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Northrop, Navy Aiming for X-47B Carrier Landing in 2013; Mike Mackey Comments

Northrop, Navy Aiming for X-47B Carrier Landing in 2013; Mike Mackey Comments - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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Northrop photo
Northrop photo

Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy hope to have the X-47B unmanned plane land on a carrier for the first time in 2013, Northrop said Wednesday.

During tests onboard the USS Harry S. Truman between Nov. 27 and Dec. 17, tested the ability to move the aircraft on a flight deck using a wireless handheld controller.

Mike Mackey, Northrop’s Unmanned Combat Air System program director, said tests included taxiing the aircraft on the flight deck, maneuvering the aircraft to the ship’s catapults using the company’s control display unit, taxiing the aircraft over the ship’s arresting cables and conducting fueling.

Deck trials occurred while the ship was in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. and while the ship was off the Virginia.

The company has built and designed two planes for the UCAS program, one on the ship and the other currently stationed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. for shore-based carrier suitability testing.

Carrier trials are scheduled to occur in the spring and will include both landings and catapult launches.

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Written by Ross Wilkers

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