Battleland

Phantom Eye in the Sky

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Tuesday’s killing of al-Qaeda deputy  Abu Yahya al-Libi proves that persistence pays when it comes to tracking down terrorists. Boeing has just completed the first autonomous flight of its Phantom Eye aircraft over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., which blazes a new contrail in long-staring persistence.

This is a prototype of the next generation in drone technology: an aircraft that never blinks as it circles more than 10 miles above a battlefield or a natural disaster. Plans call for it to be up there 10 days at a time, powered by hydrogen-fueled engines.

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