Navy Unmanned Aircraft Sets the Bar

By George Backwell
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Night-flying X-47B: Photo USN

The Navy's X-47B unmanned aircraft has completed its final test aboard 'USS Theodore Roosevelt' (CVN 71) and has returned to its home base at Naval Air Station Patuxent River after eight days at sea
, informs U.S. Naval Air Systems Command.

While underway, the X-47B flew in the carrier pattern with manned aircraft for the first time and conducted a total of five catapult launches, four arrestments and nine touch-and-go landings, including a night time shipboard flight deck handling evaluation.

"This is another detachment for the record books; all tests were safely and effectively executed," said Capt. Beau Duarte, Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager. "We have set the bar for the future of unmanned carrier aviation."


Testing began Aug. 17 when the X-47B performed its initial cooperative launch and recovery cycle with an F/A-18. With its automatic wing-fold capability and new tailhook retract system, the X-47B met the program's objective to demonstrate that carrier-based manned and unmanned aircraft could maintain a 90 second aircraft launch and recovery interval.



Throughout the week, the Navy/Northrop Grumman test team captured X-47B flying quality and recovery wind condition data to evaluate how the aircraft responds to wake turbulence during approach and landing. This data will be used to improve a simulation model for use with carrier-based aircraft.



The team also evaluated how the unmanned aircraft performed during the first night time taxi and deck handling operations aboard a carrier. Since the shipboard environment presents different challenges at night, this test was an incremental step in developing the operational concept for more routine unmanned air system flight activity.



"We conducted X-47B night flight deck operations to understand the human interface and suitability of the unmanned air vehicle and deck operator's hand-held control unit in the night environment," said Barbara Weathers, X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System lead. "These lessons learned will help with the development of future unmanned platforms."



The Navy will continue to execute shore-based testing at Patuxent River to further the goal of seamless integration with manned aircraft and to refine best practices for the evaluation of future unmanned air systems.



Maritime Reporter May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

CMA-CGM to Call Port of Baltimore

International container shipping company CMA-CGM of France announced that it will begin service within the next couple of weeks to the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore.

Hapag-Lloyd Expands Feeder Network in Scandinavia

Baltic Express Service (BAX) to include Oslo / Two weekly departures from Gothenburg and Helsingborg in SDX and GTE / Connection via Hamburg and Bremerhaven to

Mercury Marine Begins HQ Expansion

Mercury Marine announces 45,000 square foot EDP parts expansion to Fond du Lac global headquarters   Mercury Marine will add a 45,000 square foot expansion to

Technology

Construction Starts on Crowley’s 2nd LNG ConRo Ship

Construction begins on Crowley’s second Commitment Class, LNG-powered ConRo ship for use in the Puerto Rico trade   Shipbuilder VT Halter Marine, Inc. has officially

UKHO ‘Living with ECDIS’ Seminars at Nor-Shipping

Seminar to include information on updated IHO ENC Standards   The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has announced the details of its free-to-attend ECDIS Seminars at Nor-Shipping,

New Launches, Demonstrations Set for Seawork

Europe’s commercial marine and workboat exhibition held in a working port, Seawork International, has released its plans for demonstrations, launches and conferences.

Navy

HHI Launches Korea’s Second Minelayer

Shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) launched the second minelayer, MLS-II Nampo, for the Korean Navy.   In attendance at the MLS-II launching ceremony were Baek Seung-joo,

Philippine, Vietnamese Troops Together on Disputed Island

Vietnamese and Philippine troops played soccer and sang karaoke on a South China Sea island on Wednesday in a sign of the growing security ties between the two

Hundreds Rally in Myanmar over "boat people" Crisis

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Myanmar's largest city of Yangon on Wednesday to denounce foreign criticism of the country's treatment of stateless Rohingya Muslims.

People in the News

Port of Duluth Intermodal Project Underway

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administrator, Chip Jaenichen, today joined Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Congressman Rick Nolan, Duluth Mayor Don Ness,

Philippine, Vietnamese Troops Together on Disputed Island

Vietnamese and Philippine troops played soccer and sang karaoke on a South China Sea island on Wednesday in a sign of the growing security ties between the two

SITC Inks Deal with Qingdao Port

SITC International signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Qingdao Port International Co., Ltd. in Qingdao yesterday in order to further strengthen the strategic

Unmanned Vehicles

Robotics Ocean Monitoring Alliance Formed in Africa

Blue Ocean Monitoring enters into strategic alliance with Sea Technology Services   Blue Ocean Monitoring (BOM) announced that it has entered a strategic business

Statoil Awards Hull Cleaning Contract to GAC

Eco-friendly HullWiper technology to fight fouling and enhance efficiency for oil and gas company fleet    GAC EnvironHull has signed a contract with the international

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Navigation Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3061 sec (3 req/sec)