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Wed, Jul 14, 2010

Boeing Unveils Unmanned Phantom Eye Demonstrator

Hydrogen-Powered UAS Can Stay Aloft For Up To Four Days At FL650

The hydrogen-powered Phantom Eye unmanned airborne system, a demonstrator that has the ability to stay aloft at FL650 for up to four days, was unveiled by Boeing on Monday.

Phantom Eye

"Phantom Eye is the first of its kind and could open up a whole new market in collecting data and communications," Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works, said at the unveiling ceremony in St. Louis. "It is a perfect example of turning an idea into a reality. It defines our rapid prototyping efforts and will demonstrate the art-of-the-possible when it comes to persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance."

Later this summer, Phantom Eye will be shipped to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, CA., to begin a series of ground and taxi tests in preparation for its first flight in early 2011. That debut flight is expected to last between four and eight hours.

Phantom Eye Assembly

"The program is moving quickly, and it's exciting to be part of such a unique aircraft," said Drew Mallow, Phantom Eye program manager for Boeing. "The hydrogen propulsion system will be the key to Phantom Eye's success. It is very efficient and offers great fuel economy, and its only byproduct is water, so it's also a 'green' aircraft."

Phantom Eye is powered by two 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engines that provide 150 horsepower each. It has a 150-foot wingspan, will cruise at approximately 150 knots and can carry up to a 450-pound payload.



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