Unmanned Combat Air System Test Aircraft Reaches Major Milestone

2011-10-11

Unmanned Combat Air System Test Aircraft Reaches Major Milestone
The U.S. Navy/Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration aircraft reached a major milestone Sept. 30 when it retracted its landing gear and flew in its cruise configuration for the first time.

The flight, conducted at Edwards Air Force Base, also helped validate precision navigation hardware and software that will allow the X-47B to land with precision on the moving deck of an aircraft carrier.

“Last week’s flight gave us our first clean look at the aerodynamic cruise performance of the X-47B air system…and it is proving out all of our predictions,” said Janis Pamiljans, vice president and Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop Grummans Aerospace Systems sector. Reaching this critical test point demonstrates the growing maturity of the air system, and its readiness to move to the next phase of flight testing.

The recent flight was part of an on-going envelope expansion program for the first of two X-47B aircraft produced by Northrop Grumman for the Navys Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. Envelope expansion flights are used to demonstrate aircraft performance under a variety of altitude, speed and fuel load conditions.

The UCAS-D program plans to begin transitioning aircraft to Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md. in late 2011 to begin shore-based carrier suitability testing in 2012. The focal point of the program is to demonstrate in 2013 the first aircraft carrier launches and recoveries by a tailless, low-observable-relevant unmanned system.

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Region:  USA and Canada
Contry:  USA
Category:  AUV
Company:  Northrop Grumman



USA Northrop Grumman UAV
Name:  X-47B UCAS   Region:  USA and Canada    Country:  USA    Category:  UAV    Company:  Northrop Grumman   
X-47B UCAS

Use(s): the Navy UCAS demonstration programme consists of two X-47B aircraft that will demonstrate autonomous launches and recoveries from an aircraft carrier in 2011 Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Weight: max payload: 4,500lb, 2,041kg Performance: ceiling: >40,000ft, mission radius: >1,500+nm Payload: potential payloads include EO, IR, SAR, ISAR, GMTI, MMTI, ESM Launch: catapult Recovery: conventional wheeled Structure Material: composite Status: in flight test Overall Length: 11.6m (38.2ft) Wingspan: 18.9m (62.1ft) Height: 3.2m (10.4ft) Aircraft Carrier Takeoff Gross Weight: 20,412kg (44,500lb) Speed: High subsonic Power Plant: Pratt & Whitney F100-220U



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