June 3, 2014 by David Pugliese
Navy Times has this article on the U.S. Navy’s X-47B which heads to the fleet later this summer for the next step of testing: landing and taking off alongside manned aircraft.
More from the article:
This summer, the X-47B goes back out to sea with the carrier Theodore Roosevelt to complete takeoffs and landings from a moving carrier with jets in the pattern.
“The next step is to operate the aircraft in the pattern with a manned counterpart,” said Capt. Beau Duarte, Unmanned Combat Air Systems Demonstration program manager for Naval Air Systems Command. “We’ll have a couple of F/A-18s, so we can evaluate the ability to land and clear the landing area, see if we can mimic the time lines that are required for manned aircraft.”
So far, the testing has consisted of perfecting taxi, takeoff and landing routines — first from land, then from a land-based catapult, and now from a catapult on an aircraft carrier at sea.
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