Secret Program

Boeing was originally expected to start taxi tests with its Phantom Ray stealth unmanned aircraft demonstrator (see Staying in the Game above) this spring, but it only just got a piece of the airplane back from a classified program, so there will be a delay, Boeing Phantom Works president Darryl Davis said Monday. The classified program was using Boeing’s Phantom Ray stealth exhaust system in conjunction with a General Electric F404 engine, but the project wasn’t connected with a new long-range strike system, Davis said, offering little else. The exhaust is “pretty expensive” and Boeing didn’t want to fabricate another, so it decided to wait until the other project was concluded, he said.