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

People & Company News

Signal Ship Repair Achieves OSHA Milestone

Signal International announced that on December 31, 2014, the Signal Ship Repair Operations located in Mobile, Alabama achieved one full year and worked 387,926 manhours,

Evergreen to Charter 11 Containerships

Evergreen Group signed time charter agreements with Shoei Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (Shoei) to charter a total of 11 18,000 TEU vessels, which include the six units of

GTT to Exhibit at Euromaritime

Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT), a designer of membrane containment systems for the maritime transportation and storage of liquefied natural gas (LNG), will exhibit at Euromaritime,

Technology

Wärtsilä Propulsion Solution for 3 Tugs

Three large new escort tugs contracted by Norwegian operator Østensjø Rederi, will feature Wärtsilä dual-fuel (DF) engines integrated with a customized gas storage

Oman to Implement Maritime Communications Network

Oman to roll out the national maritime communications network along its lengthy coastline soon, says Al-Madakhel Investment that has been tasked with design, construction

‘Landmark Year’ for RS in 2014

For Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS), 2014 marked the 101st year of its activities. The classification society said 2014 also marked a landmark year,

Navy

Greek Government to Halt Piraeus Port Sale

The new Greek government led by the left-wing Syriza party will halt the sale of a majority stake in the port of Piraeus, Greece's biggest, begun by the previous government,

Australian Tall Ship Rounds Cape Horn

The Royal Australian Navy operated Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour rounded Cape Horn on Australia Day, 36 days into a 12-month circumnavigation of the world.

Oil Tankers are Front Line of Libya's Struggles

Crew members killed in tanker attack this month; West fears worsening violence could lead to civil war. Oil shippers face higher costs and the possible loss of insurance cover on Libyan voyages,

People in the News

Fugitive Treasure Hunter Arrested in Florida

An Ohio man who recovered as much as $400 million in gold from a shipwreck has been arrested in Florida after two years on the run and was scheduled to appear in federal court on Wednesday.

WCI to Honor Sens. Alexander and Vitter

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) to honor Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator David Vitter with Leadership Service Awards; Washington Meetings and Waterways Seminar

West Coast Port Talks Clear Hurdle

Shipping companies and the union for 20,000 dockworkers at nearly 30 U.S. West Coast ports have cleared a major hurdle in their protracted labor talks, clinching

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1962 sec (5 req/sec)