Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hydrogen-powered Phantom Eye UAV unveiled

Boeing's Phantom Eye will set a new benchmark in long-endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology when it will be launched in 2011. With a wing-span of 150-feet, the hydrogen-powered aircraft will cruise at 150 knots and will carry up to 450-pounds and stay aloft at 65,000 feet for up to four days (96 hours).
The HALE (High-Altitude Long-Endurance) Phantom Eye is powered by two highly-efficient four-cylinder Ford Ranger truck engines that run on hydrogen and emit only water.
The Phantom Eye will surpass Global Hawk UAV ( can fly non-stop for more than 30 hours) and solar-powered Qinetiq’s Zephyr (can fly up to 82 hours 37 minutes) if it achieves its four day endurance goal, providing a long-term communication station above the battlefield and removing the need for having aircraft on the ground.
It is foreseen that three or four of these aircraft working together could provide 24-7 coverage of a site anywhere on the globe from a base inside the United States. Boeing expects that the first flight will last up to four to eight hours. Boeing has developed the project in conjunction with Ford, Aurora Flight Sciences, Mahle Powertrain, Ball Aerospace, Turbosolutions Engineering, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and NASA.

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