13 Mar '12, 3pm

Boeing’s Giant Flying Tadpole Makes First Taxi Runs

Boeing’s Giant Flying Tadpole Makes First Taxi Runs

So uh, yeah. That awkward-looking thing is Boeing’s Phantom Eye high-altitude UAV design doing a 30-knot taxi test at Edwards Air Force Base on March 10. Usually, we bring you clips and pictures of stealthy, jet-powered drones designed to penetrate enemy airspace and drop bombs taking to the skies for the first time at Edwards. Well, like the Phantom Ray and X-47B , Phantom Eye does represent the future of drones — just the not-as-sexy-to-look-at future of drones. The hydrogen-powered beast — it’s damn big for a drone, with a 150-foot wingspan — is designed to stay aloft for four days carrying a 450-pound payload at altitudes of up to 65,000-feet. Phantom Eye and other so called, high-altitude long-enduarance (HALE) UAVs are equally important to the future of unmanned planes as the stealthy new fighter and attack style jets being developed. HALE drones will be able to carr...

Full article: http://defensetech.org/2012/03/13/boeings-flying-tadpole-...

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