Hydrogen-powered Phantom Eye aircraft demonstrated

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Thorlifter, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    IT Nerd
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx Jubail, Saudi Arabia
    Boeing’s Phantom Eye unmanned aircraft has completed its maiden flight, which lasted just under half-an-hour and followed a series of initial tests performed in April, and as it’s powered by hydrogen, nothing more harmful than water was emitted during the test.

    The Phantom Eye is just one of Boeing’s unmanned airborne systems, or UAS, and is designed to carry out surveillance and intelligence missions. The longer such aircraft can stay in the air, the better, hence the long-range hydrogen propulsion system.

    Once the Phantom Eye is operational, Boeing expects it to fly missions lasting up to four days without needing to land, all the while carrying 450-pounds of equipment. As you can see from the picture it’s not a small aircraft, and boasts a wingspan of 150-feet, which is larger than many medium-range passenger jets.

    The test flight took place at Edwards Air Base in California on June 1, and the Phantom Eye stayed airborne for 28-minutes, reaching an altitude of 4,080-feet and a speed of 62-knots. In the future, the plane will have a maximum cruising altitude of 65,000-feet.

    Of course, keeping an aircraft in continuous use for four days means it needs not only to be very reliable, but also require the minimum of maintenance. When the Phantom Eye was unveiled in 2010, Boeing revealed it would use two 150-horsepower, Ford 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engines, much like those found in Ford’s road cars, just converted for use with hydrogen. Tests of these engines in altitude chambers showed complete reliability for 600 hours, six times that needed for a four-day mission.

    Previous Phantom Eye tests have required the plane to be fueled with 1900-pounds of cryogenic hydrogen, a process which takes 12-hours, including priming the fuel system ready for flight. Hydrogen has long been seen as an alternative fuel source for cars, and projects like this help push the technology forward.

    Sadly, the Phantom Eye had a bumpy touchdown, as the landing gear dug into the ground and broke, but despite this set back plans are moving forward for the next test flight, where the plane will reach higher altitudes than this week’s early shakedown.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR5hXoEb98A
     

    Attached Files:

  2. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,501
    Likes Received:
    370
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    London Ontario Canada
    Cool thanks
     
  3. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    15,719
    Likes Received:
    339
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Auto Restoration
    Location:
    Abingdon, VA.
    Interesting Thor! Thank you for posting sir!:thumbleft:
     
  4. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,872
    Likes Received:
    637
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,740
    Likes Received:
    517
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Cool! It will be interesting to see how hydrogen powered flight develops of the next decade or so.
     
  6. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Looks like a bomb hanging from a wing.
    Hydrogen powered huh?
     
  7. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,886
    Likes Received:
    584
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    What I am curious about is "why reciprocating engines" in this day-and-age ...?

    MM
     
  8. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Likes Received:
    205
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    I'm guessing its easier to modify a piston engine to run on hydrogen than a turbine, they are readily available.
     
  9. barney

    barney Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    A cart for takeoff? So, how does it land?
     
  10. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Likes Received:
    205
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    With undercarriage - and poorly, by the sounds of it...
    From the youtube video comments, made by Boeing
     
  11. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Tired and Retired
    Location:
    Northeast North Carolina
    #11 oldcrowcv63, Jun 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012
    Interesting post Thor,

    "In the future, the plane will have a maximum cruising altitude of 65,000-feet."

    Hydrogen powered aircraft. Why? Because we can of course. That hydrogen fuel is sooo efficient, and because the hydrogen engine exhaust is just water and not that nasty CO2 sh*t, it is far more eco-friendly. Or is it? The water exhaust will enter the atmosphere, unless of course it is captured and split into its constituent moliecules (for reuse) using the power made available by the onboard nuclear reactor or the embedded, hyper-efficient solar panels of unobtanium covering its upper surface. If it flies to stratospheric altitude, the exhausted water will enter the stratosphere where it will eat ozone very, very efficiently. Hydrogen-powered, high-altitude aircraft = increased probability of skin cancers. Hmmm, I am feeling quite green this morning. But I guess one such aircraft doesn't pose much of a threat.

    Commander Buzz Kill.
     
Loading...

Share This Page