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Boeing HALE  (Source: Boeing)
Ford provides propulsion for Boeing's latest UAV

Boeing is pushing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the next level with the help of Ford Motor Company. The company today announced that its High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAV has successfully completed simulated testing.

The HALE uses a prototype hydrogen engine developed by Ford. According to the Boeing press release, the hydrogen engine is based on the Duratec 23 four-cylinder gasoline engine used in the Focus, Fusion and Escape. In this particular application, however, the engine not only runs on hydrogen, but also uses multi-stage turbocharging.

"This test demonstrates the technical readiness of the hydrogen engine system and confirms the capability breakthrough in flight endurance and altitude that could be realized by a variety of military and commercial customers," said Darryl Davis of Boeing's Advanced Precision Engagement and Mobility Systems.

"This test could help convince potential customers that hydrogen-powered aircraft are viable in the near-term," continued Boeing Advanced Systems President George Muellner. "This is a substantial step toward providing the persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities our customers desire."

The test simulated four days of sustained flight -- three of which were simulated at 65,000 feet. Production versions of the HALE will be designed to stay aloft for a week and can carry up to one ton of cargo.

The military is increasingly looking to unmanned vehicles – both on land and in the air – to put human soldiers out of harm’s way. This latest development from Boeing and Ford could usher in a new era of next-generation UAVs with the stamina and payload capacity to really make a difference in the skies above the battlefield.

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Glad to see...
By AntiV6 on 10/24/2007 4:56:10 PM , Rating: 2
Boeing is keeping atleast some of the development in the US. Ford really needs this more than say Honda or Toyota.

RE: Glad to see...
By jskirwin on 10/24/2007 5:04:05 PM , Rating: 4
Ford may be an American brand, but it's a multinational car company with plants all over North America and Europe. Honda, Nissan, Toyota and even BMW are foreign brands that employ Americans.

What Ford really needs is to build cars that people want to buy - instead of blaming Honda/Toyota and even retirees for their own incompetent management.

RE: Glad to see...
By Omega215D on 10/24/2007 5:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
Ford does quite well in Europe but it's a shame that those cars never make it over to the US.

Besides Ford has stakes in Mazda, Jaguar, Volvo and maybe some others I can't think of right now.

RE: Glad to see...
By Fnoob on 10/24/2007 5:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed! My god was I shocked to find the some of the most impressive cars in Holland were Fords. I believe their version of the Escort in the mid 90's was a ~300+hp rocket that looked fantastic. Much more expensive over there though. They are catering to a different demographic abroad. Sighs.

RE: Glad to see...
By kileil on 10/24/2007 5:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
Those were the ford escort cosworth, and they were mean AWD beasts although not terribly reliable.

I think a built one still holds the UK record for a 0-60 right around 2 seconds flat.

RE: Glad to see...
By rudy on 10/24/07, Rating: 0
RE: Glad to see...
By Brandon Hill on 10/24/2007 7:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
It was actually a 227HP Cosworth Escort

RE: Glad to see...
By Fnoob on 10/24/2007 7:52:16 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the link. I was a bit off on the HP - still - for the time period, that was alot for a production car in that category. /

Back to aircraft... this duratec engine is apparently quite capable and reliable. Over-built in hopes of restoring some respect. Not surprised that has proven to be well capable of much more.

RE: Glad to see...
By MADAOO7 on 10/24/2007 10:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
The Ford Falcon XR8 in Australia is pretty sweet too. Has a Boss 260 Engine....looks great....wish we had some Fords like this.

RE: Glad to see...
By Operandi on 10/24/2007 11:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
Europe has always had gotten the best Ford vehicles.

A new ~300 HP Focus RS has been sited which I'm sure will never see the light of day here.

RE: Glad to see...
By Oregonian2 on 10/24/2007 8:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
Also they'd likely have to modify it to be legal in
the US where rules are different (I know the smartcar,
which is in the completely opposite direction, has to
be modified a good bit. Point only that rules are
different). As well as having to have enough volume
to make it worthwhile (including stocking of components
in the US that aren't currently in US repair inventories,

RE: Glad to see...
By spluurfg on 10/25/2007 2:54:11 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, pretty much because Europeans like small, practical cars, where as the market in the US has only recently changed. They should catch up soon anyway.

From what I understand, Ford OWNS Jaguar and Volvo.

RE: Glad to see...
By Lonyo on 10/25/07, Rating: 0
RE: Glad to see...
By rcc on 10/25/2007 2:18:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, pretty much because Europeans like small, practical cars, where as the market in the US has only recently changed. They should catch up soon anyway

It's not a game of catch up so much, and we have a good sized population segment that would love a small car with really good performance. However, in most states the smog/pollution controls required on vehicles limit them a considerable amount. It has its advantages, as anyone that gets stuck in traffic in the US vs, Europe will note; our exhaust smells better. : )

Also, the weight goes up by the time they add the required body reinforcements, safety equipment, etc.

My Dad and his wife (English), have been in England for the last 40+ years, I have a lot of fun driving their cars when I visit. She had one of the Mazda Rally models that was a hoot. However, none of them would be street legal in the US.

RE: Glad to see...
By spluurfg on 10/26/2007 6:29:53 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I think that one can create a small enough car that meets emission and safety standards, but I think also that Europeans are often willing to accept lesser performance. How many 1.2 or 1.0 litre engine cars are sold in the US? But I absolutely accept your point that the stringent regulations do make it more difficult in general.

RE: Glad to see...
By rcc on 10/26/2007 4:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
How many 1.2 or 1.0 litre engine cars are sold

I'd have to say very few. It takes the first litre or two just to drive the smog add-ons, and to push the added weight.

RE: Glad to see...
By Samus on 10/25/2007 8:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Focus-platform Volvo C30 will change everything.

RE: Glad to see...
By Gul Westfale on 10/26/2007 1:37:52 AM , Rating: 2
ford has a stake in mazda, but owns volvo (the car business only, not the trucks) and jaguar. they recently sold off aston martin and are expected to do the same with jag (they have never made money on it) and maybe volvo.

the escort cosssie was an AWD machine with a turbo 4 cylinder, much like evos and WRXs of today.... the fastest car ford ever built was the custom developed RS200 (for group B racing, search youtube); it was said to be able to do a 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds, on gravel.

RE: Glad to see...
By Treckin on 10/24/2007 11:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
On defense contracts, there are quite stiff stipulations on outsourcing labor... As a general rule, any significant portion of the product must be exclusively designed and manufactured in the US to DOD specs and under supervision. In High School, my best friends dad worked for Lockheed Martin as a department head, and it was known that at anytime, LM may be audited by the Feds. Should they be found in violation of the terms of the contracts, they could either loose a huge sum of money in the ways of a fine, or they could loose contract privileges, possibly both.
Things a sensitive as military subterfuge tech and aerospace construction data would NOT be permitted to go international.

Its not about the protection of US jobs, or about quality control... its about security and data integrity.

RE: Glad to see...
By rtrski on 10/24/2007 5:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
With defense contract rules, they may have been required to. There's only so much of your own military production you want outsourced beyond national borders, regardless of whether the recipient company is based in a currently friendly country. Things do have a tendancy to change, and many development/procurement cycles can last decades.

I'm not trying to minimize Ford in any way, or join the whole us-vs-them innovation debate. Simply pointing out that there may have been a different reason for the selection than the technical 'best' worldwide.

RE: Glad to see...
By Polynikes on 10/24/2007 9:29:16 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're right. A foreign company, or a foreign subsidiary of a domestic company, isn't quite as trustworthy as a domestic company's domestic offices doing important military contracting. In some cases I think it is definitely in our best interest to keep some military and space projects "in-house."

RE: Glad to see...
By SigmaHyperion on 10/25/2007 10:16:07 AM , Rating: 2
Well, FWIW, the particular Ford motor they are using, the Duratec23, isn't even made in the US at all. It's made in Mexico.

RE: Glad to see...
By fictisiousname on 10/25/2007 11:03:46 AM , Rating: 2

Could it be that Boeing is using this particular motor as both comapanies can leverage costs and research off each other?

RE: Glad to see...
By Suomynona on 10/24/2007 5:27:54 PM , Rating: 3
I really hope our military contracts are being given based on merit, not need...

RE: Glad to see...
By Zoomer on 10/24/07, Rating: 0
Flying Ford Focus
By Adonlude on 10/24/2007 4:42:45 PM , Rating: 2
So basically what they are saying is we now have flying Focuses to fight the war on terror. Awesome. Personally I think they should have gone with the new Nissan GT-R engine... much more intimidating.

RE: Flying Ford Focus
By Fnoob on 10/24/2007 5:23:17 PM , Rating: 5
Lemme guess... it also needs three spoilers stacked ontop of each other. And bass. Lots of bass. And some neon bling too?

RE: Flying Ford Focus
By RubberJohnny on 10/25/2007 12:08:22 AM , Rating: 2
or a cast iron push-rod v8 wait it'd never get off the ground...

RE: Flying Ford Focus
By exdeath on 10/25/2007 2:17:51 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah like all the WWII planes that never made it off the ground... all with iron blocks, and not only V8s, but V12s and V16s, push rods, etc. In fact iron is/was preferred for it's strength and sturdiness as reliability and toughness is important in engines intended for aviation.

Don't be a hater just because something 'ancient' makes more power in a smaller space than your "super advanced DOHC ultra XYZABC-Ztec III RSV-S w/ VVT-PQXXY" does.

Seriously though, a DOHC V6 actually weighs more than a GM 5.7L push rod engine... And the difference between an iron block and aluminum block in most cases is about ~70 lbs for a V8; hardly a dent in a 10,000+ lb air craft carrying a 200 lb pilot.

RE: Flying Ford Focus
By Ringold on 10/25/2007 5:55:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ever see one of the Packard or Merlin engines that went in to a Mustang? They're... beautiful... and massive. Not to mention, P-51's with modified engines are routinely the fastest racing planes in the world; being 'ancient', like you say, is no hinderance. In fact, it seems to be a benefit for the P51, as nobody has had the need nor the balls to create such a raw specimen of power post-WW2.

RE: Flying Ford Focus
By Kefner on 10/24/2007 5:38:51 PM , Rating: 3
No, we have flying Foci. :)

Engine management details?
By kileil on 10/24/2007 5:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'd love to hear more about how they're dealing with adjusting the engine to deal with the lack of o2 up there.
Especially if the engine management has to adjust from take off to above normal passenger cruising altitude. I'm sure the turbo helps stuff in more o2 but this is impressive on what was originally designed for a car.

Running lean is the least of their problems.

RE: Engine management details?
By Fnoob on 10/24/2007 7:54:41 PM , Rating: 3
"I'd love to hear more about how they're dealing with adjusting the engine to deal with the lack of o2 up there.

Masher will be with you shortly.

RE: Engine management details?
By Master Kenobi on 10/24/2007 8:24:06 PM , Rating: 3
You can use a Hydrogen Chemical Combustion without Oxygen.

RE: Engine management details?
By ziggo on 10/25/2007 2:18:03 AM , Rating: 2
Multiple stage turbos. Though I honestly don't know why you would bother. With the knowledge I have Turbo-Props are a much more efficient solution, and I cant see it being that much harder to adjust to hydrogen combustion in a turbine as than in a reciprocating engine.

RE: Engine management details?
By rcc on 10/25/2007 2:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
The article did mention a multi-stage turbo.

Boeing & Ford
By timmiser on 10/24/2007 7:05:01 PM , Rating: 3
I'm surprised that nobody has brought this up yet.

If you recall, Alan Mulally, a top executive for Boeing replaced Bill Ford as the CEO of Ford last year. This news is in no doubt related to the obvious tie that Mulally still has with Boeing.

RE: Boeing & Ford
By Fnoob on 10/24/2007 7:45:39 PM , Rating: 2
Very true, and here's hoping that he can bring a few of his top talents with him. Tighten those tolerances just a weeee bit.

Then hire a stylist from Pinafarrina (sp?).

RE: Boeing & Ford
By codeThug on 10/24/2007 8:58:58 PM , Rating: 2
Ford, has a better idea..

Hybrid Option?
By Casper42 on 10/25/2007 4:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
Makes me wonder if a Hybrid option using Solar power for the electric side would work any better or worse than the Hyrdogen powered design they have now. They have a ton of wing span surface area to use for the panels.

I keep looking at the new xB and wonder how hard would it really be to put some batteries under the floorboard, hybrid drive from Toyota and then line the roof with solar panels to charge the batteries and use the electric drivetrain more often.

RE: Hybrid Option?
By djcameron on 11/1/2007 3:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
But the xB is probably the ugliest car ever designed.

Good for Ford.
By mezman on 10/25/2007 3:02:34 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they are finally getting their act together. They make crappy cars and average trucks. But if they can get into the business of being a military component provider, then that's good for them.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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