It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


X-47B Accomplishes First Ever Carrier Touch and Go aboard CVN 77

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 18 2013 @ 12:25 PM

The Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) has begun touch and go landing operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) May 17.

For UCAS-D, this represents the most significant technology maturation of the program. Ship relative navigation and precision touchdown of the X-47B are critical technology elements for all future Unmanned Carrier Aviation (UCA) aircraft.

Sounds like if they can smooth out the wrinkles with the tail hook, they'll really be on the way to fielding the UCLASS (Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike).

Hi-res shot:

edit on 18-5-2013 by _Del_ because: Added video

posted on May, 18 2013 @ 12:37 PM
reply to post by _Del_

Just before touch down....

Touch and go

This one looks like just after...

On the deck

posted on May, 18 2013 @ 01:25 PM
HUH? arent they ahead of schedule?
Thought sea trials was next year.....looks like they are making faster progress than anticipated??

posted on May, 18 2013 @ 02:04 PM
reply to post by stirling

Yes and no. The catapult shot and touch and go are ahead of schedule. The full up landing is behind. They got wrong data (again) on the cable system, so the tailhook is barely functional. They currently can successfully trap about 10% of the time.

posted on May, 18 2013 @ 02:15 PM
Yay! One step closer to someone being able to hack the uplink, turn the bird around and attack the launch platform!
Man I love technology!

I know, I know, no stopping progress... (Congrats to the program personnel)

I LIKE having a human in the cockpit.

posted on May, 18 2013 @ 02:21 PM
reply to post by Montana

This one is much more autonomous than the previous UAVs. There are operators monitoring all aspects of flight, but unless something goes wrong, it flies the mission itself, without input from the operator, unlike previous UAVs.

posted on May, 18 2013 @ 02:31 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

That is good, but still...

If there is the capability, there is an opportunity, right? Difficult, I'm sure, but there are lots of smart people in this world.

There will be a method of in-putting mission changes remotely.

posted on May, 18 2013 @ 05:07 PM
Very cool! I look forward to the day that this sort of device being available for civilian use. Flying robots come with potentially scary implications (as I'm sure will be pointed out), but tons of potential for non-combat usage as well. I wonder how difficult it will be to apply the same tech to a helicopter or similiar VTOL device, which would be immensely useful for rescue and humanitarian missions that would otherwise be limited by a lack of available pilots, or in situations where weather, terrain, or hostility would make those in charge reluctant to send in human pilots.

Comedians always have the best philosophical insight.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 03:10 PM
More video:

posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 07:02 AM
She's back asea.

This weekend's tests demonstrated the X-47B's ability to integrate with the carrier environment. The aircraft performed precise touch and go maneuvers on the ship to generate data that characterizes the environment in close proximity of the carrier flight deck. In addition, the aircraft took part in flight deck handling drills, completed arrested landings and catapult launches. Mission operators monitored the aircraft's autonomous flight from a portable command and control unit from Theodore Roosevelt's flight deck during each of its 45-minute flights.

Glad they were forced to fund further testing....


log in