The last time I had talked about the unveiling of the Boeing Phantom Eye was in July 2010. Since then the military has been very quite about the progress, until now.
The Phantom Eye is a high-altitude long endurance (HALE) vehicle that can fly at 65,000 feet and stay aloft for 4 days carrying surveillance and reconnaissance equipment. The Phantom Eye is also powered by hydrogen.
The maiden voyage will take flight from California’s Edwards Air Force Base within the next few days and is expected to last between 4 and 8 hours.
According to the Daily Mail, “Boeing also is developing a larger unmanned plane that will stay aloft for more than 10 days and ‘Phantom Ray,’ a fighter-sized UAV that will be a test bed for more advanced technologies, which made its inaugural flight in April.
“The drone technologies being developed by Phantom Works mean the day when dog fights take place between unmanned aircraft is getting much closer … Phantom Eye is powered by two 2.3-litre, four-cylinder engines that provide 150 horsepower each. It has a 150-foot wingspan, will cruise at approximately 150 knots and can carry up to a 450-pound payload.”
The Phantom Eye and Phantom Ray are expected to help out on the war on terror especially on the Pakistan border or any other types military situations where surveillance and reconnaissance is needed that will have the added benefit of keeping U. S. soldiers out of harm’s way.