Boeing tests Phantom Eye's ISR capabilities at altitude of 8,000 feet

Boeing's Phantom Eye unmanned airborne system recently completed its second flight in which it demonstrated critical capabilities that will enable it to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions for up to four days without refueling, the company said.

During the flight, at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the liquid hydrogen-powered Phantom Eye climbed above an altitude of 8,000 feet and remained aloft for 66 minutes at a cruising speed of 62 knots before landing, the company said. The aircraft exceeded what it achieved in 2012 during its maiden flight when it flew at an altitude of 4,080 feet and remained aloft for 28 minutes.

The high-altitude flight successfully demonstrated Phantom Eye's maneuverability, endurance and landing capabilities, the company said. Following the first flight, Boeing upgraded the aircraft's software and hardware, including the landing gear.

The Phantom Eye demonstrator is capable of carrying a 450-pound payload while operating for up to four days at altitudes of up to 65,000 feet.

Boeing is self-funding development of the environmentally responsible Phantom Eye, which generates only water as a byproduct of its propulsion system.

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