X-47B UCAS (Navy’s killer drone) lands aboard aircraft carrier: machine does what first pilot did 102 years ago

The U.S. Navy has just proudly announced that the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator completed its first-ever carrier-based arrested landing on board USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) off the coast of Virginia.

After a series of blue-water ops, including touch and gos and catapult launch, Jul. 10, 2013 will be remembered as the historic day when manned and unmanned aircraft were integrated on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

“We have certainly come a long way in the 102 years since Eugene Ely made the first arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier. Naval aviators have always been at the forefront of operational and tactical innovation, and today was no exception,” said said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

X-47B

Image credit: U.S. Navy

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About David Cenciotti 3754 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.