HOME > 4/5th Generation Fighters News >

Northrop Grumman's X-47B unmanned robo-stealth plane attains 1st cruise flight

Northrop Grumman's X-47B unmanned robo-stealth plane attains 1st cruise flight

Northrop Grumman's X-47B unmanned stealth plane achieved cruise mode flight for the first time recently, a major step toward using the bomber aboard aircraft carriers.

During a flight at Edwards Air Force Base on September 30, the robo-plane retracted its landing gear and flew in cruise configuration for the first time. The test helped prove its navigation hardware and software.

The flight was part of the X-47B's "envelope expansion" under the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. Northrop has produced two X-47Bs for the Navy and the aircraft is slated to begin carrier trials in 2013.

With a wingspan of 62.1 feet, the plane has a maximum payload of 4,500 pounds and a range of over 2,100 nautical miles.

The X-47B can fly at "high subsonic" speed, fast than Predator and Reaper drones. It can also be remotely piloted or programmed in advance for mission objectives.

"Last week's flight gave us our first clean look at the aerodynamic cruise performance of the X-47B air system...and it is proving out all of our predictions," Janis Pamiljans, Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop Grumman, was quoted as saying in an October 10 release.

"Reaching this critical test point demonstrates the growing maturity of the air system, and its readiness to move to the next phase of flight testing."

Source: by Tim Hornyak - October 10, 2011 - www.news.cnet.com

Photo: Northrop Grumman's X-47B unmanned robo-stealth plane (Credit: Northrop Grumman)



American Air Force News
African Air Force News
Asian Air Force News
European Air Force News
Middle Eastern AF News
Ocean Air Force News

• China's new stealth bomber H-20 will allow it to make 'truly intercontinental' strikes, report says

China's subsonic H-20 stealth bomber will give the country a "truly intercontinental" capacity expanding its reach far beyond the country's seaboard, according to a report by a l...>>

• Russia's Deliveries of Su-57s in 2020

Russia's aerospace forces will receive large-scale deliveries of Su-57 fighter jets starting from 2020, Russia's Rostec State Corporation CEO Sergei Chemezov said Thursday....>>

• USAF F-16 Downs Drone With Rocket for Cruise Missile

An US Air Force F-16 recently shot down a targeting drone with an AGR-20A Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System rocket queued by the Viperís targeting pod for the first time in a d...>>

• Northrop Grumman to EW Suite Prototype for USAF F-16

US Air Force has selected Northrop Grumman, via the SOSSEC Consortium, to demonstrate prototype systems to protect the F-16 fleet against radio frequency threats....>>

• US Air Force Prototypes 6th-Gen Future Stealth Fighters

Drone fighter jets, hypersonic attack planes, artificial intelligence, lasers, electronic warfare and sensors woven into the fuselage of an aircraft - are all areas of current tech...>>

• Raytheon Set to Offer Retrofits for Boeing's F-15 Jet Fleet

Raytheon Company RTN recently secured a $15-million modification contract for retrofitting F-15 jet fleet with Mode 5 capable Identify Friend or Foe units. The deal was awarded by...>>

• Leonardoís BriteCloud decoy flies toward service on RAF Typhoons

Leonardo will support UK MOD trials with its BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy in the UK and US....>>


       info@xairforces.net Webmaster: REFLX DESIGN - © 2011 xairforces / Aviation Society,