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Hydrogen & Fuel Cells

Boeing’s hydrogen-fueled Phantom Eye completes second test flight

The Phantom Eye, an unmanned airborne system powered by hydrogen, successfully completed its second test flight on February 25.

Developed by air carrier Boeing, the Phantom Eye uses hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines for zero-emissions flight. It was designed to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The Phantom Eye can maintain altitude without refueling for up to four days while carrying a 450-pound payload. Typical payloads could include multiple sensor packages for monitoring, tracking and communications operations. When properly equipped, the Phantom Eye can relay information across its 400-nautical-mile line of sight horizon.

This latest test flight took place at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The Phantom Eye flew for 66 minutes, reaching an altitude of more than 8,000 feet and a speed of 62 knots. This exceeds its performance in the first test flight in 2012 when it few for 28 minutes at an altitude of 4,080 feet.

"This flight, in a more demanding high-altitude flight envelope, successfully demonstrated Phantom Eye's maneuverability, endurance and landing capabilities," said Drew Mallow, Phantom Eye program manager.

Boeing is self-funding the development of the Phantom Eye which it believes can be of use in military and telecommunications operations. The aerospace company is also looking into larger versions that could stay aloft for a week or longer, and carry payloads of more than 2,000 pounds. – EcoSeed Staff

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