First Valkyrie drone retired, slated for display at USAF Museum

By Briana Reilly / July 29, 2021 at 12:36 PM

The first-built XQ-58A Valkyrie is heading to the Air Force Museum after officials opted to retire the drone and clear the way for new production aircraft that a Kratos spokeswoman said would "be better suited for future representative flight testing and operations."

The Air Force Research Laboratory this week announced the planned transfer of the Kratos-built, attritable aircraft, though the timeline for the move and subsequent display of the drone wasn’t included in the release.

Flight-tested four times, the drone featured “several mods for data collection systems and multiple payloads used for the first few engineering flights,” the Kratos spokeswoman noted.

“These mods are not needed for the current and near-term flights which are more focused on operational capability rather than basic aircraft performance verification,” she said.

Dave Hart, the chief engineer for the Autonomous Collaborative Platforms program, said in the release that transferring the drone to the museum “helps to show the world what AFRL is capable of, and it truly tells the AFRL story.”

The Valkyrie in the spring completed its sixth overall flight test, during which AFRL demonstrated the first release of an ALTIUS-600 small drone from the Valkyrie’s internal weapons bay.