Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy have conducted the first fly-in arrested landing of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator
Conducted May 4 at the Navy's
shore-based catapult and arresting gear complex here, the test
represents the first arrested landing by an unmanned aircraft. It
marks the beginning of the final phase of testing prior to
carrier-based trials planned for later this month.
U.S. Navy Conduct First Arrested Landing of
"This precision, shore-based trap by the X-47B puts the UCAS
Carrier Demonstration [UCAS-D] program on final approach for a
rendezvous with naval aviation history," said Capt. Jaime Engdahl,
the Navy's UCAS program manager. "It moves us a critical step
closer to proving that unmanned systems can be integrated
seamlessly into Navy carrier operations."
During an arrested landing, the incoming aircraft extends its
landing hook to catch a heavy cable extended across the aircraft
landing area. The tension in the wire brings the aircraft to a
rapid and controlled stop.
Carl Johnson, vice president and Navy UCAS program manager for
Northrop Grumman, said this first arrested landing reinforced what
the team already knew.
"The X-47B air vehicle performs exactly as predicted by the
modeling, simulation and surrogate testing we did early in the
UCAS-D program," Johnson said. "It takes off, flies and lands
within a few feet of its predicted path."
The arrested landing test culminates more than three months of
shore-based carrier suitability testing at Naval Air Station
Patuxent River. The testing included precision approaches,
touch-and-go landings, and precision landings by the X-47B air
For the arrested landing, the X-47B used a navigation approach
that closely mimics the technique it will use to land on an
aircraft carrier underway at sea.
Northrop Grumman's UCAS-D industry team includes Pratt &
Whitney, Lockheed Martin, GKN Aerospace, Eaton, General Electric,
UTC Aerospace Systems, Dell, Honeywell, Moog, Wind River, Parker
Aerospace and Rockwell Collins. For the latest news and information
about the UCAS-D program, please visit www.northropgrumman.com/X-47B.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing
innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems,
cybersecurity, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government
and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more
SOURCE Northrop Grumman Corporation
Cobham satcom equipment is onboard the X-47B
Cobham provides the saddle mounted HGA-7000 Inmarsat satcom
system installed on the the X-47B. The HGA-7000 is a phased array
fuselage mount high gain antenna. Its low profile and small
footprint make it suitable for installation on air transport
aircraft, business jets and UAV's. Read more about Cobham's range of airborne
satcom systems here.