X-47B makes its first trap on land

The US Navy’s Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstrator (UCAS-D) made its first shore-based landing using a carrier’s arresting gear system on 4 May. This first trap is the beginning of a series of tests before the X-47B makes its way onto the boat later this month.

19503-1200.jpg“It moves us a critical step closer to proving that unmanned systems can be integrated seamlessly into Navy carrier operations,” says Capt Jaime Engdahl, the Navy’s UCAS program manager.

Carl Johnson, vice president and Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop Grumman, says, “The X-47B air vehicle performs exactly as predicted by the modeling, simulation and surrogate testing we did early in the UCAS-D program.”

For the arrested landing, the X-47B used a navigation approach that closely mimics the technique it will use to land on an aircraft carrier underway at sea according to the Navy.

Apparently, there will be reporters on the carrier when the X-47B is shot off for the first time. Unfortunately  we were not able to secure a slot–apparently due a lack of space, according to the Navy.

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