Boeing\'s Phantom Ray unmanned aerial vehicle on track for its first flight

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Boeing's Phantom Ray unmanned aerial vehicle on track for its first flight

Boeing says that the unmanned aerial vehicle, unveiled at it's St. Louis facility on Monday, is on track to make its first flight in December. The Phantom Ray will be a testbed for unspecified "advanced technologies," and in a press release Monday,

Boeing rattled off an array of potential missions for the aircraft, from the now standard UAV tasks of recon and surveillance to aerial refueling, electronic attack, and the menacingly vague "strike.".

"We are on a fast track, and first flight is in sight," Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works, said in a news release, noting that the program just started two years ago.

Phantom Ray, which evolved from the X-45C program, is designed to be a test bed for advanced technologies and support such missions as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, suppression of enemy air defenses, electronic attack, strike and autonomous aerial refueling, Boeing said.

The Phantom Ray is 36-feet long, with a 50-foot wingspan, a gross weight of 36,500 pounds, an operating altitude of 40,000 feet and a cruise speed of 614 mph (0.8 mach). It is scheduled for taxi tests this summer and, after first flight, nine more flights over about six months.

Craig Brown, Phantom Ray program manager for Boeing, said: "The initial flights will take Phantom Ray through its paces for the flight test profile. Beyond that, the missions and systems tested will be determined by future warfighter needs."

 http://blog.seattlepi.com/a...
 http://news.cnet.com/8301-1...

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By netchicken: posted on 11-5-2010








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