Naval aviation officials chose 11 a.m. on Sunday morning to make history as the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator made its first flight at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
The tailess, unmanned aircraft designed to land on aircraft carriers made a 35 minute flight taking off from Pax River and flying over the Chesapeake Bay reaching an altitude of 7,500 feet and an air speed of 180 knots. Navy officials considered Sunday’s first test flight a success.
The service’s first unmanned strike aircraft arrived from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in June to continue its testing regimen. Pax River has a simulated aircraft carrier environment to test the incredible feat of landing an unmanned aircraft on a carrier at sea. Navy leaders hope to make the first X-47B landing on a carrier in 2013.
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