News>Edwards flight engineers perform first X-47B flight
A Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration aircraft takes off and flies for the first time Feb. 4, 2011, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The Northrop Grumman-built aircraft flew for 29 minutes during the flight test. (U.S. Air Force photo/Rob Densmore)
2/7/2011 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- Testers from Northrop Grumman and the Navy successfully conducted the first flight of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration aircraft here Feb. 4.
The fighter-size unmanned aircraft took off and successfully flew for the 29 minutes planned for its first test flight.
This event marks a critical step in the program, moving the team forward to meet the demonstration objectives of a tailless fighter-sized unmanned aircraft to safely take off from and land on the deck of a Navy aircraft carrier, officials said.
After takeoff, the X-47B climbed to an altitude of 5,000 feet, flew several racetrack-type patterns, and landed safely. The flight provided test data to verify and validate system software for guidance and navigation, and the aerodynamic control of the tailless design.
2/8/2011 9:47:31 PM ET We wouldn't be a dominant force for long if we chose to decrease our level of technology in face of a threat rather than increase our knowledge and capabilities to counter it, would we?
2/8/2011 6:00:05 PM ET The goal is to compromise an adversary's computer systems before it can compromise ours. The DOD is working just as hard to ensure cyberspace superiority as it is to ensure air superiority. As the old saying goes he with the most toys wins.
2/8/2011 11:46:56 AM ET A great accomplishment, but should we be relying more and more on computer technology when a potential advesary has proven they can compromise our computer systems?