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.


 
 

 

Headlines July 25, 2014

News: VA reform bills stalled by partisan bickering - Plans for a comprehensive Veterans Affairs Department reform bill that appeared all but finished a month ago devolved into partisan bickering and funding fights July 24, casting doubt on the future of a deal.   Business: Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed announce bids on Danish fighter competition; Saab withdraws -...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Marines investigate corporal who vanished in Iraq U.S. Marine Corp officers are launching a formal investigation into whether a Lebanese-American Marine deserted his unit in Iraq or later after returning to the United States. A spokesman for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune said July 24 that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is being...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OíShea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 

 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
lm-kmax

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned cargo helicopter team returns from deployment

After lifting more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo and conducting thousands of delivery missions for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation K-MAX cargo unmanned aircraft system has returned ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 




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>