Phantom Eye unmanned airborne system (UAS) completed its first autonomous flight June 1 at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. In this photo, the UAS takes off on its 28-minute flight.
Phantom Eye is a hydrogen-powered high altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle system for persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communications.
The Phantom Eye demonstrator will be a propeller-driven lightweight structure with a high aspect ratio wing. Its advanced propulsion system, coupled with Phantom Eye’s use of winds to stay on station, will enable Phantom Eye to provide persistent monitoring over large areas for up to four days.
Phantom Eye’s demonstrated hydrogen propulsion system has exceptional fuel economy. It is capable of maintaining the aircraft’s altitude for up to four days while carrying a 450-pound payload.
Boeing also is developing a larger HALE that will stay aloft for 10 days and carry payloads of more than 2,000 pounds. HALE is designed to stay on station for 10 days with a 600-pound payload and 500-pound communications core. Typical payloads include multiple sensor packages for monitoring and tracking mission roles. In addition, when properly equipped, Phantom Eye can relay information across its 800-nautical-mile line of sight horizon.
This advanced unmanned system is a natural evolution of Boeing’s earlier success with the piston-powered Condor that set several records for altitude and endurance in the late 1980s. Phantom Eye is internally funded.
Potential Customers: The Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and various telecommunications operations.
Wingspan: 150 ft
Takeoff Gross Weight: 9,800 lbs (4,445 kg)
Cruise Speed: 150 kts
Maximum speed: 200 kts
Altitude: 65,000 ft
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