This is just flat out cool stuff! The X-47B is an amazing piece of high tech but when you actually watch it taking a cat shot, mid-air refueling and then taking a trap it just boggles the mind. How long until pilots are no longer needed (or wanted) in the cockpit? Let’s hear your thoughts on that!
Northrop Grumman is using an X-47B unmanned air vehicle (UAV) as a flying testbed for air refueling systems in support of its proposal for the U.S. Navy’s upcoming MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial refueling tanker contest.
First details of Northrop Grumman’s preparations for the MQ-25A bid have emerged in photographs obtained by Aviation Week of a modified X-47B at the U.S. Air Force’s Plant 42 facility in Palmdale, Calif. The photos appear to show the UAV configured with a wing air refueling pod (WARP) under the left wing and a drop fuel tank under the right wing.” – US Military News
Featured image of Dave Lorenz, a Northrop Grumman deck operator, ‘driving’ an X-47B unmanned combat air system using an arm-mounted controller on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77 by MC2 Timothy Walter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons