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Phantom Eye Demonstrator   (Source: Boeing)
Phantom Eye is powered by Hydrogen

Boeing 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.

Boeing 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. 



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RE: News here US only?
By mellomonk on 7/14/2010 3:22:11 AM , Rating: 1
Taranis isn't much of a news item here, for both Boeing and Northrup-Grumman have had similar UCAV, unmanned combat air vehicles, demonstrators flying for years. Actually Taranis is the third from BAE systems by my count.

The Boeing X-45 family has been flying since 2002, dropping munitions since 2004, and making some autonomous decisions since 2005.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-45A

Northrup-Grumman's X-47 family has lead to the B variant which in the next three years demonstrate the ability to operate from carrier at sea.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_X-47...

UCAVs tend to make the uninitiated nervous, and the opinionated pilot community somewhat dismissive. But they will be used in high risk capacities soon, and will effect the design and missions of future manned combat aircraft.


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