has unveiled the Phantom
Eye unmanned airborne system. The Phantom Eye is a “green”
aircraft that is powered by hydrogen and produces water as its only
byproduct. The hydrogen power plant is said to be the key element of
the design.Phantom Eye, which appears to be the production
version of HALE, will be able to cruise at up to 65,000 feet for
up to four days at a speed of as high as 150 knots. The payload
capacity of the aircraft is 450 pounds. The engines used in the
aircraft are a pair of four-cylinder power plants with 150 horsepower
each. The engines are provided by Ford."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 today 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. The capabilities
inherent in Phantom Eye's design will offer game-changing
opportunities for our military, civil and commercial
customers."Boeing states that Phantom Eye will be
shipped to the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air
Force Base later this summer for a series of ground and taxi tests.
The maiden voyage of the Phantom Eye aircraft is set for early 2011.
Phantom Eye has a 150-foot wingspan.
has been in the news recently for its new tanker designed to compete
in the multi-billion dollar tanker bid program for the Air Force. The
company announced this week that it had submitted
its 8,000-page bid proposal to the Air Force for
consideration for the contract, which is one of the largest ever
offered for aircraft.