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Northrop Grumman X-47B

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Problemino:

 

Fonte: Flightglobal

 

 

The Northrop Grumman X-47B landed twice aboard the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, but a malfunction with one of its three navigation computers prevented a third landing. The aircraft subsequently diverted to Wallops Field, Virginia, as programmed, for a safe recovery.

"There are three redundant navigation computers on the X-47," says Capt Jaime Engdahl, the US Navy's programme manager for unmanned systems. "We saw an issue on one of those computers and decided we had done enough for the day, flew the aircraft back and landed it."

The aircraft makes its approaches autonomously, without human interference. The computers onboard the aircraft noted the anomaly affecting one of the three precision GPS computers, and though capable of landing using only one, the aircraft is coded to abort landing under those circumstances. After the automatic abort, the human controller elected to divert the aircraft instead of continuing.

"They're working through the data right now," says Carl Johnson, Northrop Grumman's programme manager. "In terms of a malfunction it's probably a minor issue, that when we reset the computers everything will be up and running and we'll have a fully functional aircraft."

Two X-47Bs are flying. The aircraft used for the test has the tail number 502. An identical aircraft, tail number 501, will likely be used for the next aircraft carrier test series on 15 July. If all goes well in the second series, the X-47B's tests will be completed and the aircraft retired. A manned Learjetusing X-47B's software will conduct autonomous air-to-air refueling trials in 2014.

The lessons learned from the X-47B demonstrations will be used to address the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) programme, meant to essentially create an operational production UAV for aircraft carriers. Four companies - Northrop, Lockheed Martin,Boeing and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems - have been selected to perform design work.

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Ancora sui problemi di atterraggio...

 

Fonte: Flightglobal

 

 

The US Navy confirms that a Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air system-demonstrator (UCAS-D) aircraft aborted its final attempt at an arrested landing on the aircraft carrier USS GeorgeH W Bush on 15 July, 2013. The aircraft had successfully recovered onboard the giant vessel twice before, but failed to do so on its third or fourth attempts.

"Aircraft 'Salty Dog 501' was launched to the ship on July 15 to collect additional shipboard landing data," the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) says. "During the flight, the aircraft experienced a minor test instrumentation issue and returned to NAS Patuxent River [Maryland], where it safely landed."

The unsuccessful fourth attempt means that the UCAS-D programme will not be able to complete its stated goal of making a minimum of three successful "traps" onboard a carrier. The X-47B made two successful traps on the Bush on 10 July, but a third attempt that day failed when aircraft "Salty Dog 502" self-detected a navigation computer anomaly that forced it to divert to Wallops Island AirField, Virginia.

"There were no additional opportunities for testing aboard CVN 77, which returned to port today," NAVAIR says. "This was the final at sea period for UCAS-D. The objective of the demonstration was to complete a carrier landing. The programme met their objective."

NAVAIR UCAS-D programme manager Capt Jaime Engdahl says, "We accomplished the vast majority of our carrier demonstration objectives during our 11 days at sea aboard CVN 77 in May."

With the UCAS-D carrier arrested recovery testing complete, the two X-47B demonstrators are expected to be retired to museums in Maryland and Florida in the near future. The next navy carrier-borne unmanned aircraft will come in the form of the service's Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike aircraft.

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Sono dunque destinati a finire nei musei della Marina .... ma potrebbe forse esserci ancora una qualche (sia pure remota) possibilità che tornino a volare ....

 

The Navy and Northrop Grumman officials are still combing through data collected from the July 10 tests.

(Rear Adm. Mat Winter, Navy program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons) .... says he will continue to look for opportunities for the air vehicles to be used for other Navy test efforts, but none are planned.

 

Fonte .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_07_16_2013_p0-597640.xml

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Sono dunque destinati a finire nei musei della Marina .... ma potrebbe forse esserci ancora una qualche (sia pure remota) possibilità che tornino a volare ....

 

Fonte .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_07_16_2013_p0-597640.xml

 

Infatti .... era una possibilità assai meno remota di quanto si potesse pensare ....

 

US Navy hopes to fly X-47B demonstrators into 2014 ....

 

The US Navy hopes to continue flying its two Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrators (UCAS-D).

The service had earlier said that the prototypes would be retired after the type had demonstrated the ability to make carrier arrested recoveries onboard the USS George H W Bush: an achievement first made on 10 July.

 

Fonte .... http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-navy-hopes-to-fly-x-47b-demonstrators-into-2014-389216/

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UCLASS .... un programma talmente annacquato .... che rischia la cancellazione ....

 

Reduced capability leaves UCLASS vulnerable to budget axe ....

 

Concerns have been raised that the capabilities of the US Navy's proposed Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft have been so watered down from the original concept that the programme is now vulnerable to cancellation by a cash-strapped Pentagon.

 

Fonte .... http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/reduced-capability-leaves-uclass-vulnerable-to-budget-axe-389305/

 

Inoltre ....

 

Official denies White House link to UCLASS revision .... http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/official-denies-white-house-link-to-uclass-revision-389375/

 

Uclass: How Much LO is Enough? .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post:b2ccbe0f-d459-44c8-8bb6-3f696efc5dd8

 

Uclass Draft RFP Slips As Stealth Debate Continues .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_08_13_2013_p01-01-605968.xml

 

 

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UCLASS .... nonostante tutto .... fra breve avrà un nome ....

 

USN to designate UCLASS before end of fiscal year ....

 

The US Navy revealed at the show yesterday it expects to announce a name and designation for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft before the end of the fiscal year, in a move that appears aimed at putting the program onto a more secure footing.

 

Fonte .... http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/auvsi-usn-to-designate-uclass-before-end-of-fiscal-year-389506/

 

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UCLASS .... assegnati a quattro aziende i primi contratti ....

 

US Navy awards UCLASS preliminary design contracts ....

 

Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems have each received a $15 million fixed-price contract for a preliminary design review (PDR) assessment for the US Navy's Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike aircraft.

 

Fonte .... http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-navy-awards-uclass-preliminary-design-contracts-389561/

 

 

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UCLASS .... assegnati a quattro aziende i primi contratti ....

 

.... ulteriori dettagli ....

 

Navy Advances UCLASS Development ....

 

The Navy last week awarded contracts to the four companies maturing their respective remotely piloted aircraft designs under the service's Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system program.

Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman each received a $15 million firm, fixed-price contract to advance their designs through a preliminary design review, according to the Pentagon’s list of major contracts on Aug. 14.

The period of performance for this work is approximately nine months, out to June 2014, according to the Navy's Aug. 15 release.

"The PDRs are intended to inform the Navy of technical risk, cost, and design maturity of the air segment, and allow the industry teams to better understand the program's requirements across the entire UCLASS system to expeditiously deliver the unmanned carrier-based system to the fleet," said Charlie Nava, the sea service's UCLASS program manager.

The Navy wants UCLASS to provide "a responsive, worldwide presence" with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance as well as strike capabilities.

 

See also Sentinel, Feet Wet? ....

 

8/19/2013

 

Fonte .... il "Daily Report" dell'AFA .... bhf5g7_th.jpg

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Fine della nuova serie di prove in mare ....

 

Les deux drones X-47B ensemble pour des essais en mer ....

 

Le Navair annonce avoir terminé, le 19 novembre, une nouvelle série d’essais en mer de son démonstrateur de drone de combat embarqué X-47B sur le porte-avions USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Et pour la première fois les deux exemplaires de l’appareil ont été mis à contribution.

Ces nouveaux essais ont porté notamment sur des appontages dans des conditions de vent au-delà des limites nominales et dans des directions qui n’avaient pas été prises en compte dans les tests réalisés jusqu’ici.

 

Fonte .... http://www.air-cosmos.com/defense/les-deux-drones-x-47b-ensemble-pour-des-essais-en-mer.html

 

NAVAIR .... "Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System completes carrier tests" .... http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.NAVAIRNewsStory&id=5495

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Ci sarà un'ulteriore serie di prove in mare ....

 

New X-47B Ship Goal: Clear Deck In 90 Sec. ....

 

The U.S. Navy is preparing to conduct a new round of sea trials this summer with its X-47B stealthy aircraft to prove the unmanned system can clear the busy aircraft carrier deck in 90 sec. or less, just like its piloted counterparts.

 

Fonte .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_04_07_2014_p38-676684.xml


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Un importante riconoscimento .... dqj3ar.jpg

 

X-47B Demo Team To Receive Collier Trophy ....

 

The X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstration team has been named the 2013 winner of the National Aeronautic Association’s Collier trophy, announced Northrop Grumman.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected as this year's winner,” said Carl Johnson, vice president of the company’s UCAS-D organization.

“The X-47B program is the product of extraordinary vision and relentless execution.”

The X-47B was the “first unmanned, tailless aircraft” to catapult launch from an aircraft carrier, make touch-and-go-landings from a carrier, and to make an arrested landing aboard a carrier, states the release.

“The array of advancement and achievement in aerospace was on full display in our seven hours of Collier selection,” said NAA Chairman Walter Boyne, who also chairs the selection committee, in an April 10 release.

“The nominations and presentations were exceptional and the discussions reflected the challenge that we had to select one.”

The award ceremony will take place May 29 in Arlington, Va.

 

(See 2012 winners.)

 

4/14/2014

 

Fonte .... il "Daily Report" dell'AFA .... 2mpl6b5.jpg

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Volo di notte ....

 

mbooec.jpg

 

A Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned air vehicle completed the type's first night flight on 10 April – the same day the UAV's development team won the Robert J Collier Trophy from the National Aeronautic Association.

The aircraft .... conducted the night flight at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland ....

 

Fonte .... "X-47B conducts night flight, named Collier Trophy winner" .... http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/x-47b-conducts-night-flight-named-collier-trophy-winner-398256/

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UCLASS .... pubblicata la bozza della RFP (Request for Proposal) ....

 

"US Navy releases draft of UCLASS RFP" .... http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-navy-releases-draft-of-uclass-rfp-398373/

 

"Navy Issues Restricted UCLASS Draft Request for Proposal" .... http://news.usni.org/2014/04/17/navy-issues-secret-uclass-draft-request-proposal

 

.... la RFP definitiva dovrebbe essere rilasciata entro il corrente anno ....

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Il Senato vuole che la Marina sviluppi un 'bombardiere a lungo raggio' quale successore dello X-47B ..... e l' USAF non manca di esprimere il suo malcelato disappunto .....

 

Navy Bomber? .....

John A. Tirpak (5/28/2015)
The Senate Armed Services Committee wants the Pentagon to hurry up and develop a stealthy, unmanned long-range strike aircraft … for the Navy.
In its Fiscal 2016 appropriations report, released Wednesday, SASC directed the Defense Department to conduct competitive prototyping “of at least two follow-on air systems” to the X-47B unmanned demonstrator, which has successfully launched from and landed on a carrier, and air-refueled autonomously.
The committee wants the competition to run in 2017.
The Unmanned Carrier-Launched Strike and Surveillance (UCLASS) aircraft is to be “capable of long-range strike in a contested environment,” according to the report; the same description for the Air Force’s Long-Range Strike Bomber.
The SASC granted blanket authority for DOD to use “streamlined procedures for rapid prototyping and rapid fielding,” so long as it gets the technical data rights to develop competitive follow-on systems.
Even though the Navy did not request any money for UCLASS for 2016, SASC put back in $725 million, of which $350 million is to be spent continuing to fly the two X-47B prototypes.
At the same time, SASC took away $460 million from the Air Force’s LRS-B program.
The Navy has said it’s already done everything it planned to do with the Northrop Grumman-built X-47B and that it would be pointless to keep flying it, putting UCLASS on hold until it better understands whether it wants more of a scout or bomber aircraft.
SASC seems to have rendered its opinion.

Fonte ..... il 'Daily Report' dell' AFA .....

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Scoop di Aviation Week che mostra la proposta Northrop Grumman MQ-25A per un nuovo velivolo senza pilota da impiegarsi in varie missioni, in primis come tanker.

 

nguas-palmdale1crop.jpg

 

http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/modified-x-47b-breaks-cover-testbed-mq-25-bid

 

Dopo il rilassamento delle specifiche per un drone da combattimento imbarcato, l’X-47B in deposito è stato modificato per rispondere alle nuove specifiche per un Unmanned Carrier Aviation Air System, UCAAS.
Certo, la stealthness è ora passata in secondo piano, ma nei nuovi concetti di tanker USAF post KC-46A si era apertamente parlato della possibilità di avere delle cisterne con capacità stealth e qui lascia un po’ interdetti il fatto che un velivolo concepito per essere stealth finisca col vedersi aggiungere un pod di rifornimento simile al Cobham 34 (con tanto di turbina per alimentarlo sul muso) sotto l’ala sinistra e un normalissimo serbatoio sotto quella destra.
Per il resto il velivolo sembra identico all’originario X-48B AV-2/502 che ha partecipato all’abortito programma UCAS-D, compresa la sonda retrattile sul lato destro, che ha già dimostrato di poter usare venendo rifornito da un KC-707 (primo drone in grado di farlo autonomamente).

D'altra parte con 8 milioni di dollari di contratto non si poteva andare moltro oltre queste piccole modifiche.
Risponde comunque ai nuovi requisiti che prevedono più un velivolo di supporto che orbiti nelle vicinanze della portaerei che un mezzo in grado di penetrare in spazi aerei protetti.

Certo che togliendo quei pod, potrebbe ancora farlo visto che ricognizione e attacco non sembrano del tutto spariti dalle sue capacità…

 

https://www.defensetech.org/2017/03/22/navy-redesign-drone-refueling-tanker/

 

Vediamo che combineranno gli altri tre concorrenti (Lockheed, Boeing Co., General Atomics).

 

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usn-awards-mq-25-risk-reduction-contract-to-northrop-430550/

 

Magari comunque niente di eclatante vedendo l'immagine sotto, chiaramente di origine Lockheed Martin.

 

MQ-25A_Proof01.jpg

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Scoop di Aviation Week che mostra la proposta Northrop Grumman MQ-25A per un nuovo velivolo senza pilota da impiegarsi in varie missioni, in primis come tanker.

 

Anche le foto del T-X di Northrop Grumman erano state uno scoop...

Si vede che non porta bene, perchè anche in questo caso il costruttore si tira fuori dalla mischia.

 

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/northrop-grumman-pulls-out-of-mq-25-competition-442510/

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