The Vulture UAV is a future Boeing design for a long endurance, high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle. Designed for DARPA(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the Vulture will be able to stay in the air for 5 years, turning in lazy circles, above any area that needs constant observation. Its day and night cameras (each with a 600-mile swath) will send information back to ground bases. The drone will also be made of semi-flexible materials that will bend with the air instead of moving with it. At day, the Vulture will be powered by sunlight through solar panels and by batteries at night.
The initial US$89 million contract award was made to Boeing on September 14, 2010. On April 18, 2012, DARPA descoped the flight vehicle construction and flight test portion of the project, designating the remaining $13.7M for technology risk reduction on photovoltaics and solid fuel cells.
The Boeing SolarEagle is a subscale demonstrator, designed to stay airborne for 30 days at high altitude. The SolarEagle’s first flight is to take place in 2014.
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|USA||Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)||Arlington, Virginia||http://www.darpa.mil/|