Wed, Nov 28, 2012
First Carrier In History to Host Unmanned Aircraft Testing
A team from the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System program office (PMA-268) has embarked aboard the U.S.S. Truman to conduct tests and demonstrations of the X-47B unmanned aerial system. The purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate seamless integration into carrier flight deck operations through various tests with the aircraft, which boasts a wingspan of more than 62 feet (wider than that of an F/A-18 Super Hornet). During each demonstration, the X-47B will be controlled remotely via a hand-held control display unit (CDU).
Truman will be the first aircraft carrier in Naval aviation history to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft, the Navy said in a news release.
Capt. Jaime Engdahl, N-UCAS Program Manager, said the X-47B's delivery aboard Truman was among the most historic moments in the program's history. "This is a very important moment for the X-47B," said Engdahl. "The moment the aircraft set down on Truman's deck was the moment it officially met the fleet."
Cmdr. Kevin Watkins, N-UCAS's flight test director, agreed with Engdahl's sentiment. "Bringing the X-47B aboard Truman is a big milestone for the program," said Watkins. "We've been testing the aircraft for the last several years and to finally put it on a ship is so exciting. If these tests are successful, they will prove that the future for unmanned aircraft is wide open."
While technical challenges are to be expected when introducing the new system to a carrier's flight deck, Engdahl said he expects the tests to be successful citing strong teamwork between his team and Truman's crew.
"The support from Truman has been phenomenal and it's going to continue to take close cooperation between the carrier's Sailors and the UCAS-D team to make these demonstrations successful," said Engdahl. "To operate large, unmanned aircraft off of a carrier, from anywhere in the world, will be a key capability for the Navy after these tests are successful."
The X-47B test will be conducted over a three week period which will include in-port and underway demonstrations aboard Truman.
(U.S. Navy photograph)
FAA Officials On Hand For The Announcement Of The Group NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen on Monday announced the formation of a new NBAA group focused on improvements in aviation we>[...]
Witness List Includes AEA's Blakey, GAMA's Bunce The Aviation Subcommittee of the U.S. House Transportation Committee, chaired by Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), will hold a hea>[...]
Introducing Staff, Stringers, Videographers, And People Who Make It All Work Anyone who's ever been to Oshkosh knows that there are hundreds of events and activities as well as ten>[...]
Once Again, A Federal Judges Has Ruled That The FAA Cannot Stop The Use Of Commercial Drones Unless They Are Enforcing Published Regulations ... The FAA Has A Differing Opinion Ear>[...]
Expert Craft Building or restoring your own airplane, or even considering a homebuilt project? This site allows you to keep a complete online log of your project, complete with not>[...]