On 10 July 2013, the bat-winged X-47B fighter jet landed aboard the USS George HW Bush – its first arrested landing on an aircraft carrier. Big deal? Yep, the X-47B had no pilot. The Northrop Grumman-built aircraft is the first unmanned aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier. This historic first marked the final stages of the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) research project.
In this video, you’ll see the X-47B unmanned combat air system successfully takeoff and land from the deck of a moving aircraft carrier.
The X-47B was awarded in PM’s 2013 Breakthrough Awards. For more world-changing ideas, innovative products and really smart people, get your hands on the December 2013 issue – on sale 18 November.
(Thumbnail image credit: Northrop Grumman Corp)