powered by two 175 hp, six cylinder opposed, twin supercharged liquid cooled Continental TSOL-300-2 engines.
The aircraft is totally robotic, with no pilot on board. On board computers communicate with computers on the ground via satellite to control all facets of the Boeing Condor’s missions.
Carbon fiber composite materials made up the bulk of the Condor’s fuselage and wings. Although it had a relatively low radar and heat signature for its size, the Boeing Condor is not a stealthy aircraft. Its relatively low speed and large wingspan made the Condor too easy a target for military use. The Boeing Condor was considered as a platform for atmospheric research, however it was too expensive for civil use, and the U.S. government was not interested in it for such a purpose.
The Boeing Condor logged over 300 hours of secret missions flying at Moses Lake, Washington. It is now on exhibit at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Mateo, California