Phantom Ray unmanned aircraft makes its debut

May 12, 2010

After only two years of development, the Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system (UAS) was unveiled at a ceremony in St. Louis on May 10. Built by Boeing in St. Louis, the sleek, fighter-sized UAS combines survivability with a powerful arsenal of new capabilities.

“Phantom Ray offers a host of options for our customers as a test bed for advanced technologies, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; suppression of enemy air defenses; electronic attack and autonomous aerial refueling - the possibilities are nearly endless,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Defense, Space & Security.

With a 50-foot wingspan and measuring 36 feet long, Phantom Ray was designed and developed by Boeing Phantom Works based on a prototype the company had originally created less than a decade ago for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)/U.S. Air Force/U.S. Navy Joint-Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) program. Using a rapid-prototyping approach, Phantom Ray evolved into the technology demonstrator unveiled today on the floor of Boeing’s St. Louis facility.

“We’re really excited about this because Phantom Works is back as a rapid prototyping house, operation and organization,” said Craig Brown, Boeing Phantom Ray program manager. “This is the first of what I expect to be many exciting prototypes, and they’re all with exciting technology.”

Financed entirely by Boeing, Phantom Ray is a testament to the company and its Phantom Works division’s commitment to becoming the leader in the global unmanned systems market.

“Phantom Ray represents a series of significant changes we’re making within Boeing Defense, Space & Security,” said Darryl Davis, president of Phantom Works. “For the first time in a long time, we are spending our own money on designing, building and flying near-operational prototypes. We’re spending that money to leverage the decades of experience we have in unmanned systems that span the gamut from sea to space.”

This aircraft is on-schedule to take its first taxi tests later this summer and soar through its initial flight profiles as early as December, continuously gaining ground toward becoming an unmanned system that could one day penetrate enemy forces and provide a new specter of security for the warfighter.

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User comments : 17

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Bookbinder
1 / 5 (3) May 12, 2010
Uh... If it's unmanned why is there a cockpit and a windscreen?
Erog
5 / 5 (4) May 12, 2010
Um, that is a intake not a cockpit or windscreen . .
baudrunner
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2010
Between the X37-B and the rapid-prototyping success story of the Phantom Ray, I'd say that Boeing has not been resting on its laurels. Kudos!
JimB135
not rated yet May 12, 2010
What a cool machine! I'm sure there will be no end to the ways the DOD will want to configure this machine to rain down death and destruction. Sucks to be Taliban these days. Can't seem unmanned planes, cant hear em. But they are there constantly driving hellfire missiles home every chance they get.
RevJones
3.7 / 5 (3) May 12, 2010
That's not a cockpit and a windscreen, it's an engine inlet.
GaryB
5 / 5 (2) May 12, 2010
Uh... If it's unmanned why is there a cockpit and a windscreen?


That's for the dwarf who squeezes in there and pilots the craft. These are good days to be dwarfs.

Do you need glasses?
DickWilhelm
not rated yet May 13, 2010
Quite impressive, very aggressive plane :p The previous model suggests an attack role but saw no mention of it. The Predators are armed now so why not this? Wish they had published numbers on speed also.
PS3
5 / 5 (1) May 13, 2010
What unmanned spaceship does Boeing have?
Pkunk_
not rated yet May 13, 2010
Just add a few LED lights that blink left to right.
And you have something that looks just like a Cylon Raider.

That thing looks scary.
unbreakable
3.7 / 5 (3) May 13, 2010
So everybody is happy that they have made war and death of others less painful. Now war is a videogame. And now the war machines will be advertised along with soft drinks and bubblegum on tv. They are smiling and they feel pride for making a bomber? This is so cheesy that it seems like a bad sci-fi movie... !
Husky
5 / 5 (1) May 13, 2010
i think one of their major rolls is not predator like mission (you know, slow propellor plane against soft ground targets), but its jetengine implies it will rather be used primarely to penetrate hostile air defenses, take on enemy fighterplanes, harde groundtargets,the first wave of UAV serves as sam-bait after wich the F-22s roll in,
tflahive
not rated yet May 13, 2010
How does it turn or change elevation?
tmr3513
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2010
It is so ironic that Boeing and their Skunkworks would show this air frame to the public.I suppose they have done it so when people see their real manned manta ray craft, they can say 'no you saw this".

This manned craft already exists.
Check out this link.
http://government...pot.com/
Wolf359
1 / 5 (2) May 13, 2010
So everybody is happy that they have made war and death of others less painful. Now war is a videogame. And now the war machines will be advertised along with soft drinks and bubblegum on tv. They are smiling and they feel pride for making a bomber?


There's one of these boobs in every thread. Who do you think protects your right to say such dumb things?
BakerFox
not rated yet May 13, 2010
I think it's cool. I have one on my Microsoft flight simulator.

barakn
not rated yet May 16, 2010
There's one of these boobs in every thread. Who do you think protects your right to say such dumb things?

Since when did blowing up a wedding party in Afghanistan protect unbreakable's right to free speech?
otto1923
not rated yet May 16, 2010
So everybody is happy that they have made war and death of others less painful. Now war is a videogame. And now the war machines will be advertised along with soft drinks and bubblegum on tv. They are smiling and they feel pride for making a bomber? This is so cheesy that it seems like a bad sci-fi movie... !
Go, seek out thine enemies and prostrate thyself unto them... that they might bludgeon thee into submission for daring to be born on the Wrong Side. Idioticles1:11