- SAN DIEGO (CNN) -- Although the Air Force could conceivably use its newest
spy plane to look for speeders on the highways, it has moreambitious plans
for the sophisticated Global Hawk.
- Flying at 65,000 feet, the Global Hawk
"can read license plates," says Claude Hesham, vice president
of Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical, which helped design the plane.
- Created in conjunction with the U.S.
military, the Global Hawk is the first high-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned
aerial reconnaissance system. In layman's terms, it's a spy plane that
flies on its own.
- The Global Hawk can fly for 40 hours
at a time with the help of two computers preprogrammed for navigation.
- Hesham said a 56-minute test flight over
Edwards Air Force Base last weekend marked a tremendous accomplishment
for Teledyne Ryan and a breakthrough for the military: the United States
now has capability to send planes into hostile areas without risking anyone's
- Reporter Debra Takahara contributed to