Feeds

'Phantom Eye' hydrogen strato-spy drone starts building

Cruises 12 miles up on pair of Ford car engines

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Global arms'n'aerospace behemoth Boeing says it will now begin work in earnest on its "Phantom Eye" high-altitude hydrogen spy drone, powered by a pair of modified Ford car engines.

The unmanned Phantom Eye will, according to Boeing engineers, be able to cruise for as long as four days at a time at altitudes of up to 65,000 feet.

The Ford car engine intended for stratospheric hydrogen service. Credit: Boeing

They should call it the Ford bi-motor, not the Phantom Eye.

“The essence of Phantom Eye is its propulsion system,” says Darryl Davis, Boeing bigwig. “[It] will be ready to fly early next year.”

The propulsion system in question is a four-cylinder petrol engine from Ford, the same kind used in some Ford Fusion models, modified to run on hydrogen. The engine and its associated turbochargers and controls have now passed tests in a low-pressure altitude chamber on the ground, and Boeing's advanced-concepts Phantom Works* shop will now build it into an actual flying aircraft.

Boeing has no customer lined up for the Phantom Eye, but would naturally hope that various arms of the US government might like to buy it for "missions that could include intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance and communication".

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.