Boe­ing Phan­tom Eye com­pletes sec­ond flight

SP's MAI - - UNMANNED -

Boe­ing’s liq­uid hy­dro­gen-pow­ered Phan­tom Eye un­manned air­borne sys­tem com­pleted its sec­ond flight on Fe­bru­ary 25, demon­strat­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties that will al­low it to per­form in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance (ISR) mis­sions for up to four days with­out re­fu­elling.

Dur­ing the flight, at NASA’s Dry­den Flight Re­search Cen­ter at Ed­wards Air Force Base, Cal­i­for­nia, Phan­tom Eye climbed above an al­ti­tude of 8,000 feet and re­mained aloft for 66 min­utes at a cruis­ing speed of 62 knots be­fore land­ing. The air­craft ex­ceeded what it achieved last year dur­ing its first flight when it flew at an al­ti­tude of 4,080 feet and re­mained aloft for 28 min­utes.

“To­day’s com­bi­na­tion of geopo­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic is­sues makes Phan­tom Eye’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties, af­ford­abil­ity and flex­i­bil­ity very at­trac­tive to our global cus­tomers,” said Dar­ryl Davis, Boe­ing Phan­tom Works Pres­i­dent. “No other sys­tem holds the prom­ise of of­fer­ing on-de­mand, per­sis­tent ISR and com­mu­ni­ca­tions to any re­gion in the world, rapidly re­spond­ing to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and na­tional se­cu­rity is­sues.”

Boe­ing is self-fund­ing devel­op­ment of the en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble Phan­tom Eye, which gen­er­ates only water as a byprod­uct of its propul­sion sys­tem.

“This flight, in a more de­mand­ing high-al­ti­tude flight en­ve­lope, suc­cess­fully demon­strated Phan­tom Eye’s ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity, en­durance and land­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” said Drew Mal­low, Phan­tom Eye Pro­gram Man­ager.

Fol­low­ing the first flight, Boe­ing up­graded the air­craft’s soft­ware and hard­ware, in­clud­ing the land­ing gear. The up­grades paid off in the form of a pic­ture-per­fect land­ing.

The Phan­tom Eye demon­stra­tor is ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing a 450pound pay­load while op­er­at­ing for up to four days at al­ti­tudes of up to 65,000 feet.

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