How to Make Your Learjet Go Farther

Add an in-flight refueling probe. Sadly, this is just an inert probe, fitted to a Calspan Aerospace-operated Learjet acting as a surrogate for a US Navy unmanned combat aircraft to demonstrate autonomous aerial refueling.

blog post photo
Photo: CTSi, via Navair

The flight tests were completed on September 6 in Niagara Falls as part of the Navy's unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D) program. UCAS-D includes a pair of Northrop Grumman X-47B demonstrators, one of which made the first unmanned carrier take-offs and landings earlier this year.

For the latest tests, the inert probe and X-47B command, control and navigation hardware and software were installed on Calpan's Learjet in-flight simulator, which then flew autonomously behind an Omega K-707 tanker trailing a refueling drigue. Dry plug-in are planned for later this year, again using the Learjet.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Things With Wings?

Aviation Week's civil aviation blog

A Century of Aviation Week

Aviation Week & Space Technology is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

 

Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×