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Boeing works on large UAV with a 10-day endurance!

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posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 08:04 AM


Boeing and a team of partners have been working for more than two years on a large, hydrogen-fuelled, high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), according to George Muellner, president of advanced systems for the company's Integrated Defense Systems unit.

"We are almost ready to build a full-scale prototype and could take a decision in the next six months," he said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

OMG, this is a giant leap forward, Muellner also said it will have a 10-day endurance! The RQ-4 Global Hawk 'only' has an endurance of around 32 hours. Unfortunately most of the Janes article is for subscribers only, and I can't find any other information about this program elsewhere.


posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 08:59 AM

have a look at this one for QinetiQ - solar power and barreries for back up to loiter for weeks and months at a time!

It just seems these high in the sky 24/7 UAV /UCAV's are getting closer to the stage where we all will be watched 24/7 - 365.

You don't think that these will be used for just combat do you? next will be border patrols, then will come internal surviellance ect ect ect....

cool though

[edit on 5/7/06 by GSA]

posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 09:05 AM
Wow. That is amazing. This is a HUGE leap forward in UAV design. 10 days above one spot? Could you imagine the intel that could provide!? And it's also good to see that they are using hydrogen and solar power - not that they had much choice. I want more facts! How high? How fast? Stealth features? Bloody Janes; subscribers only. Hmph!

posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 09:57 AM
"OMG, this is a giant leap forward, Muellner also said it will have a 10-day endurance!"

Compared to airships which can stay aloft for as long as you like.

Or you could alwsys refuel your UAVs for the same effect.

NASA's HALSOL and other solar-powered drones have shown that indefinite endurance (months+) is quite feasible. Who knows what black versions of these there are. And whether they are large, slow and boomerang-shaped


posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 11:06 AM
They say it will be the same size as boeings condor project - Oh and here is a picture of the condor (1988) It was a massive success but was binned....hhhmmm I wonder why? Any how heres the link to the piccie of the Condor UAV.

Nice isn't it? : )

posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 12:30 PM
I see... can't wait to see that in an air-show...
It would never land...

[edit on 5-7-2006 by Figher Master FIN]

posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 01:08 PM

Originally posted by Wembley
Compared to airships which can stay aloft for as long as you like.

NASA's HALSOL and other solar-powered drones have shown that indefinite endurance (months+) is quite feasible.

Airships are slow and huge, making them very difficult to hide for enemy radar systems. Solar powered UAVs (NASA's Helios) are also very slow and can hardly get off the ground. They can't lift the sensors needed for high altitude reconnaissance.

posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 01:36 PM
Zion, that isn’t totally true. While I agree that solar powered UAVs can’t compare to more conventionally powered aircraft when it comes to payload, they are still capable enough to carry out numerous rolls. For example, though massive, Helios could carry quite a decent payload. They’re not difficult to launch either, Mercator (a development of Zephyr) can be launched in a number of ways including human assisted from a conventional runway or via a balloon assisted ascent.

They’re not going to replace the Global Hawk but they serve a purpose that can’t currently be provided by any other type of vehicle.

posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 02:24 PM

Originally posted by Zion Mainframe
making them very difficult to hide for enemy radar systems.

Incorrect. The thin skins of Aerostats are Transparent to RADAR I believe. Though the optical properties are less then ideal ATM, which can be solved if Materials science solves the rigidity problem of modern textiles used in Non-Vacuum lift systems(Helium is used as a displacement gas, if Helium wasn't needed, then when you calculate Lift through Displacement, you wouldn't have to subtract the gas if it's just Vacuum), a Vacuum lift system would be able to take advantage of both aerodynamics and aerostatic technologies, be any shape or size, and use a fraction of the fuel conventional UAV's use. The technology isn't there yet though.

Right now the smart thing to do would be to continue on the same course, except start putting more money into alternatives which could change the shape of the battlefield in ways we can't even predict now.

[edit on 5-7-2006 by sardion2000]

posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 02:35 PM
10 days ! Man that's outrageous, that thing could just keep flying around the world, meaning constant information 24/7. Yes I know they have that now & more but these things would be so versatile . Nice info my Friend.

posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 08:47 PM

Originally posted by sardion2000

Incorrect. The thin skins of Aerostats are Transparent to RADAR I believe.

True enough, the skins can be quite thin and radar transparent. However, one must consider the structural elements (beams, girders or thier cousins) needed to keep even a helium displacement body from collapsing inward upon itself. Plenty of RAM, exotic materials or well shaped carbon fiber composites would be needed here. Likely, a combination would be better suited to such a problem.

Consider how difficult it is to design the external structure of the B-2. Now, make it's skin completely transparent to radar. Finally, consider all of the internal bulkheads, spars, etc... which will reflect radar waves any which way - while retaining thier structural qualities.

With a transparent skin, the hull of the aircraft can be nearly radar transparent - but how do you design structural elements which reflect radar away from its source from every angle, even from within the aircraft?

Likely, more mass would be needed for either shape based or material based solutions to this problem. Again, a combination of techniques is likely, in which case the total mass increases even further. and the size of the helium displacement or vacuum body would increase quite quickly. Requiring more structure... repeat this problem ad infinitum, and you have to think of something else to get to a stealth aerostat.

Such as an aerogel-like skin or inner layers of skin which, instead of being transparent to radar, absorbs it. Traditional materials would weigh entirely too much for such a skin. But, if an aerogel laminate were made with a radar absorbant material and succesive layers of atmospheric gas-rich and -starved (vacuum) material, then a "shell" could succeed the girders-and-beams paradigm necessary for the outer structure, and provide the skin as well. Pressure differentials between the inner vacuum and the outer atmosphere could be mitigated by the succesive layers of aerogel material, while providing RAM properties as well.

Plasma can come into play here as well, since we're not talking about high speeds. Indeed, between an inner and outer hull on such a craft, a plasma based system might just be able to hide any "unstealthy" structural elements as well as the skin of the craft as well.

Either way, the nearly transparent to radar nature of aerostat skins are not necessarily helpfull. A bit more ingenuity is needed.

[edit on 6-7-2006 by TheeStateMachine]

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