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Boeing X-40

Role Glide test vehicle
National origin United States
Manufacturer Boeing Phantom Works
First flight August 11 1998
(dropped by [2][3]
Status Retired May 2001
Primary users AFRL
Number built 1

The Boeing X-40A Space Maneuver Vehicle was a test platform for the X-37 Future-X Reusable Launch Vehicle.


  • History 1
  • Testing 2
  • Specifications (X-40) 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The unpiloted X-40 was built to 85 percent scale to test aerodynamics and navigation of the X-37 Future-X Reusable Launch Vehicle project.

After the first drop test in August 1998 the vehicle was transferred to NASA, which modified it. Between April 4 and May 19, 2001 the vehicle successfully conducted seven free flights.[3] In 2001 it successfully demonstrated the glide capabilities of the X-37's fat-bodied, short-winged design and validated the proposed guidance system.


The first X-40 drop test occurred at [2][3] The vehicle dove to the runway in an approach similar to the space shuttle's, flared, and landed left of the runway centerline. Its drag chutes successfully deployed, and the vehicle tracked to within seven feet of the centerline and stopped at a distance of slightly more than 7,000 feet (2,100 m).

Specifications (X-40)

General characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Length: 6.5 m (21 ft)
  • Wingspan: 3.5 m (11 ft)
  • Height: 2.3 m (7.5 ft)
  • Empty weight: 2,500 lb (1,100 kg)
  • Useful load: 1,200 lb (540 kg)


Honeywell 12-channel Space Integrated GPS/INS (SIGI) system

See also

Related lists


  1. ^ a b X-40 Space Maneuver Vehicle Integrated Tech Testbed at
  2. ^ a b c X-40 Space Maneuver Vehicle (SMV) at
  3. ^ a b c d Boeing X-37 / X-40 page at Designation-Systems.Net

External links

  • NASA Dryden X-40A Image Gallery
  • X-40A Test Flight, Boeing press release
  • X-40 Space Maneuver Vehicle Integrated Tech Testbed at
  • X-40 Space Maneuver Vehicle (SMV) at
  • Boeing X-37 / X-40 page at Designation-Systems.Net
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