Northhop UCAS-D X-47B robotic plane completes first flight (Photo)

By on Feb 5, 2011 in United States Comments

The Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) X-47B robotic plane was reported to have completed its first flight, as shown in the photo below, according to press release by NAVAIR on Friday.

Photo credit: NAVAIR

The X-47B plane unmanned maiden flight lasted for 29 minutes with an altitude of about 50,000 ft, and was controlled at the ground station of Edwards Air Force Base in California, on February 4, 2011.

“Today we got a glimpse towards the future as the Navy’s first-ever tailless, jet-powered unmanned aircraft took to the skies,” Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration Program Manager Capt. Jaime Engdahl said.

“The success of today’s flight can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of our integrated government and industry team,” Engdahl added, with this joint project of the US Navy and Northrop Grumman Corporation having previous delays due to engine-related problems.

This first X-47B flight also marks the beginning start of a roughly 50-flight a year-long series of flights, which is a part of the expansion test program at Edwards AFB.

The initial testing of the first aircraft will be completed in latter part of 2011, while the test flight of the second plane will follow immediately, in which afterward will be transported to Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland for the completion of the carrier development program.

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