X-47B UCAS-D - Off the Cat, On the Deck


In the same week, Northrop Grumman's X-47B combat aircraft system demonstrator has arrived on the aircraft carrier deck -- by crane -- and made its first catapult launch -- on land.

Air vehicle AV-2 was lifted off a barge and on to the flightdeck of the USS Truman on Monday (Nov 26) to begin a few weeks of deck handling trials, in port and at sea.

Photos and video: US Navy

Then today (Nov 29), AV-1 made its first launch from a shore-based steam catapult at the Navy's test center at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. Previously the aircraft had completed ground taxi trials at Pax to demonstrate the wireless hand controller developed to maneuver the unmanned aircraft on deck.

Both events are part of the work-up to autonomous carrier landings and take-offs planned for 2013, to prove that a tailless flying-wing aircraft can fly from a carrier and an unmanned air vehicle operate alongside manned aircraft on and around the deck.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Ares?

Aviation Week's defense blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Oct 8, 2015

The Case Of The Missing F-117 Parts (2001) 16

How AW&ST found out what had happened to the remains of a shot-down F-117....More
Sep 18, 2015

The U.S.-Russian Moon Landing That Never Happened (1963) 7

U.S. President John F. Kennedy is well known for the 1961 speech to Congress in which he made the Apollo program a national goal. Less remembered is his controversial offer two years later to cooperate with the Soviet Union on a manned lunar landing....More
Sep 10, 2015

Airbus A380 Is Your Hotel In The Sky (2001) 5

In a September 2001 advertisement, Airbus promised to bring glamour back to passenger travel with its new A380, comparing the double-decker airliner to a hotel....More
Sep 9, 2015

Pratt & Whitney's Record Behind the DC-6 Record (1947) 2

Pratt & Whitney takes to the cover of AVIATION to credit its Double Wasp engines for the DC-6's record transatlantic flight....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×