Eventually it will fly for four days straight, making only water as its waste product. But a journey of four days starts with a few minutes, so the chubby PhantomEye's first autonomous flight was under half an hour.
The aircraft took off June 1 from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, climbed to 4,080 feet and cruised at 62 knots in a flight that lasted 28 minutes, Boeing said Tuesday. When it landed, the gear dug into the lakebed and broke.
But Boeing officials were glad to see their persistent intelligence demonstrator take off and fly on its own. It uses a liquid hydrogen propulsion system, which will allow it to fly at 65,000 feet for four days. It can carry a 450-pound payload, too, but its goal is continuous surveillance.
It's hard to tell from the pictures, but its wingspan is enormous, spanning 150 feet. Here it is in a hangar before its props were attached.
PhantomEye's next task is a higher-altitude flight, Boeing said.
Hmmm, 65000 feet is a typical spy cruising height. Now what can one do with this, while carrying a 450 pound load?
Speaking of old mid east news and 450 pounds:
August 22, 2010
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad showed off his country's latest piece of military hardware on Sunday, a new unmanned bomber aircraft.
The jet, dubbed "Karrar" ("striker" in Farsi), which measures about 13 feet, can travel a distance of 620 miles and carry up to four cruise missiles. The craft traveled at speeds of 560 mph and could alternatively be armed with two 250-pound bombs or a 450-pound guided bomb.
See life in all its beautiful colors, and
from different perspectives too!
Looks more like Sperm with wings and tail-feathers.
I like the irony, concern to not pollute the air by burning hydrogen; not so concerned when the drone fires rockets at civilians..
Where or how do you see feathers?