Boeing unveils unmanned Phantom Ray aircraft


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Feb 16, 2009
Boeing Monday unveiled its fighter-sized Phantom Ray unmanned aircraft, which is scheduled to fly in December.

"We are on a fast track, and first flight is in sight," Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works, said in a news release, noting that the program just started two years ago.

Phantom Ray, which evolved from the X-45C program, is designed to be a test bed for advanced technologies and support such missions as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, suppression of enemy air defenses, electronic attack, strike and autonomous aerial refueling, Boeing said.

The Phantom Ray is 36-feet long, with a 50-foot wingspan, a gross weight of 36,500 pounds, an operating altitude of 40,000 feet and a cruise speed of 614 mph (0.8 mach). It is scheduled for taxi tests this summer and, after first flight, nine more flights over about six months.

Craig Brown, Phantom Ray program manager for Boeing, said: "The initial flights will take Phantom Ray through its paces for the flight test profile. Beyond that, the missions and systems tested will be determined by future warfighter needs

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