The U.S. Navy’s X-47B finished the last of its testing aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt last week.
According to a release from Naval Air Systems Command:
While underway, the X-47B flew in the carrier pattern with manned aircraft for the first time and conducted a total of five catapult launches, four arrestments and nine touch-and-go landings, including a night time shipboard flight deck handling evaluation.
Testing began Aug. 17 when the X-47B performed its initial cooperative launch and recovery cycle with an F/A-18. With its automatic wing-fold capability and new tailhook retract system, the X-47B met the program’s objective to demonstrate that carrier-based manned and unmanned aircraft could maintain a 90-second aircraft launch and recovery interval.
“This is another detachment for the record books; all tests were safely and effectively executed,” said Capt. Beau Duarte, Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager, in a release. “We have set the bar for the future of unmanned carrier aviation.”
The U.S. Navy will continue testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.