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.
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