Navy X-47B Demonstrator Takes First Gear Up Cruise Flight
October 11, 2011 1:54 PM
comment(s) - last by
X-47B in Flight
X-47 from Below
The flight is part of expanded envelope for the program
The military is
using robots for bomb discovery/disposal
and for carrying equipment for forces in the field. The military is also moving to
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to help patrol skies
and keep human soldiers safe from unnecessary risks.
The last new UAV we talked about for the Navy was back in December of 2010 when the
first appeared. That unmanned X-47B demonstrator has hit a new milestone that is very important. The demonstrator has made its first flight with its landing gear retracted in cruise configuration.
During the flight, which took place from Edwards Air Force Base, the precision navigation hardware and software was validated. This is the software and hardware that will allow the fighter to land on the deck of a moving ship.
"Last week's flight gave us our first clean look at the aerodynamic cruise performance of the X-47B air system…and it is proving out all of our predictions," said Janis Pamiljans, vice president and Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "Reaching this critical test point demonstrates the growing maturity of the air system, and its readiness to move to the next phase of flight testing."
The flight was part of the expanded envelop of the first two X-47B aircraft that were built by Northrop Grumman for the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration program. The X-47B is set to start carrier testing in 2012.
The design of the X-47B allows for attack missions with low observability, and the aircraft uses no tail, looking like a combination of the F-117 Nighthawk and the B-2 Spirit.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Dog fights?
10/11/2011 4:48:23 PM
Just to piggyback on your explanation:
The U.S. military uses an MDS (Mission, Design, Series) designation for aircraft. So X-47B equals:
D=Design Number (47th design)
S=Series (B-second variant)
Note: There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rules, and aircraft can have more than one mission (MC-130H, KC-10, SR-71, etc).
The Design numbers reset to 1 a few years ago, so we could see repeats of numbers from previous aircraft (ala another B-17), but it's unlikely.
Haven't seen an MDS go beyond the "Z"series, though, so no idea what would happen there.
RE: Dog fights?
10/11/2011 5:43:40 PM
As a note, SR-71's designation having two letters doesn't refer to dual roles. SR-71s were strict reconnaissance craft. SR stands for Strategic Reconnaissance. It was originally supposed to have the designation of RS-71 (Recon. Mission, Spaceplane airframe), but there was a general that liked Strategic Recon. better, and lobbied to have the name changed. The 71 was because it followed the Original Bomber numbering system (B-70 was the design prior in that group).
has all the details on the designation system.
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
Computer Network Controlling UAVs Infected by Computer Virus
October 10, 2011, 12:03 AM
Toy RC Truck Helps Saves Lives in Afghanistan
August 6, 2011, 9:15 PM
Navy X-47B Unmanned Fighter Set for First Flight
December 17, 2010, 1:38 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Most Popular Articles
Worth the Wait? Microsoft Teases at Windows 10 Flagship Phones to Air Oct. 6
September 15, 2015, 5:13 PM
Apple's First Fixes to iOS 9 Land w/ iOS 9.0.1 Release
September 23, 2015, 6:11 PM
Breaking Bad: How to Crash Google's Chrome Browser With Just 8 Characters
September 23, 2015, 11:08 AM
Apple Watch Commands 2 in 3 Smart Watch Sales, WatchOS 2 Sweetens the Pitch
September 20, 2015, 6:07 PM
Fakebook Pt. I: From "The Chive" to "AskMen"; How Facebook's Phonies are Born and Used
September 15, 2015, 4:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information