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Last September Boeing conducted several experimental flights with the Phantom Eye UAV, that is capable of high-altitude and long-endurance flights (HALE). The results of these experimental flights were proccessed in the company’s labs and the latter, announced recently in the Paris AirShow that it might consider putting the vehicle back up in the sky. The head of the company’s Phantom Works division stated that they are in contact with the U.S. Ministry of Defence as well as with other commercial companies to look into the different aspects of use for the UAV.
The Phantom Eye was developed in order to give its user intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. It’s massive weight (204kg) along with a wingspan of 45 meters is carried by two engines, each 2.3 litres in volume and fueled by liquid hydrogen made by Ford. The UAV can fly nonstop for four days straight at a height of almost 20km.
In the past the company thought of creating an upgraded version of the existing vehicle. The UAV planned was supposed to be 40% larger in size, meant to make it capable to flying for 10 days straight with a weight of 450kg or so or, alternatively, for 7 days with a weight of 900kg. It seems that the company is only in the first stages of reoperating the vehicle and displaying in in Paris only meant as considering various options.