Friday, April 17, 2015

The X-47B's first aerial refueling test will also be its last

Andrew Tarantola/Engadget
16 April 2015

The Navy's X-47B combat UAV demonstrator successfully paired with an an Omega Air KC-707 airtanker earlier this week. This marks the first time in aviation history for a UAV to demonstrate aerial refueling capabilities. Unfortunately, these tests also likely mark the end of the X-47B program. Despite only completing 20 percent of its potential flight hours, both of the Navy's X-47Bs are destined for museums. Still, the technologies that they've demonstrated -- including those historic autonomous carrier landings in 2013 -- will make their way into future unmanned combat aerial vehicles as part of the Navy's Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS)  program. (USNavy photo)

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