Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy had the X-47B unmanned combat drone perform an arrested landing on shore in Maryland for the first time Saturday, marking the final testing phase before a trial carrier landing later this month.
The drone extended its landing hook to catch a cable extended across the aircraft landing area and the tension in the wire intends to bring the UAV to a controlled stop, Northrop said Monday.
According to Northrop, this navigation approach uses a similar technique to landing on a carrier at sea.
“The X-47B air vehicle performs exactly as predicted by the modeling, simulation and surrogate testing we did early in the UCAS-D program,” said Carl Johnson, vice president and Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop.
“It takes off, flies and lands within a few feet of its predicted path,” Johnson added.
Tests at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. also included precision approaches, touch-and-go landings and precision landings.