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Northrop Grumman X-47B UCAS-D

CammNut

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Here's the latest three-view of Northrop Grumman's X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator for the US Navy. Visible changes are the cropped wingtips (to fit in the carrier hangar when folded) and the sloped-back inlet (no idea why).
 

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flateric

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...according to AWST
photo (c) Northrop Grumman
 

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Trident

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Well, here we go:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a744e0176-e492-4514-b57e-3db280045051
 

fightingirish

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Hey, the first Navy aircraft with a receptacle since the F-16N.... ;) :eek:
Well, the second aircraft will have a probe , because both prototypes have to prove automated aerial refueling system for unmanned air vehicles for both systems.

Just like its father, the B-2, 20 years ago, we see no pictures from the aft!
 

flateric

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(c) Northrop Grumman

Guy sitting at the front seems to be thinking of something serious...future employment, perhaps.
 

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flateric

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Hmm...NG has removed previous photos, but put this one instead
Of course (c) Northrop Grumman
 

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fightingirish

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The first air vehicle, AV-1, is scheduled to make its first flight on Nov. 11, 2009, while a second demonstrator, AV-2, will be completed around December 2009. Both will be used to demonstrate the viability of carrier operations with an unmanned combat aircraft, with the first X-47B carrier landing expected in November 2011.
flateric said:
Hmm...NG has removed previous photos, but put this one instead
Of course (c) Northrop Grumman
Notice the 3 lights on the port side of the nose undercarriage:
A series of nose-leg mounted lights will indicate the readiness of the X-47B to deck crew. A green light will show it is under control of the deck handlers and a blue will indicate it is under control of mission operators, while a red indicates a fault.
Source: AVIATION WEEK - Control Study For First Stealthy UCAS by Guy Norris on Dec 18, 2008
 

overscan

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Original briefing text, substituted at last minute

A series of nose-leg mounted lights will indicate the readiness of the X-47B to deck crew. A green light will show it is under control of the deck handlers and a blue will indicate it is under control of mission operators, while a red indicates it has achieved self awareness and is about to blow up the carrier.
:)
 

donnage99

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Does the x-47b feature a thrust vectoring nozzle of some kind? According to popular science, the x-47a pegasus does have a cylindrical thrust vectoring nozzle. However, does it also migrate into the x-47b. With x-47b's nozzle, it has to be some sort of fluidic thrust vectoring nozzle like that of the x-45, I assume?
http://books.google.com/books?id=iXmscaJ-c3QC&pg=PA40&dq=ucav#v=onepage&q=ucav&f=false
 

sferrin

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donnage99 said:
Does the x-47b feature a thrust vectoring nozzle of some kind? According to popular science, the x-47a pegasus does have a cylindrical thrust vectoring nozzle. However, does it also migrate into the x-47b. With x-47b's nozzle, it has to be some sort of fluidic thrust vectoring nozzle like that of the x-45, I assume?
http://books.google.com/books?id=iXmscaJ-c3QC&pg=PA40&dq=ucav#v=onepage&q=ucav&f=false
X-45, X-36, and Bird of Prey were all Boeing/McDonnell Douglas products. The X-47 is Northrop Grumman. So it doesn't necessarily follow that because the X-45 had it (apparently) that the X-47 would.
 

donnage99

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sferrin said:
X-45, X-36, and Bird of Prey were all Boeing/McDonnell Douglas products. The X-47 is Northrop Grumman. So it doesn't necessarily follow that because the X-45 had it (apparently) that the X-47 would.
I never said x-45 has it(?) because x-47 had it. I said x-45b hasit(?) because x-45a had it.
 

sferrin

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donnage99 said:
sferrin said:
X-45, X-36, and Bird of Prey were all Boeing/McDonnell Douglas products. The X-47 is Northrop Grumman. So it doesn't necessarily follow that because the X-45 had it (apparently) that the X-47 would.
I never said x-45 has it(?) because x-47 had it. I said x-45b hasit(?) because x-45a had it.
"With x-47b's nozzle, it has to be some sort of fluidic thrust vectoring nozzle like that of the x-45, I assume?
 

donnage99

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sferrin said:
"With x-47b's nozzle, it has to be some sort of fluidic thrust vectoring nozzle like that of the x-45, I assume?
Yes, given that IF the x-47b has thrust vectoring in the first place, which is my first question. The part you quoting is that in case that the answer is YES. To quote myself:

"the x-47a pegasus does have a cylindrical thrust vectoring nozzle. However, does it also migrate into the x-47b."

The reason why I assume if it has thrust vectoring, it must be fluidic is because the way the nozzle is shaped which doesn't look like a mechanical thrust vectoring one, not because the boeing one also has it.
 

sferrin

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Where did you here the original X-47 had thrust vectoring? ???
 

donnage99

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sferrin said:
Where did you here the original X-47 had thrust vectoring? ???
I wonder if you read my original post at all, to quote myself:
"According to popular science, the x-47a pegasus does have a cylindrical thrust vectoring nozzle."
And I also provided the link:
http://books.google.com/books?id=iXmscaJ-c3QC&pg=PA40&dq=ucav#v=onepage&q=ucav&f=false (page 44)
 

sferrin

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donnage99 said:
sferrin said:
Where did you here the original X-47 had thrust vectoring? ???
I wonder if you read my original post at all, to quote myself:
"According to popular science, the x-47a pegasus does have a cylindrical thrust vectoring nozzle."
And I also provided the link:
http://books.google.com/books?id=iXmscaJ-c3QC&pg=PA40&dq=ucav#v=onepage&q=ucav&f=false (page 44)

I just skimmed it, sorry. I seem to have read "does" as "doesn't" (you know how the brain can fill in what you expect to see). I'm fairly certain Popular Science is wrong on the X-47A Pegasus having thrust vectoring. IF you look at the back end of it it's just your normal unmoving round nozzle (yes, I know how fludic TVC works) and outside of your Popular Science quote I don't recall hearing it ever mentioned (and PopSci is a ways down my list when it comes to accuracy). I tried searching in the AvWeek archive but for some reason it's only letting me look at the last 90 days which is useless. Anybody have a more definitive source than Popular Science?
 

LowObservable

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I'm sure that there is no TV on any of the current Northrop Grumman designs.
 

fightingirish

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XB-70 Guy said:
According to NG the X-47B will fly before the end of this year.
The first flight of the X-47B has been postponed by several months and will take place at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. in the second quarter of 2010. Low-speed taxi testing is expected to commence in December 2009. Sea trials will be in 2012.
Source: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/UCAS112509.xml&headline=UCAS-D%20Flight%20Slips,%20Sea%20Trials%20On%20Track

Matej's picture shows the rear. You see clearly the hook for carrier landings.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Matej said:
No, its the rear.
Ahh crap, well at least there are worse things to have mistaken rear for front...

As to TVC it could be possible for flight control in VLO mode where actuation of the elevons and so on would change the outer mould line to reflect RF back to a threat radar. I doubt very much it would need TVC for carrier landing approach as any use of such would drop velocity and cause more problems than it would solve (and not as if conventional flight controls can't do the job). But I very much doubt if it is F-22 or Su-30 style TVC for high level manoeuvring.
 

AeroFranz

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Thanks for the pic, Matej! among other things, it shows the degree of washout used on the outer wings to give some longitudinal stability.
 

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seruriermarshal said:
Thanks Matej , so it take a TVC ? and I like your website .

:)
Thanks. My estimation to your question is no, there is no TVC on the current hardware and the X-47B has the same style "simple" tube as the nEUROn. There is the possibility, that sometime in the future it should be equipped with the horizontal TVC, but as the Abraham pointed out, there are not much benefits from it (compared to penalties). But for example Italian Sky-X is reequipped with such a device, so...

Just to add that photo I posted is official Northrop Grumman release from July 2009.
 

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Matej

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No, both are nEUROn nozzle: http://www.hitechweb.genezis.eu/UCAV05.htm Just to illustrate, how the X-47B nozzle *should* look like.
 

flateric

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postponed...

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/12/navy_x47B_uav_122209w/

First flight planned for unmanned jet
By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Dec 22, 2009 15:12:01 EST
Trouble with engine start sequencing and propulsion acoustics delayed the planned December flight of an unmanned aerial system, which might form part of a fleet of unmanned, carrier-based bombers. Despite that delay in the first flight of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstrator jet, program officials are confident they will see wheels up in early 2010.

The maiden flight will take place at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., sometime in the first three months of the year.

“It will be a very short flight. It will be a low-risk flight, so we won’t be flying high, fast, far,” said Cyndi Wegerbauer, a Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems spokeswoman in San Diego.

In the past year, teams from Naval Air Systems Command’s UCAS-D program office and Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems have put the X-47B through a series of preflight tests. They will put the innovative bat-wing shaped aircraft through low-speed taxi testing at Northrop Grumman’s manufacturing facility near Palmdale, in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles later this month or early next month, Wegerbauer said.

The second X-47B has been built and configured with an autonomous aerial refueling system and also will fly during 2010, she said.

By late summer 2010, the first aircraft will arrive at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., for additional testing and flights ahead of planned testing aboard an aircraft carrier out of Norfolk, Va., and eventual sea trials by 2012, officials said.

The unmanned X-47B, built with twin bays that can carry precision-guided munitions, is designed to land and take off from existing aircraft carriers and fly farther and for longer missions than current manned aircraft can do.

“We look forward to our first flight early in the new year,” Capt. Martin Deppe, the UCAS-D program manager, said in a NavAir news release, “but we won’t go until we’re ready.”
 

Colonial-Marine

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If the X-47B or a variant of it actually enters Navy (or USAF) service shall it get a designation under the MQ series?
 

Steve Pace

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AQ maybe.... I've also heard A-47 even because when Boeing was in the running they mentioned "A-45."
 
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