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Thread: X-47B is afloat

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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    X-47B is afloat

    Look what was floated down Chesapeake Bay from Pax River!
    Truman Hosts X-47B Unmanned Aircraft Demonstrator for Carrier-Based Testing
    NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy hoisted an X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator on board aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Nov. 26, in preparation for an unmanned aircraft's first, carrier-based testing.

    A team from the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System program office (PMA-268) embarked Truman to conduct tests and demonstrations.

    The X-47B, which boasts a wingspan of more than 62 feet (wider than that of an F/A-18 Super Hornet), will demonstrate seamless integration into carrier flight deck operations through various tests. During each demonstration, the X-47B will be controlled remotely via a hand-held control display unit (CDU).

    Truman will be the first modern aircraft carrier to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft.

    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."

    Lt. Cmdr. Larry Tarver, Truman's aircraft handling officer, who helped coordinate the X-47B's on-load, said his Sailors are eager to participate in the aircraft's testing.

    "It means a lot to our crew to be part of naval history," said Tarver. "We have Sailors who received additional training to safely move the X-47B and they are excited to play a part in its testing."

    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.


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    Navy.mil - View Image

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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    I actually saw it (the X-47B) from the deck of USS Enterprise today (I was touring her prior to this Saturday's decommissioning ceremony). Some guys were wearing their X-47B leather jackets and ball caps while touring Enterprise. I inquired if they were involved with the recent arrival aboard USS Truman. They answered in the affirmative. They said the X-47B should be flying off the Truman in a few weeks.
    Last edited by surfgun; 29 Nov 12, at 02:50.

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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    In conjunction with cyber warfare, remote controlled unmanned assets in the battlefield will continue to play an ever increasing role in modern warfare.

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Interesting; the landing gear looks identical to F-14 landing gear. Wonder if Northrop raided the Grumman spare parts bin for the landing gear?
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    Contributor Genosaurer's Avatar
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    Interesting. I'm reporting to the Truman in a few weeks.
    "Nature abhors a moron." - H.L. Mencken

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    The Cylons are here. Our doom is upon us.
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    Hand signals, eh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    Hand signals, eh?
    That's interesting...two possibilities:

    1. The human operator is watching via the camera
    2. The drone has visual recognition software

    I'm guessing #1 but #2 would be seriously cool.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    It bears a striking resemblance to the spaceship in Flight of the Navigator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    That's interesting...two possibilities:

    1. The human operator is watching via the camera
    2. The drone has visual recognition software

    I'm guessing #1 but #2 would be seriously cool.
    Seriously cool in the sense of even more seriously DOOMED. Once They acquire language, there is no hope for us. Doomed, I tell you. We must trash all our networked computers and begin the search for the 13th colony.
    I enjoy being wrong too much to change my mind.

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    It has to be #1. The cameras are required for see-and-avoid for travel through FAA airspace. I can't imagine software would've been approved for that (especially without a ton of media coverage as people freak out about drones operating everywhere over the US, which they do). I just thought it was funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    It has to be #1. The cameras are required for see-and-avoid for travel through FAA airspace. I can't imagine software would've been approved for that (especially without a ton of media coverage as people freak out about drones operating everywhere over the US, which they do). I just thought it was funny.
    True...I'm just wondering how long before such recognition software is developed and perfected.

    I mean, even my simple Logitech webcam has basic facial gesture recognition, so software able to see and interpret exaggerated hand gestures can't be far behind.

    You're right though, there's no way in hell that software would be allowed for aviation use.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmchairGeneral View Post
    The Cylons are here. Our doom is upon us.
    There should be a "Cylon eye" just above the intake.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    True...I'm just wondering how long before such recognition software is developed and perfected.

    I mean, even my simple Logitech webcam has basic facial gesture recognition, so software able to see and interpret exaggerated hand gestures can't be far behind.

    You're right though, there's no way in hell that software would be allowed for aviation use.
    Ever used Xbox Kinect?
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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