X-47B Future USN UACS Flies!!... video..


bd popeye

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[video=youtube;5Oe7j85lOII]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Oe7j85lOII&feature=player_embedded[/video]

The X-47B is a reality. Flight testing has started at Edwards AFB CA. The aircraft is slated to start Carrier testing in 2013.

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Northrop Grumman Corp., which has a large unmanned aerial vehicle operation in San Diego County, says it worked with the Navy on Feb. 4th to successfully fly its X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System aircraft for the first time. The test flight took place at Edwards Air Force Base, and lasted just under 30 minutes.

Northrop is attempting to develop a multi-purpose UAV for carriers, although it remains unclear whether such aircraft would ever become more than a supplement to a ship's manned air wing. The weather conditions at sea are often harsher than those on land, raising the question of whether Northrop or other contractors could build UAVs that could reliably launch and return to the ship.

In a joint statement, Northrop and Navy officials said, "The flight is a critical first step for the Navy/Northrop Grumman UCAS-D team toward demonstrating that a tailless, fighter-sized unmanned system can safely land and take off from the deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier.

"The flight provided test data that will contribute to the verification and validation of the X-47B's air vehicle's guidance and navigation software, and the aerodynamic control of its tailless design.

"First flight represents the culmination, verification and certification of pre-flight system data collected and analyzed by both the Navy and Northrop Grumman. Prior to the flight, the test team demonstrated airworthiness of the airframe through proof load testing; propulsion system reliability through accelerated mission tests; software maturity and reliability through rigorous simulations; and overall system reliability through low speed and high speed taxi tests.

"The UCAS-D program is preparing the X-47B for carrier trials in 2013.''

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bd popeye

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A couple of Hi-res photos of the X47B in flight. For Hi-res just click on the pic. Then click again once you arrive at DT.com. Simple! Enjoy!!

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EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2011) An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator completes its first flight at Edwards Air Force Base. The Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration program will demonstrate the capability of an autonomous, low-observable unmanned aircraft to perform carrier launches and recoveries. (U.S. Navy photo Courtesy Northrop Grumman/Released)
 

bd popeye

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Cool plane! Is this the next naval attack plane?
The only funding allocated for the aircraft is for R & D and demonstration aircraft... that was in 2007. If it ever goes into full production I assume it will be a shipborne fighter/attack aircraft..

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Program Overview:
The X-47B is a tailless, strike fighter-sized unmanned system currently under development by Northrop Grumman as part of the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. Under a contract awarded in 2007, the company has designed, developed and is currently producing two X-47B aircraft. In the 2013 timeframe, these aircraft will be used to demonstrate the first carrier-based launches and recoveries by an autonomous, low-observable relevant unmanned aircraft. The UCAS-D program will also be used to mature relevant carrier landing and integration technologies, and to demonstrate autonomous aerial refueling by the X-47B aircraft.

Foundation for the Future:
UCAS-D is designed to help the U.S. Navy explore the future of unmanned carrier aviation. A successful UCAS-D flight test program, including a series of successful carrier-based launches and recoveries, will help set the stage for the development of a more permanent, carrier-based fleet of unmanned aircraft.
X-47B Specifications
Wingspan......................................62.1 ft
Length...........................................38.2 ft
Altitude..........................................> 40,000 ft
Range............................................> 2,100 nm
Top Speed.....................................High subsonic
PowerPlant....................................Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220U
System Provisions
Autonomous Aerial Refueling........Probe & Drogue (USN)
Boom Receptacle (USAF)
Weapons Bays..............................4,500 lb
Sensors.........................................EO / IR / SAR / ISAR /
GMTI / MMTI / ESM
 

bd popeye

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Not much response. So much for transparency.

If this were a Chinese aircraft we'd have about 40 pages of all sorts of responses..

Oh well..
 

bd popeye

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Neat. Looks like a baby B-2. Kinda hard to see it taking off and landing on a carrier though.
Why not? it's no bigger than a hornet. Shorter in fact..

F-18 Wingspan 45ft
Length 60ft

I think I saw some video on of the aircraft on an CVN.. some sort of rendering of course.

[video=youtube;lzlFiLuvGeE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzlFiLuvGeE&feature=fvwkrel[/video]
 

CardSharp

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Why not? it's no bigger than a hornet. Shorter in fact..

F-18 Wingspan 45ft
Length 60ft

I think I saw some video on of the aircraft on an CVN.. some sort of rendering of course.
I defer to you on this matter of course but my concern was with the aircraft's short length/flying wing design(my gut tells me that something long and conventional would is best for arrested landing) and how remote guidance is going to work with the challenges of a carrier landing.
 

Jeff Head

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The only funding allocated for the aircraft is for R & D and demonstration aircraft... that was in 2007. If it ever goes into full production I assume it will be a shipborne fighter/attack aircraft..

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They plan on its use as an attack aircraft. It is stealthy, but in a contested environment would need manned fighter support for defense.

Payload will be JDAMs and such munitions.

Here's a page I have on it: (where I will now add this link to the video and the two high-res inflifght pics)

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That US Fan art video was very well done. Of course when you have the manufacturer doing the fan art, it can be kinda nice...hehehe.
 
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bd popeye

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Thanks Jeff. Of course I found that video on youtube. I'm not crazy about youtube. Many of the comments on the videos are vulgar and ignorant. Never-the-less you can find what you are looking for there.
 

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