Boeing wins DARPA Vulture II program

  • 29-Sep-2010 11:44 EDT
Boeing-Vulture.jpg

SolarEagle is a uniquely configured, large unmanned aircraft designed to eventually remain on station at stratospheric altitudes for at least five years.

Boeing has signed an agreement with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop and fly the SolarEagle unmanned aircraft for the Vulture II demonstration program. Under the terms of the $89 million contract, SolarEagle will make its first demonstration flight in 2014. Boeing will develop a full-scale flight demonstrator, including maturation of the critical power system and structures technologies. Key suppliers for the program include Versa Power Systems and QinetiQ. During testing, the SolarEagle demonstrator will remain in the upper atmosphere for 30 days, harvesting solar energy during the day that will be stored in fuel cells and used to provide power throughout the night. The aircraft will have highly efficient electric motors and propellers and a high-aspect-ratio, 400-ft wing for increased solar power and aerodynamic performance.

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