X-47B makes first cruise flight

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 17, 2011
The first gear up flight for X-47B AV-1, from Edwards AFB, on September 30. (Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B UCAS demonstrator completed its first  flight in the cruise configuration with its undercarriage raised recently.

The September 30 “flight gave us our first clean look at the aerodynamic cruise performance of the X-47B air system…and it is proving out all of our predictions,” said Janis Pamiljans, VP and Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems division. “Reaching this critical test point demonstrates the growing maturity of the air system, and its readiness to move to the next phase of flight testing.”

Northrop Grumman says X-47B program flight testing will transition to Naval Air Station, Patuxent River in late 2011 to begin shore based carrier suitability testing in 2012, ahead of aircraft carrier launches and recoveries in 2013.

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