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Frontiers August 2014 Issue

PHOTOS: (Opposite page, clockwise from top) Dan Watts, Boeing Research & Technology engineer, prepares to disconnect the demonstrator from the tow vehicle; Program Manager Brad Shaw monitors weather conditions; the Launch and Recovery team completes a safety huddle. (This page, top photos) Jon Muir, flight-test operations manufacturing manager, Boeing Test & Evaluation, performs checks on air data sensor vanes. (Above) The demonstrator’s engines come alive. its flight envelope has been carefully expanded. All test flights have taken place from the dry lakebed at NASA’s Armstrong Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. To minimize the prototype’s weight and improve its altitude and endurance capabilities, Phantom Eye has distinctive takeoff and landing gear. It rests on a special launch cart as it speeds down the lakebed, and when the wings generate enough lift, Phantom Eye separates from the cart, which brakes to a stop. For landing, Phantom Eye approaches the lakebed at about 70 mph (110 kilometers per hour) and lands on a lightweight main landing gear skid like a glider. Its nose gear features a caster for landing. But what sets Phantom Eye apart Frontiers August 2014 33


Frontiers August 2014 Issue
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