The Phantom Eye rolls out of the hangar for a taxi test over the weekend. (Boeing image)

Boeing said today that its hydrogen-powered Phantom Eye aircraft performed well in a medium speed taxi test over the weekend, one of the final milestones before  the first flight of the aircraft.

The unique aircraft, with a 150-foot wingspan, is designed for “persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and communications.” In other words, it’s a spy plane. Boeing says it will fly at an altitude of up to 65,000 feet for up to four days, with a 450-pound payload.

Here’s a Boeing video of the taxi test March 10 at the Edwards Air Force Base in California. Next up is a higher-speed taxi test. A date for the first flight hasn’t yet been made public.

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  • Billg

    “no landing gear?” This is a one time usage plane?!? Now it’s interesting that they used hydrogen fuel for the engines, but they don’t look like turbo props. I wonder how well it compares to using a regular jet engine. Although for a spy plane speed isn’t the issue, fuel economy and slow speed flight for surveillance is.

    Still one wonders how well a 12hr cryogenic re-fueling system is going to work under front line conditions.

  • Mac

    I suspect they use a dolly for takeoff because of the high weight, vs. low weight on landing with a more conventional landing gear. I do know that there were problems with the gear upon landing the first time…

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