The U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt returned to port last week after hosting the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle for more at-sea trials. The goal was to test the aircraft’s interaction with the ship in off-nominal wind conditions. Nominal conditions are winds up to 25 knots right down the runway on deck. Testers were looking for 35 knots of relative winds and crosswinds up to 7 knots.
Here are a few statistics from the tests:
26 total deck touchdowns
21 of those were touch and gos
five catapult launchs and five trap landings
five wave offs (two planned and three owing to software logic the automatically conducted a wave off owing to extreme wind conditions).
For videos of the trials by Amy Butler of Aviation Week, click here.
Photo by Mass Comm. Spec. Seaman Anthony N. Hilkowski, U.S. Navy