This new Boeing drone, designed to stay aloft for days at a time, completed its first successful flight Friday at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
fuelled by liquid-hydrogen, the Phantom Works inspired Phantom Eye reached an altitude of over 4,000-feet and speeds of around 70 mph before clambering back to earth.
The flight was in fact a bit better than the landing. A release from Boeing says the craft was damaged when its landing gear sunk into the lakebed on which it was returning and broke, but that won’t slow the new drone down for long.
Phantom Works, Boeing’s classified defence dream shop, has been looking forward to the arrival of the Phantom Eye for years and the technology that keeps it aloft is a welcome arrival.
The goal of the project is to offer the military a long term solution to monitoring wide patches of ground for extended periods of time, without requiring multiple aircraft and a series of take-offs and landings, which interrupt surveillance.
The single flight surveillance will hopefully provide better intelligence than what’s been achieved in the past and let’s face it, that’s a good thing when the U.S. is firing Hellfire missiles at suspected insurgents in civilian populations across the globe.
The Phantom Eye will fly at up to 65,000 feet, generating only water as a byproduct, carry a 450-pound payload, and has a 150-foot wingspan.
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