Tuesday, November 27, 2012

X-47B makes history on carrier

X-47B hoisted aboard USS Harry S. Truman
Navy photo
NORFOLK, Va. -- The Navy hoisted an X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator on board aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Monday in preparation for the unmanned aircraft's first carrier-based testing. The X-47B, built by Northrop Grumman, has a wingspan of more than 62 feet, wider than an F/A-18 Super Hornet. It will undergo a variety of tests and will be controlled remotely via a hand-held unit. Truman will be the first modern aircraft carrier to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft. Capt. Jaime Engdahl, N-UCAS program manager, said the X-47B's delivery aboard Truman was among the most historic moments in the program's history. "The moment the aircraft set down on Truman's deck was the moment it officially met the fleet," said Engdahl. The test will be conducted over three weeks and will include in-port and underway demonstrations. (Source: NNS, 11/27/12) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman builds portions of two other UAVs, Global Hawk and Fire Scout, in Moss Point, Miss.