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The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team












Monday, November 22, 2010

Boeing Phantom Ray Taxi Tests Conducted November 18

(Boeing Photo)

Boeing News Release Issued: November 22, 2010 10:00 AM EST

Boeing Phantom Ray Completes Low-speed Taxi Tests

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 22, 2010 -- The Boeing Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system successfully completed low-speed taxi tests on Nov. 18 at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis.

"Phantom Ray did exactly what it was supposed to do," said Craig Brown, Phantom Ray program manager for Boeing. "It communicated with the ground control station, received its orders and made its way down the runway multiple times, allowing us to assess its performance and monitor the advanced systems on board."

The tests were the first for the Phantom Ray following its roll out ceremony in May. Boeing now will prepare Phantom Ray to travel to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on top of one of NASA’s modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. At Edwards, Phantom Ray will undergo high-speed taxi tests before making its first flight. The flight-test program will last approximately six months.

"The autonomous nature of this system is unique, so achieving this milestone speaks volumes about the technology and expertise of Boeing, the Phantom Works organization and the Phantom Ray team," said Dave Koopersmith, vice president, Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft.

Phantom Ray is designed to support potential missions that may include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; suppression of enemy air defenses; electronic attack; strike; and autonomous aerial refueling.

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