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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 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.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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