Skip to comments.Navy catapults unmanned aircraft for first time
Posted on 11/29/2012 9:36:01 PM PST by ExxonPatrolUs
The U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman have conducted the Navy's first catapult launch of an unmanned aircraft on Thursday, marking the first of a series of shore-based catapult-to-flight tests over the next few weeks.
Using the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator, the Navy's UCAS Carrier Demonstration program plans to catapult the aircraft from a ship base, making history, next year.
Mike Mackey, UCAS-D program director for Northrop Grumman, said, "Today's successful launch is another critical milestone in the carrier-stability testing phase of the UCAS-D program."
The test was conducted at a shore-based catapult facility at Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Md. Northrop Grumman said in a statement following the launch that the X-47B did a test flight over the Chesapeake Bay to simulate what the aircraft will have to do when it lands on a ship.
The test flight also allowed the team to collect navigation data about each of the maneuvers performed. Mackey said, "It also provides another confidence-building step toward our rendezvous with history next year."
A program goal for 2013 is to demonstrate the launch, recovery and air traffic control operations abilities of an X-47B to operate from a Navy aircraft carrier.
The Northrop Grumman Corporation, a leading global security company, is the Navy's main contractor for the UCAS-D program.
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If the “pilot” is female, will that count as having a woman in a combat role?
Nothing new. The F/A-18 has been taking hands off cat shots for ever.
I suspect that women dreon drivers have already sent more than a few Taliban to meet Allah.
Do those computer terminals come with vanity mirrors so they can put their make-up on while they fly?
I recall an interview with an A-10 Warthog pilot, Call sign KC. It stood for Killer Chick! She brought back a thoroughly shot-up plane from a mission over Baghdad in Iraq 1.
I remember it because I’m a former ground-pounder and I love that plane. KC was a knockout as well.
Fox has a caption for pictures “Here’s a brief look at the latest in the growing drone army.”
An army of airplanes?