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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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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,

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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