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X-47B begins in flight refueling tests

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posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 07:29 PM
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Salty Dog 502, one of two X-47B UAVs successfully connected to the drogue of an Omega tanker of the coast of Maryland on April 16th. It was the first test of the Autonomous Aerial Refueling system.

theaviationist.com...




posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58



very cool, i wonder if they used the hose instead of the boom so it could move around allot more. I would be on the fence about going up to refuel a test aircraft.

very very cool and a big milestone for drones.



posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 07:35 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

No, they have a boom receptacle on the other aircraft. They used the hose and drogue for the Navy to prove it can be done for the UCLASS program.



posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 07:41 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

does the navy only use the house set up? and i assume this 100% AI flown? when on a actual mission it must get the order to fire from a human? I wonder how many of these a F-35 can fly at once, and say that F-35 set targets for the X-47 would it still need to confirm before firing



posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 07:46 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

The Navy doesn't have large aircraft that refuel in flight, so they don't need a boom setup. The boom is designed for high flow rates. The Navy uses fighters that don't require flow rates that high.



posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 08:14 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

I'd imagine that it's much harder to make a drone hook up with a drogue than it is to refuel one via boom.

One involves hitting a moving target (something that's harder to program an autonomous vehicle to do), one involves sitting stationary at a set distance from the tanker while the boom operator does all the hard work.



posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 08:26 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby


yeah i guess that is true. but on the other hand it gives the X-47 allot more slack to move around. Now what will be amazing is if they can get a drone to do the refueling of another drone or even a manned platform



posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 08:31 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

You mean like this?




posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 08:40 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58



WOW! That is super impressive. now that it seems they got automatic drone refueling down i would assume that means all the drones can stay up as long as there propulsion systems will let them.

i think i read something about drones using a hybrid or even a all electric power mode. But that could just be me wishful thinking.


i have visions of lighter then air tankers with a few refueling points floating around like a huge gas station in the sky for all the drones, and if the air ship was big enough you could re-arm some of the smaller ones on a lading area on the top of the air ship(that would need a rigid shell of some type)



posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 11:46 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

You mean like the bad guy's airship on talespin?
edit on 16-4-2015 by Barnalby because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 01:06 AM
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a reply to: Barnalby

LOL talk about a blast from the past. but yeah i guess.

think of a football field size rigid frame lighter then air ship LOADED with fuel and ECM and stealth features that could loiter for days, weeks months? at certain choke points that drones would autonomously fly up to and gas up and leave.

it would make a great communications hub and maybe even a ISR platform depending on altitude(that would drop down to fuel lower altitude flyers then rise back up) and I'm sure you could put some crazy stealth features on it .

maybe even a platform to launch small satellites



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 02:52 AM
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like this? lol



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 05:15 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

They make it look so easy, any one ever looked into reloading the UAV hardpoints inflight? It seems like the next step.

originally posted by: penroc3
a reply to: Barnalby

LOL talk about a blast from the past. but yeah i guess.

think of a football field size rigid frame lighter then air ship LOADED with fuel and ECM and stealth features that could loiter for days, weeks months? at certain choke points that drones would autonomously fly up to and gas up and leave.

it would make a great communications hub and maybe even a ISR platform depending on altitude(that would drop down to fuel lower altitude flyers then rise back up) and I'm sure you could put some crazy stealth features on it .

maybe even a platform to launch small satellites


I can see more than a few in high places wanting that capability.


originally posted by: boomer135
like this? lol


Horrible title for a video but I loved the tech seen in that movie.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 07:55 AM
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The primary reason that the Navy uses the "probe and drogue" system is with the "buddy store" system it allows any aircraft with a standard hard point to be used as a tanker. The boom system requires dedicated tanker aircraft. I've rode in the B/N seat in an A-6 while the pilot practiced tanking. That was freaking awesome.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 08:17 AM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

The primary reason for the boom for the Air Force is the flow rate. In the early days of refueling in flight, the AF used the probe and drogue system as well. Then when aircraft like the B-52 came along they switched to the boom system for all their aircraft.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 08:54 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

They also have dedicated tanker aircraft.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 09:01 AM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

Technically the Navy does too with the KC-130.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 11:01 AM
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a reply to: boomer135

hey man ship on ship rape is never funny......



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 02:18 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

You know that if they really wanted to they could operate the KC-130 from a carrier?



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

Forestall flew a number of C-130 tests as a COD test.




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