Feature Story

Phantom Eye's next generation

Boeing Phantom Eye

Boeing

Boeing engineers combine youth and experience to move the Phantom Eye one flight test closer to its goal of reaching 65,000 feet.

The Boeing Phantom Eye flew its sixth flight test in mid-December at Edwards Air Force Base in California. During the flight test, the Phantom Eye surpassed its previous endurance high mark, flying for longer than five hours.

Great amounts of time, energy and hard work by the Phantom Eye engineering team prepared Boeing’s hydrogen-powered high altitude long endurance unmanned aircraft for such a milestone. The team consists of engineers representing several decades in age range. The youngest engineer on the team is in his early twenties, while some of the more experienced team members are in their sixties.

Phantom Eye program manager, Brad Shaw, sees the wide variety of ages on his team as a distinct advantage for working in rapid prototyping. The Phantom Eye program requires quick thinking and even quicker solutions. Shaw believes the diversity in age range and experience levels leads to his team forming fresh and new ideas. The Phantom Eye engineer team exemplifies a cohesive blend of experience and teamwork, working together to achieve the program's intended goals.

The youngest member of the team, David Schwertner, is a 22-year-old test requirements analysis engineer. With only six months on his resume as a member of the Phantom Eye team, David agrees that when it comes to rapid prototyping, one cannot afford any kind of generation gap interfering with the team’s progress. Such gaps do not exist on this team, leading to another successful flight test for the Boeing Phantom Eye.