Boeing Phantom Ray – Futuristic Stealth Spy Plane
There are new additions in the war technologies every now and then and the latest one is from Boeing. Taking stealth technologies to new heights, Boeing has unveiled a latest unmanned spy plane in a ceremony in St Louis yesterday. The cutting-edge unmanned airborne system (UAS) which looks more like a futuristic star-figher is christened as Phantom Ray.
This sleek gun metal craft with a wingspan of 50ft, measures 36ft long and weighs 36,500lbs. The unmanned aircraft is capable of operating at an altitude of 40,000ft, which is approximately 10,000ft higher than that of an average long-haul commercial airliner.
Developed by Boeing Phantom Works, the spy plane is based on a prototype that company originally built for the US army. The stealth airplane can fly comfortably at a speed of 614mph, or 0.8mach, merely few fractions less than the speed of sound.
The aircraft is designed in such a way to create a very log radar cross section and it doesn’t betray its presence in the enemy territory. The engine is hidden within the body of the craft to reduce the infra-red signature, thus throwing missiles off its course and any weaponry in the aircraft comes to the fore only when needed.
The demonstration vehicle intended to be a flying test bed for future technology development opportunities can vitally be used for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; suppression of enemy air defenses; electronic attack and autonomous aerial refueling.
The vehicle has been developed in two years through a process called rapid prototyping and manufacturing. It is scheduled for testing this summer and is due to launch in December, with 10 flights planned over six months.