Boeing’s Phantom Eye can soar at 65,000 feet for four days without having to refuel; it needs no actual pilot; it operates on alternative energy… and as is all that were not enough to make jaws drop. The vehicle is eco-friendly!
The green airplane’s two 2.3-litre Ford engines provide 150 horsepower each, enabling the plane to cruise at 150 knots without producing any harmful emissions. Drew Mallow, the Phantom Eye program manager said that the hydrogen propulsion system will be the key to Phantom Eye’s success because it is very efficient and offers great fuel economy. The engine’s only by-product is water, so it’s also a ‘green’ aircraft.
After the unveiling, a demonstrator model will be shipped to NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Centre in California later this summer where it will undergo a series of ground tests. Once the tests have been completed, the maiden flight is expected to take place in early 2011.
Boeing says it is not designed primarily for stealth but for endurance – the ability to remain airborne for long periods of time. This is in perfect connection with the Ministry of Defense’s ongoing interest technologies for long-endurance, high-altitude planes for surveillance.
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