Friday, December 17, 2010

Phantom Ray Program Manager Craig Brown Speaks at Boeing AIAA Meeting

Phantom Ray Rollout, May 10, 2011 (Boeing Photo)

Phantom Ray Program Manager Craig Brown spoke at the St. Louis AIAA Chapter Meeting at Boeing IDS Headquarters Dec. 16.  The talk was especially timely in light of this week's ferry flight of the Phantom Ray atop the NASA 747 SCA and last month's successful low-speed taxi test at Lambert Airport.  Brown, a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and AF Reserve F-16 pilot, served as X-45 software team lead prior to becoming Phantom Ray Program Manager.  His presentation traced the development of both vehicles and offered insights on the flight test program scheduled for 2011.

Mr. Brown described the development of the X-45A as a DARPA/Air Force project that completed 64 flights demonstrating multiple-vehicle autonomous missions.  The short-lived X-45B joint Air Force and Navy project was quickly superseded by the X-45C.  The X-45C was 90% complete when the Northrop-Grumman X-47 was selected for further development.  That X-45C was completed as the Phantom Ray project, due for its first flight in March of 2011.

The dimensions and capabilities of the Phantom Ray are impressive.  The vehicle has a 50' wingspan and grosses at 36,500 lbs.  It is powered by a General Electric GE-404-102D (D for Dry-no afterburner) engine and can carry a variety of JDAM weapons.  It is designed to fly at 40,000 feet, with a combat radius of 1100 miles with auxiliary internal fuel.  It has an aluminum/composite skin construction, and contains all-electric flight controls.  Advanced construction methods preclude easy disassembly, thus the need for the NASA 747 SCA for transport to Edwards AFB earlier this week. 

The Phantom Ray is the result of new management practices in advanced vehicle engineering.  The Phantom Works division at Boeing employs rapid prototyping, which will continually produce prototypes within 24-30 month cycles using product teams with close relationships between engineering and production workers.  The Phantom Ray is a product of these management practices, going from X-45C to Phantom Ray, a new vehicle internally, between 2009 and first flight in 2011.

Progress on the Phantom Ray project has accelerated.  Rollout of the vehicle occurred on May 10, 2010, and taxi tests were conducted on November 18.  The ferry flight to Edwards AFB was on December 14, and first flight is scheduled for early March 2011.         

Monday, December 13, 2010

Boeing Phantom Ray Departs Lambert Airport on Test Flight Atop NASA 747

(Boeing Photo)

Boeing Press Release

The Boeing Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system sits atop a NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), a modified Boeing 747, as it takes off at 1:40 p.m. Central time for today's test flight at Lambert International Airport. The 50-minute flight was conducted in preparation for Phantom Ray's upcoming transport on the SCA to the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

"This is exciting not just because it's the first time that an aircraft other than the space shuttle has flown on the SCA, but also because it puts Phantom Ray that much closer to making its first flight," said Craig Brown, Phantom Ray program manager for Boeing.

The SCA flights with Phantom Ray are being conducted under a Boeing-funded, commercial Space Act Agreement with NASA. Once Phantom Ray arrives at Dryden, it will undergo ground and high-speed taxi tests to prepare for its first flight in early 2011.

Phantom Ray is one of several programs in Boeing's Phantom Works division that are part of the company's rapid prototyping initiative to design, develop and build advanced aircraft and then demonstrate their capabilities.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day Ceremony in Frontier Park Features Bill McClellan

The Colors Are Posted and Returned...

and a Wreath is Laid at the Veterans Memorial

St. Charles Mayor Patti York Addresses Veterans

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann Also Speaks

Keynote Speaker Bill McClellan Clarifies the Meaning of "Hero"

Cold War Veteran Stands Proudly for His Service

Bill McClellan Talks to Veteran Pilot

MO Commemorative Air Force B-25 Flyover During Ceremony

Saturday, November 6, 2010

St. Louis Veterans Day Parade Includes Variety of Participants

U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard Posts the Colors

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay Addresses Veterans and the Crowd

American Legion Funeral Honor Guard POW/MIA Ceremony

Massing of the Colors Opens the Parade

World Bird Sanctuary Provided this Majestic Bald Eagle

St. Louis Parade Favorite...Train, Truck Thing with Cannon on Top!

Classic Stingray

Awesome Custom Coupe

Hansen's Tree Service Monster Truck

Psychotic Car

Bikers, Bikers...

...and MORE Bikers!

First Responders Complete the Parade

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tea Party Express Rolls into St. Charles Tomorrow

Date/Time: Wednesday, October 27th @ 5:00 pm

The rally is set to kick off at 5:00 p.m. at 100 N. 7th street (Kiener plaza) in downtown St. Louis.


For more information, see