Northrop, Navy Land X-47B Combat UAV on Shore; Carl Johnson Comments

NorthropLogoNorthrop 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.

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Written by Ross Wilkers

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