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?
10/12/2011 10:26:55 AM
I believe if it's a fighter, it's kinda hoped that it can come back to base and be re-used again...and with a AIM-120D being 700k+ it probably should come back to be re-fueled, play a game of chess, and go out and be used again.
...but even with today's best operational tech, even these aren't anywhere close to 100% successful.
RE: Dog fights?
10/12/2011 12:12:36 PM
I'm totally against the idea of having robotic fighters due to the flexibility that a real pilot in the seat affords.
I'll admit though, in a real pilot versus robotic pilot scenario, say the package was in deep past the FLOT carrying a full bombload and happened to be pinged by a 2 or 4-ship of Migs/Sukhois, the robotic pilot would be far more flexible. The human pilot might turn and run or take a shot, though, if they take a shot, if fired upon themselves they'll have to emergency jettison all their ground ordinance or risk both their own life and the airframe's. A drone though, they can gamble with it as they cost less to begin with--i.e. play chicken with it and see which side wimps out first. The first one to brake from radar cone/lock ends up at the extreme disadvantage (and their slammer will lose radar guidance assuming they haven't gone active yet) reducing the PK.
"This is from the DailyTech.com. It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
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
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 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
Most Popular Articles
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
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 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information