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New unmanned aircraft: Boeing Phantom Ray

New unmanned aircraft: Boeing Phantom Ray

The latest in Boeing’s lineup of unmanned airborne systems, the Phantom Ray completed its first flight at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California. During the 17-minute test flight, the Phantom Ray reached speeds of 178 knots. Craig Brown, program manager for Phantom Ray, notes, “The first flight moves us farther into the next phase of unmanned aircraft. Autonomous, fighter-sized unmanned aircraft are real, and the UAS bar has been raised. Now I’m eager to see how high that bar will go.” The flight demonstrated Phantom Ray’s basic airworthiness, setting the stage for additional flights in the next few weeks. These company-funded flights will prepare Phantom Ray to support potential missions that may include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; suppression of enemy air defenses; electronic attack; strike; and autonomous air refueling. 

Updated: May 17, 2011 — 3:04 PM

10 Comments

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  1. Cool!@ looks like the Beast of Bagdad!

  2. Thank you, Debra. Interesting news. These things are headed for a big future in intelligence, utility and also warfare. But how would we model a ‘model’ …?

  3. It appears largely based on the B-2 Spirit Bomber, only on a smaller scale.

    1. Good call, TJ! I knew it looked familiar, but I couldn’t place it. Good to hear from you — hope you’re enjoying your summer.

  4. Cool aircrat; however, some idiot congressperson is going to equate Military UAV’s to the RC hobby. We, the RC community, are in real danger! Watch Model Aviation articles on the FAA Notice of Rule Making.

  5. Now this is the future of RC pilots and where it all leads to. I suppose that the military already has first take at using this nice future item. This item could help to save a lot of military lives during a war.
    Berry

  6. I’m sure that with the gear retracted that this bird will be able to fly fast to its target area and loiter for an extended period. I see a great future for unmanned aircraft and I suspect that benefits of research in this area will trickle down to benefit RC aeromodelers. Also RC pilots will be a great resource for the services operating these aircraft.

  7. Unfortunately, the Phantom Ray (and other UAVs) aren’t eligible for scale competition: rules say that models must be of man-carrying aircraft. That’s too bad, because some of these UAS/UAVs would make really cool RC projects!

  8. Don’t worry Debra. The Chinese will make an RC version of this UAV very soon. Just like the did with the F35.

  9. after the 9ii event; ama president dave brouwn convinced faa
    that our model planes were not a threat,because they were not autonomus; . however that is about to change as technology becomes availiable. we as modlers should support ama anyway we can to keep modeling the way it is today

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