Business

June 14, 2012

U.S. Navy, Northrop Grumman complete X-47B flight testing at Edwards

Move second unmanned aircraft to East Coast

The first major phase of flight testing the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator aircraft came to a successful conclusion on May 15 when Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy wrapped up testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The airworthiness test phase, which comprised 23 flights by two air vehicles, proved that the X-47B will perform properly at all speeds, weights and altitudes associated with the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration program. The flights included tests of several aircraft maneuvers required in the carrier environment, helping to reduce risks associated with operating a tailless, unmanned aircraft from a Navy aircraft carrier.

Northrop Grumman is the Navy’s prime contractor for the UCAS-D program.

The second Northrop Grumman-built X-47B unmanned aircraft lifts off for one of its final flights during the air worthiness test phase at Edwards Air Force Base.

“The X-47B flight test program at Edwards will be remembered as a very successful collaboration among the Navy, Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force Flight Test Center,” said Carl Johnson, vice president and Navy UCAS Enterprise program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “The team has done outstanding work testing and preparing the aircraft for the next phase of the program, which will take place at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.”

Earlier this morning, he added, the team completed the cross-country move of the second of two X-47Bs built by Northrop Grumman from Edwards to Patuxent River. Carrier suitability testing of the aircraft will begin later this summer.

“The X-47B flight test program at Edwards demonstrated convincingly the maturity, durability and performance of this revolutionary new unmanned system,” said Johnson. “Through innovation, hard work and an enduring partnership with our customer, we laid the foundation for the upcoming carrier integration sea trials.”

The airworthiness testing included maneuvers relevant to carrier operations, including an autonomous “touch and go” landing–an aviation first–and landing at a high sink rate in a heavy weight configuration.

While at Edwards, the X-47B aircraft reached altitudes exceeding 15,000 feet and demonstrated multiple maneuvers relevant to carrier operations, including extending and retracting a tail hook, completing an autonomous “touch-and-go” landing – an aviation first – and performing landings at a high sink rate and in a heavy weight configuration.

The Northrop Grumman team is currently finalizing the software that will be required to enter carrier suitability testing of the X-47B. That testing will include catapult launches, arrested landings and wireless remote deck handling of the aircraft.

The first X-47B was moved to Patuxent River in December 2011. It is currently undergoing electromagnetic interference testing, which is designed to demonstrate that the X-47B is compatible with the electromagnetic signal environment of an aircraft carrier.

In 2013, the UCAS-D program plans to demonstrate the ability of the tailless, autonomous, low-observable relevant X-47B demonstrator to operate safely from a Navy aircraft carrier, including launch, recovery, bolter and wave-off performance. Demonstration of autonomous aerial refueling by the X-47B is planned for 2014. The program will also mature and demonstrate technologies required for future carrier- capable unmanned air system programs.

The two X-47B unmanned aircraft completed 23 flights during the airworthiness test phase at Edwards AFB. Next phase will be carrier suitability testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Navy Awards General Dynamics contract for LCS planning yard services

The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works a $100 million contract to provide planning yard services for the Littoral Combat Ship program. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is a business unit of General Dynamics. Bath Iron Works, as the LCS Planning Yard, will provide maintenance and modernization support for all Navy LCS 1...
 
 
boeing-boc

Boeing, BOC Aviation announce order for 82 airplanes

  Boeing announced Aug. 25 an order by BOC Aviation for 50 737 MAX 8s, 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and two 777-300ERs (Extended Range). The order, valued at $8.8 billion at list prices, is the largest in BOC Aviation’...
 
 

F-35 flight test program milestones maturing combat capabilities

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program continued a steady path of flight test milestones in August, including weapons separation, software compatibility and flight hours, all demonstrating program maturity. “The test milestones are a direct result of the detailed planning, coordination and execution between various government teams and the integrated test force,” said...
 

 
Boeing photograph

Boeing program completes critical design, safety reviews

Boeing photograph Boeing recently completed the Phase Two Spacecraft Safety Review of its Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft and the Critical Design Review of its integrated systems, meeting all of the companyís Commerci...
 
 
LM-C130

Keep on Rockin’: C-130J ferries to Little Rock AFB

  The 61st Airlift Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., received another Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules airlifter Aug. 21.  Brig. Gen. Brian Robinson, vice commander, 618th Air and Space Operations Center ...
 
 

Air Force tests Raytheon’s upgraded High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile

Raytheon Company and the U.S. Air Force successfully flight tested an upgraded High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile. The HARM Control Section Modification is more precise and accurate, which reduces potential collateral damage. During this test mission, an F-16 aircraft fired an HCSM, AGM-88F, against an emitter located outside of a zone of exclusion, which contained a similar...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>