X-47B to undergo lengthy testing before autonomous carrier landing

The Navy plans to conduct a battery of tests on its X-47B before it attempts the unmanned aircraft's first completely autonomous aircraft carrier landing scheduled for some time in 2013, reports Defense News.

The service faces a big challenge programming the aircraft to act just like there’s a pilot inside, and preparing it for the various tasks that occur when the plane is on the flight deck before launch and after recovery, the story said.

The Navy will conduct jet blast deflector tests, catapult launches and recoveries, and flight envelope evaluations, the story said.

The first launch and recovery will be on an East Coast carrier, perhaps the Harry S. Truman, which has been outfitted with X-47B control equipment, the story said.

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