USS Theodore Roosevelt
Conducts Combined Manned, Unmanned Operations
From USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)
USS Theodore Roosevelt, At Sea – (NNS)
– August 17, 2014 – The Navy's unmanned X-47B returned to carrier operations
aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Aug. 17 and completed a series of tests,
operating safely and seamlessly with manned aircraft.
Building on lessons learned from its first test period aboard
TR in November 2013, the X-47B team is now focused on perfecting deck operations
and performing maneuvers with manned aircraft in the flight pattern.
"Today we showed that the X-47B could take off, land and fly
in the carrier pattern with manned aircraft while maintaining normal flight deck
operations," said Capt. Beau Duarte, program manager for the Navy's Unmanned
Carrier Aviation office. "This is key for the future Carrier Air Wing."
The first series of manned/unmanned operations began this
morning when the ship launched an F/A-18 and an X-47B. After an eight-minute
flight, the X-47B executed an arrested landing, folded its wings and taxied out
of the landing area. The deck-based operator used newly developed deck handling
control to manually move the aircraft out of the way of other aircraft, allowing
the F/A-18 to touch down close behind the X-47B's recovery.
This cooperative launch and recovery sequence will be
repeated multiple times over the course of the planned test periods. The X-47B
performed multiple arrested landings, catapults, flight deck taxiing and deck
"For this test period, we really focused on integration with
manned aircraft," said Lt. Cmdr Brian Hall, X-47B flight test director. "We re-engineered
the tailhook retract actuator and updated operating software to expedite
wingfold during taxi, both of which reduce time in the landing area post-recovery.
Our goal was to minimize the time in the landing area and improve the flow with
manned aircraft in the landing pattern."
"The X-47B's air vehicle performance, testing efficiency and
safety technologies and procedures developed and tested throughout the program's
execution have paved the way for the Navy's future carrier-based unmanned system
capability," said Rear Adm. Mat Winter, who oversees the Program Executive
Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons.
The X-47B will remain aboard CVN 71 for the duration of the
underway period. It will perform additional cooperative deck and flight
operations with F/A-18s and complete night deck handling and flying quality
The Navy will continue X-47B flight operations over the next
year to refine the concept of operations to demonstrate the integration of
unmanned carrier-based aircraft within the carrier environment and mature
technologies for the future Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and
For more news from USS Theodore
Roosevelt (CVN 71), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.
140817-N-SB299-087 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 17, 2014) The Navy's
unmanned X-47B, left, is readied for launch as an F/A-18 Hornet conducts flight
operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The
aircraft completed a series of tests demonstrating its ability to operate safely
and seamlessly with manned aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo taken by Mass
Communications Specialist Seaman Apprentice Alex Millar.
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 17, 2014) The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air
System Demonstration (UCAS-D) conducts flight operations aboard the aircraft
carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The aircraft completed a series of
tests demonstrating its ability to operate safely and seamlessly with manned
aircraft. Theodore Roosevelt is underway preparing for future deployments. (U.S.
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Alex Millar/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 17, 2014) The Navy's unmanned X-47B
lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The aircraft
completed a series of tests demonstrating its ability to operate safely and
seamlessly with manned aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo taken by Mass Communications
Specialist Seaman Apprentice Alex Millar/Released)
In today's edition of All Hands Update, Unmanned X-47B conducts carrier
operations aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt, and Royal Australian Navy Sailors
train with U.S. Navy Sailors.
August 18, 2014