Defense

May 2, 2014

Navy’s X-47B program ramps up flight test, readying for summer sea trials

The Navy’s unmanned X-47B flies over Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. during its first nighttime flight in April 2014.

The X-47B unmanned combat air system is gearing up for shore-based flight test activities in preparation for the next round of sea trials this summer.

The program’s test team will conduct various test events with the X-47B over the next few months in an effort to mature air traffic control and ground support standard operating procedures for co-use of airspace between unmanned and manned aircraft during day and nighttime operations.

“Continuing to fly the X-47B in the Patuxent River air space will further exercise the research, test, development and evaluation (RDT&E) infrastructure with an unmanned air system,” said Capt. Beau Duarte, program manager for Unmanned Carrier Aviation at Patuxent River. “These tests are a build-up for the next carrier event this summer.”

As the first unmanned aircraft to take off and land from a modern aircraft carrier, X-47B will once again embark on USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in the August timeframe.  This time, the test team will focus on perfecting flight deck operations and integrating the X-47B with manned carrier aircraft.

“We are working toward a new set of firsts for the X-47B,” said Matt Funk, X-47B lead test engineer.  “We’ll test the new capabilities of the X-47B wing-fold and tailhook retract system, and will demonstrate compatibility with a carrier jet-blast deflector on the flight deck for the first time.”

The proven use of these functions will allow the air vehicle to take off, land, and hold in the same pattern as manned aircraft, the next step toward UAS operations aboard aircraft carriers without disruption to normal carrier flight deck operations, he said.

“This at-sea period will mark the first time manned aircraft and the X-47B will operate together on the flight deck,” Duarte said. The goal is to clear the deck within 90 seconds after landing and demonstrate deck handling on par with manned aircraft.

The Navy will conduct X-47B flight operations over the next year to mature technologies for the future Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system and refine the concept of operations to demonstrate the integration of unmanned carrier-based aircraft within the carrier environment, Duarte said.




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


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 
 

SMC stands up new Advanced Systems, Development Directorate

While space officially begins at 62 miles above the Earth’s surface, for the men and women of the Air Force space begins near sea level at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base,Calif. SMC is where innovative ideas are matured into space systems that deliver operational capabilities to U.S. warfighters in...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine

SEWIP block upgrade program evaluated for LCS

Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Helen Hernandez monitors an SLQ-32 radar aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is deplo...
 




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>