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Phantom Eye to get nose gear redesign

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posted on Jun, 21 2012 @ 11:33 PM
Boeing's Phantom Eye will require a redesign of the nose gear after a landing accident on the first flight of the vehicle. The aircraft flew for 26 minutes on June 4th, but suffered damage to the nose gear on landing. The main skid touched down, but when the nose gear came down, it snapped. The aircraft slid 650ft afterwards, suffering minor damage.

The Phantom Eye is a one off design for a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAS, and is designed to fly for more than four days, at an altitude of 65,000 feet, with a 150 pound payload.

The Boeing Phantom Eye, a high-altitude, long endurance test bed, will require a nose gear redesign after the component snapped during the aircraft's first landing at Edwards AFB, California.

"Hardware-wise, there will be changes based on what we learned," says programme manager Drew Mallow. "I anticipate very little changes to the main landing gear, but we will redesign the nose landing gear based on what we learned."

"The [main gear] skid came down on the lakebed and the vehicle slid for white a while," says Mallow, but "the nose gear was unable to take the load applied to it and actually the wheel snapped." The aircraft slid 200m (650ft) after the incident, and Boeing is continuing to evaluate the airframe and systems for damage.


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