Stealth technology used to be a dream, but advancements in technology over the years have turned it into reality, helping save lives while making sensitive military operations far more effective in the process. Boeing does not just make jumbo jets, but they are also one of the main defense contractors for the US military, and have come up with a bevy of awesome machines over the years in the defense of our beloved homeland. Their latest addition to the family, the Boeing Phantom Ray stealth UAV performed its maiden flight lsat week out of Edwards Air Force Base.
This is a fighter-size plane, where it was derived from Boeing’s unsuccessful X-45 bid where the Navy’s unmanned combat air system demonstrator program is concerned. It should be called the Phoenix instead, since Boeing engineers literally rose the X-45 design from the ashes, tweaking it and developing the bird on the company’s personal budget.
The Phantom Ray flew to 7,500 feet and reached a speed of 178 knots, proving that it is airworthy, with engineers ready to push the plane higher and faster in due time while making sure it can perform ever more complex manuvers to ensure that it works as designed. Once that is completed, Boeing will move on to test the plane’s ability to perform a range of actions, such as to conduct ISR and close air support missions to electronic warfare and autonomous mid-air refueling.