Called Phantom Eye, it's designed to fly for up to four days at a time. The drone completed its first test flight above the Mojave Desert at Edwards Air Force Base.
After touching down, the vehicle had problems when the landing gear dug into the lake bed and broke.
The Chicago-based company said engineers are assessing the damage but added that they plan on putting the Phantom Eye through more demanding test flights in the future.
The flight was powered by liquid hydrogen. Boeing says the fuel is a powerful alternative for vehicles that require endurance, and the combustion leaves only water in the atmosphere.
It took Boeing about four years to get the Phantom Eye to the runway, without the promise of a payout. Boeing does not have a contract on the drone; it is developing the craft at its own expense.