In 1994, Boeing teamed with Lockheed Martin again to design and build a stealthy, unmanned reconnaissance plane called DarkStar for the U.S. Department of Defense Tier III Minus program. Boeing applied its expertise in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), gained over three decades of UAV experience, to develop the DarkStar's wings and integrated avionics.
On March 29, 1996, DarkStar made its first flight. It reached an altitude of 5,000 feet and successfully executed a fully automated flight from takeoff to landing using the Global Positioning System. It operated at ranges greater than 500 nautical miles and was able to stay on station for more than eight hours at altitudes greater than 45,000 feet.
In late January 1999 the Defense Department announced that the DarkStar unmanned aerial vehicle program has been terminated.
||March 29, 1996
||Experimental unmanned aerial vehicle
||500 nautical miles
||Greater than 45,000 feet
||Single turbofan engine