Testing the X-47B

Are we getting closer and closer to a world of aviation without pilots ? Recent tests have been carried out on a civilian airliner, and more currently, drones are setting up the pace in the Middle East. Now, on July 10th, the Navy moved one step closer to integrating unmanned aircraft into carrier-based operations today, when the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator landed aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). This was the first time an unmanned aircraft has made an arrested landing aboard a modern aircraft carrier. The X-47B completed the 35-minute transit from Pax River to the carrier and caught the 3 wire with the aircraft’s tailhook. The arrested landing effectively brought the aircraft from approximately 145 knots to stop in less than 350 feet. Shortly after the initial landing, the aircraft was launched off the ship using the carrier’s catapult. The X-47B then proceeded to execute one more arrested landing. Check out the video: