Want to see the Navy's super-advanced stealth drone that looks like the Silver Surfer's board?
We thought so.
Yesterday the Navy announced its test phase X-47B stealth drone flew in cruise configuration for the first time. The Blaze told you about the X-47B for the first time back in February, and now we update that story with the testing progress of this revolutionary new aircraft.
Usually it's the Air Force or the Army that gets drone headlines. That is starting to change as the U.S. Navy refines its carrier launched, UAV fleet.
The X-47B is a strike fighter-sized unmanned aircraft currently under development as part of the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. Under a contract awarded to Northrop Grumman in 2007, there are now two X-47B aircraft undergoing flight tests.
The plan is for these lethal UFO-looking drones to undergo aircraft carrier-based launches and recoveries by a second UAV platform in 2013.
The UCAS-D program will help greatly advance carrier landing and integration technologies. By 2014, the Navy hopes to have autonomous aerial refueling of the X-47B aircraft as an additional option.
UCAS-D could be a game changer for the U.S. Navy's fleet. If successful, the program could lead to the deployment of carrier-launched drones around the world. That would mean no more risking naval aviators for aerial strike missions or enforcing a no-fly zone.
Below you can watch the X47-B take off for a short test flight, video courtesy of Airboyd.tv:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/dDnvxNdez84?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]