Boeing’s Phantom Ray UAS demonstrator made its first flight on April 27, taking off from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California for a 17 minute mission.
During its brief flight, which followed a series of high speed taxis tests in March to validate ground guidance, navigation and control, mission planning, the pilot interface and operational procedures, the Phantom Ray reached an altitude of 7800ft and a speed of 178kt, and demonstrated its basic airworthiness.
“It’s the beginning of providing our customers with a test bed to develop future unmanned systems technology, and a testament to the capabilities resident within Boeing,” said said Darryl Davis, president, Boeing Phantom Works. “Just as follow-on tests will expand Phantom Ray’s flight envelope, they also will help Boeing expand its presence in the unmanned systems market.”
Boeing says its self funded Phantom Ray demonstrator could be developed for ISR, SEAD, electronic attack, strike and autonomous air refuelling missions.