Drone to fly 4 days at 65,000 feet, with hydrogen fuel
The maiden flight of a revolutionary drone aircraft that can stay in the air for four days at 65,000 feet is just days away.
The Phantom Eye, made by Boeing's secretive Phantom Works division, is powered by hydrogen and is designed to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions while remaining at high altitude. It will produce only water as a by-product.
Its inaugural flight will take place at Edwards Air Force Base in California and is expected to last between four and eight hours.
Boeing also is developing a larger unmanned plane that will stay aloft for more than 10 days and 'Phantom Ray,' a fighter-sized UAV that will be a test bed for more advanced technologies, which made its inaugural flight in April.
The drone technologies being developed by Phantom Works mean the day when dog fights take place between unmanned aircraft is getting much closer.
'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.The photos (See the link at the top of the post.) that accompany story show a fat fuselage that resembles an atomic bomb. The wing span is exceptional wide and narrow. In this configuration it sounds like a Global Hawk replacement. There have been some complaints about the performance of the Global Hawk. The larger model sounds like a technological leap.