Thursday, December 2, 2010

Boeing Phantom Ray UAV completes low-speed taxi tests

The Boeing Phantom Ray unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) completed low-speed taxi tests on Nov. 18 at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis. Phantom Ray is designed to support potential missions that may include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; suppression of enemy air defenses; electronic attack; strike; and autonomous aerial refueling.

"Phantom Ray did exactly what it was supposed to do," says Craig Brown, Phantom Ray program manager for Boeing. "It communicated with the ground control station, received its orders and made its way down the runway multiple times, allowing us to assess its performance and monitor the advanced systems on board.

The tests were the first for the Phantom Ray UAV following its rollout ceremony in May. Boeing now will prepare Phantom Ray to travel to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on top of one of NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. At Edwards, Phantom Ray will undergo high-speed taxi tests before making its first flight. The flight-test program will last approximately six months.

Boeing's portfolio of UAV systems includes the A160T Hummingbird, Integrator, ScanEagle, SolarEagle, Phantom Eye, and Phantom Ray.

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