Boeing's little delta wing is all grown up and flying on its own for the first time. The Phantom Ray drone took to the skies for 17 minutes over Edwards Air Force Base last week, proving its airworthiness and showing off Boeing's ability to quickly design and build a prototype advanced unmanned air system.
The 36-foot-long plane reached 7,500 feet at speeds of 178 knots (about 205 mph), according to company officials. The flight followed high-speed taxi tests in March that validated the aircraft's control systems. The Phantom Ray is designed to cruise at 40,000 feet and reach speeds of 614 mph, making it one of the fastest drones on record.
Last winter, we watched as the Phantom Ray drone hitched a ride on a shuttle carrier 747, its first trip into the air, designed to prepare it for the journey to Edwards AFB.
Phantom Ray is a flying delta wing whose unusual shape allows it to evade radar. With just a 50-foot wingspan, it will be able to carry a light payload around 4,000 pounds.
Although last week's test took place at an Air Force facility, Boeing is building and testing the plane on its own dime, without any military contracts. The aircraft is descended from Boeing Phantom Works's X-45C demonstrator aircraft, which competed for a DARPA contract that was eventually awarded to Northrop Grumman. Incidentally, Northrop's X-47B, which is being built for the Navy, made its own maiden test flight in January.
Boeing hopes Phantom Ray could eventually be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions; suppression of enemy air defenses; electronic attacks and direct strikes; and autonomous air refueling, according to the company.
Check out its maiden solo voyage.
Hello terriost! Come out Come out, where you are hiding. We have a present for you.
Can't wait to see the first unmanned air-show!
Just imagine the maneuvers, they should be beyond anything any human pilot can do or survive for that matter.
That aircraft looks beyond cooler than any drone I have ever seen.
All though UAV's have bee around for a while, nothing like this stealth version has ever been built. Would love to also see the beast fly like this also. Making history.
the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel, Northrop Grumman's X47-B Navy Attack Drone and now this UAV from Boeing are the next generation of UAV's, the Sentinal is already deployed and the X-47B is testing for future deployment on carriers, soon pilots will not be leading the assault but instead overseeing from a safe distance, very cool
I hope people know the real reason why we have all of this high-tech equippment. It's not to defend freedom and democracy. Here are some links to some info on this.
spurstalk (dot) com/forums/showthread (dot) php?t=145531
spurstalk (dot) com/forums/showthread (dot) php?t=144746