Northrop Grumman X-47B (One) aircraft photo gallery | AirSkyBuster

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Northrop Grumman X-47B (One)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

X-47B Jet Fighter UAV Wallpaper 1
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Northrop Grumman X-47B (One). Widescreen, wallpaper, aircraft, fighter, UAV, military, patrol, Air Force, attack, airplane. photo, image, picture, review, specification.
The Northrop Grumman X-47B is an American demonstration Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) which first flew in 2011. The X-47 project began as part of DARPA's J-UCAS program, and is now part of the United States Navy's UCAS-D (Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration) program, which aims to create a carrier-based unmanned aircraft. Unlike the similar Boeing X-45, the development of the aircraft's predecessor, the X-47A Pegasus, was company-funded. The US Navy did not commit to practical UCAV efforts until mid-2000, when the service awarded contracts of US$2 million each to Boeing and Northrop Grumman for a 15-month concept-exploration program. Design considerations for a naval UCAV included dealing with the corrosive saltwater environment, deck handling for launch and recovery, integration with command and control systems, and operation in an aircraft carrier's high-electromagnetic-interference environment. The Navy was also interested in procuring UCAVs for reconnaissance missions, penetrating protected airspace to identify targets for following attack waves. The J-UCAS program was terminated in February 2006 following the US military's Quadrennial Defense Review. The US Air Force and US Navy proceeded with their own UAV programs. The Navy selected Northrop Grumman's X-47B as its unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D) program. The X-47B carries no weapons, but has a full-sized weapons bay. In order to provide realistic testing, the demonstration vehicle is the same size and weight as the projected operational craft. The X-47B prototype rolled out from Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, on December 16, 2008. Its first flight was planned for November 2009, but the flight was delayed as the project fell behind schedule. On December 29, 2009, Northrop Grumman oversaw towed taxi tests of the aircraft at the Palmdale facility, with the aircraft taxiing under its own power for the first time in January 2010. The first flight of the X-47B demonstrator, designated Air Vehicle 1 (AV-1), took place at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on February 4, 2011. The aircraft first flew in cruise configuration with its landing gear retracted on September 30, 2011. A second X-47B demonstrator, designated AV-2, conducted its maiden flight at Edwards Air Force Base on November 22, 2011. The two X-47B demonstrators are planned to have a three-year test program at Edwards AFB and NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, culminating in sea trials in 2013.[12][11] The aircraft will be used to demonstrate carrier launches and recoveries, as well as autonomous inflight refueling with a probe and drogue. The X-47B has a maximum unrefueled range of over 2,000 miles (3,200 km), and an endurance of more than six hours. In November 2011, the Navy announced that aerial refuelling equipment and software would be added to one of the prototype aircraft in 2014. The project was initially funded under a $635.8-million contract awarded by the Navy in 2007. However, by January 2012, the X-47B's program cost had grown to an estimated $813 million.

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