Northrop Grumman and its partners are building two X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) prototypes for the U.S. Navy. The challenge is to accomplish by 2011 a trifecta of firsts: the first tailless aircraft, the first stealth-configured aircraft and the first unmanned aircraft to land on a carrier. Along with that comes the challenge of managing an unmanned aircraft on the carrier deck, a tight and unforgiving environment where, until now, every vehicle has been controlled ...

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