The work we are conducting on VISTA embodies our vision of 21st Century Security as it serves as a foundation for advances in safer, more reliable, and more secure aviation – both for military and commercial domains.



An Artificial Intelligence Pathfinder

The X-62A Variable In-Flight Simulation Test Aircraft (VISTA) is a one-of-a-kind training aircraft developed by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® in collaboration with Calspan Corporation for the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Previously designated NF-16D, in June 2021 VISTA was recognized by the U.S. Air Force and deemed a national asset with a formal redesignation to X-62A VISTA. Built on our open systems architecture, VISTA is modified to test artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy capabilities that allows it to mimic the performance characteristics of other aircraft. 

Advancing Aerospace Through Relentless Innovation   ___

Our VISTA team has received several major recognitions for groundbreaking work progressing and testing AI and autonomy capabilities.



  • Finalist for the 2023 Robert J. Collier Trophy



  • The Society of Flight Test Engineers’ James S. McDonnell Award 
  • Aviation Week’s 2024 Laureate Award for Defense.

Open Systems Architecture

Our work contributing to VISTA includes our Model Following Algorithm and System for Autonomous Control of the Simulation. These technologies are built on our open systems AI architecture, allowing for non-vendor-locked plug and play 3rd party applications, as well as integration and testing into Lockheed Martin hardware and software for enhanced AI and machine learning capabilities.

The need for innovation at speed and scale is greater than ever. The X-62A VISTA is a crucial platform in our efforts to develop, test and integrate AI, as well as to establish AI certification standards that will revolutionize the future of aerospace,
John Clark
VP and GM, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works
Media Kit   ___
Media Contact
Shane Nicholson
+1 (817) 653-5918
Skunk Works®   ___


At Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®, your mission defines our purpose. Our team of dedicated engineers and scientists assume it can be done. With a visionary focus on the future, we partner with our customers to anticipate tomorrow’s capability gaps and technology needs to solve the most critical national security challenges today.