A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Boeing Phantom Eye performing taxi tests in preparation for its next flight. That second test flight took place yesterday, and it was a great success according to the developers.
In this second flight, the Phantom Eye flew to an altitude of 8,000 feet and lasted for 66 minutes, doubling the parameters of its first flight. The longer flight allowed technicians to collect a lot more quality data to further the development process.
The other happy outcome from this flight was that the plane landed successfully. After the first flight, the gear collapsed causing some damage to the aircraft. In this second attempt the landing was picture perfect. What is really interesting about this plane’s landing is that it only has two sets of gear, so once the plane comes to a stop, it leans to the side and rests on its own wingtip.
In watching the video below this thing just looks almost graceful in flight. With most of my recent flying experience being around military planes, it is a nice change of pace to see something look so clean and smooth in flight.
I have yet to see any kind of expected release date for the Phantom Eye, but if it lives up to its goals of 65,000 altitude, and up to four days of continuous flight, it is sure to be useful in all different types of applications.