Military Review

The flight of the UAV on liquid hydrogen

13
The new unmanned aerial vehicle of the Boeing company, called the Phantom Eye, made the first flight, which ended, in general, successfully, despite the fact that there was a rather hard landing and the landing gear was broken.

The flight of the UAV on liquid hydrogen


The drone started last Friday at 6:22 a.m. aviation NASA "Edwards", located in the state of California (USA). Despite the fact that the Phantom Eye flight could theoretically last for four days without refueling, this time the flight lasted only twenty eight minutes, and took place at altitudes that do not exceed 1200 meters, and at a limited speed of 115 km / h.

Unlike the American company Lockheed Martin, which succeeded in developing and building a large unmanned aerial vehicle with a fixed wing, but then rejected by the Air Force and the United States Army, representatives of Boeing believe that they will succeed. Indeed, the use of liquid hydrogen (it is twice as large as oil products by specific energy intensity) as a fuel enables the scout to be in the air for up to ninety-six hours, compared to thirty-six for Lockheed Martin's RQ-4 Global Hawk. At the same time, the dimensions of the structure are titanic, as evidenced by the wingspan of the Phantom Eye, which is 76,25 meters, as well as the payload in 203 kilograms. The ceiling of this giant reaches twenty kilometers, and cruising speed reaches 278 km / h.




An empty drone weighs 3390 kilograms, which is also a record for a device that has such dimensions. This was possible due to the fact that carbon fiber was used in the construction, as well as due to the absence of a heavy chassis. This drone does not have a conventional chassis, but there is a special launch system consisting of a four-wheel trolley that accelerates the aircraft to 55 km / h. Such a system eliminates the unmanned aerial vehicle from the need to carry extra load in the form of a powerful chassis. Landing is carried out on the side supports and lightweight front wheel.

However, it was this trigger system that caused one of the aircraft racks to dive into the bottom of the lake when landing, which served as the runway. When landing on concrete, of course, this would not have happened. However, now the possibility of landing and taking off from unpaved airfields, which was previously announced by the developers, is somewhat doubtful. Yes, and it is unlikely that what happened was the only hitch in the autonomous first flight, since it was supposed to last from 2's to 4's hours, and it ended in less than thirty minutes, although Boeing did not report the reasons for the “short program.”



In fact, future prospects associated with the development of an aircraft-type reconnaissance drone are also overshadowed by competitors. The British airship LEMV, which one of these days will begin to pass tests, is capable of burying the project, since this aircraft can be in the air for twenty one days. Since neither LEMV, nor the Phantom Eye can be used against a well-armed country, the Phantom Eye's large ceiling most likely will not help it defeat the aeronautical competitor. In addition, diesel fuel used by airship engines is much cheaper than liquid hydrogen consumed by the Phantom Eye.

However, not only new aircraft are insured against breakdowns. Therefore, it is worth waiting for the completion of tests of a competing airship.

Prepared by materials Boeing и compulenta.ru
13 comments
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  1. Igor
    Igor 7 June 2012 09: 08
    +3
    4 days without refueling! How we lagged behind the Americans in the field of UAVs.
    1. Civil
      Civil 7 June 2012 09: 16
      +2
      UAV ... a sore subject,
      1. Professor
        Professor 7 June 2012 10: 52
        +6
        Here it is an alternative to oil. Electric cars, hydrogen on hydrogen. However, we live in an interesting time.
        1. Aleksey67
          Aleksey67 7 June 2012 11: 55
          +2
          Quote: Professor
          Here it is an alternative to oil.

          Just a slogan. While there is no particular alternative to oil, except gas winked
          Quote: Professor
          Electric cars

          Battery disposal and intermittent expensive replacement makes them uneconomical smile
          Quote: Professor
          Hydrogen aircraft

          I wonder how with security? An UAV will explode and to hell with it, but a passenger?
          Quote: Professor
          However, we live in an interesting time.

          I agree smile
          1. leon-iv
            leon-iv 7 June 2012 12: 34
            -1
            While there is no particular alternative to oil, except gas
            In which industry?
            Battery disposal and intermittent expensive replacement makes them uneconomical
            Question Series
            An UAV will explode and to hell with it, but a passenger?
            Does kerosene not explode here?
            1. postman
              postman 12 June 2012 22: 13
              0
              Quote: leon-iv
              In which industry?

              In all + in transport
              Quote: leon-iv
              Question Series

              accumulators and batteries (batteries) it "does not save".
              high cost and low temperature range
              Quote: leon-iv
              Does kerosene not explode here?

              and what is an explosive mixture?
              the state of aggregation of kerosene and hydrogen at t = 20g.
              Flash point?
              compare kerosene and hydrogen like a finger and its antipode
          2. Professor
            Professor 7 June 2012 14: 08
            -1
            There is an alternative (I am silent about atomic energy in general), hydrogen, biofuel, etc.

            Battery disposal and intermittent expensive replacement makes them uneconomical

            You tell this to millions of customers who successfully use electric cars and hybrids. In the near future, there will be more.
            http://www.betterplace.com/

            I wonder how with security?

            Aviation kerosene is also not at all safer, but everyone uses it. wink
            1. ICT
              ICT 7 June 2012 18: 53
              0
              IT WAS AUTO AND WENT ON THE WOOD AND NOTHING
              the main thing in these things is the infrastructure, here with the union we had only one gas station to the city, and now they are on every corner that's the whole story,
            2. postman
              postman 12 June 2012 22: 41
              0
              Quote: Professor
              You tell this to millions of customers who successfully use electric cars and hybrids.

              electric cars - while exotic, no millions, thousands of power (including golfers)
              hybrids 0 for 2012 decline of orders by 20% compared to 2011.
              more than 43% (if I’m not mistaken) of owners of hybrid cars; when changing cars, they choose the traditional one, abandoning the hybrid
          3. Liliputin
            Liliputin 7 June 2012 21: 33
            -1
            Quote: Aleksey67
            While there is no particular alternative to oil, except gas

            For example, shale - which is immeasurable throughout the world ...
      2. borkovn
        borkovn 7 June 2012 18: 42
        +1
        Of course a sore subject. But it does not concern the USA and Israel, but all the rest.
    2. beard999
      beard999 7 June 2012 14: 47
      +1
      Quote: Igorek
      How did we lag behind the Americans in the field of UAV

      Left behind, of course. In the field of creation and practical application of UAVs, the whole world lagged behind the USA in general. Moreover, the hydrogen theme has nothing to do with this lag. Back in 1982, in the N. Kuznetsov Design Bureau, hydrogen aircraft engines were developed that underwent bench and flight tests. But that's not the point. There are quite a lot of obstacles to the widespread use of hydrogen. Hydrogen is stored in a liquefied, adsorbed or compressed gaseous state. The main problems that need to be solved when developing hydrogen storage technologies are related to ensuring their profitability and safety, which is directly related to the chemical and physical properties of hydrogen.
      After the disaster of the Hindenburg airship, hydrogen is considered a dangerous fuel. A mixture of hydrogen and air is an explosive. Hydrogen is more dangerous than gasoline, since it burns in a mixture with air in a wider range of concentrations. Gasoline does not burn with lambda less than 0,5 and more than 2, hydrogen at these ratios burns perfectly.
      A hydrogen power plant based on a traditional ICE is much more complicated and more expensive to maintain than a conventional ICE. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the operation of a hydrogen car at this stage in the development of hydrogen technology is 100 (!!!) times more expensive than gasoline.
      The volatility of hydrogen is the highest among gases, so hydrogen is difficult to store in liquid form, which makes it difficult to store hydrogen, transport, and use in a tank.
      The cost of gas stations with liquid hydrogen will be significantly more expensive than the cost of equipment for gasoline gas stations. (For example, according to GM, the construction of 12 thousand hydrogen gas stations in 2005 was estimated at $ 12 billion, i.e. $ 1 million per gas station, while the set of equipment for gasoline gas stations is 150 thousand).
      And hydrogen fuel is by no means cheap, 8 euros per kilogram, which in terms of gasoline equivalent is 2,7 euros per liter.
      On trifles there is still much that can be scraped against hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen as fuel was spoken even before WWII, but during this time it was not widely used. This in itself says a lot.
  2. crossbow
    crossbow 7 June 2012 11: 19
    +1
    Since neither LEMV nor Phantom Eye can be used against a well-armed country .......

    These are all said.
  3. Yoke
    Yoke 7 June 2012 11: 48
    +2
    Peppy Sausage)
  4. Dust
    Dust 7 June 2012 11: 50
    0
    Technically, one more serious step has been taken, but practically? Well, let it fly so much (although, as it turned out, it does not fly yet), but at what speed? Well, and how much will he pilit to his destination, especially if no one allows him to place another base very close to his borders or even on his territory? And isn't the hydrogen tank on the territory of such a base too loud, if that?
    1. Liliputin
      Liliputin 7 June 2012 21: 36
      +2
      Quote: Dust
      Technically, one more serious step has been taken, but practically? Well, let it fly so much (although, as it turned out, it does not fly yet), but at what speed? Well, and how much will he be sawing to his destination, especially if no one allows him to place another base very close to his borders or even on his territory?

      Here the question is the purpose of the device. Apparently - it is reconnaissance, not shock - and for such UAVs, speed is not the main thing. It is important for them to hang for a long time over the reconnaissance object and monitor its movements. It is here that the flight time is important!
  5. lotus04
    lotus04 7 June 2012 14: 34
    +1
    Good target.
  6. vylvyn
    vylvyn 8 June 2012 18: 46
    0
    Everything is clear with take-off, but what about landing? Amerikosy, ay, how will you substitute the wheels under your airship?
  7. postman
    postman 12 June 2012 23: 16
    0
    An empty drone weighs 3390 kilograms, which is also a record for an apparatus having such dimensions. This became possible due to the fact that carbon fiber was used in the design, as well as due to lack of heavy chassis.
    RQ-4 Global Hawk =4177 kg WITH A HEAVY CHASSIS!

    RQ-4 Global HawkMaximum take-off weight, kg: 11622,
    Fuel mass, kg: 6583, flight duration, h: 38, maximum speed, km / h: 639, load capacity, kg: 863

    Boeing phantom eyeMaximum take-off weight, kg: ND,
    Fuel mass, kg: nd, Flight duration, h: up to 90, Maximum speed, km / h: 277, load capacity, kg: 204-227

    morale: RQ-4 Global Hawk without a heavy chassis, with a similar payload (4,2 times less), at an economical speed (2,3 times less) WILL SHOW THE SAME RESULTS and for less money. It will not look like a "flying canister" ..