SkyNet Lives – Navy Drone Carrier Landing Tests

X-47B Takes Off from USS Bush in May.

[UPDATED 8:00 pm with news that third landing attempt was aborted] Two out of three ain’t bad, if you’re trying something no one’s ever done before.

Landing on the narrow, pitching deck of a Navy aircraft carrier is one of the hardest things a human being can do. Today, for the first time in history, a robot did it — twice.

After all the VIPs and reporters had been hustled off the USS George H.W. Bush, however, a third attempt had to be aborted when the experimental X-47B‘s electronic brain “self-detected a navigation computer anomaly,” a Navy spokesman emailed reporters this evening at 7:30. The drone diverted to a landing field ashore without further incident.

Updated 10:00 pm with extended quotations from Adm. Greenert, Rear Adm. Winter, and Sec. Mabus.


Navy, Northrop Score Historic First With (Mostly) Successful X-47B Drone Carrier Landings « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary.

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