The US Navy has tested the drone X-47B in carrier operations alongside manned aircraft, seeing how it functions as part of the larger overall system. Not surprisingly, the drone did excellent, working alongside the manned F/A-18. This will lead to additional tests in the future, according to the Navy.
The operations were performed on the USS Theodore Roosevelt this past Sunday, and were said to build upon data gathered from the first round of testing that kicked off back in November 2013. During this particular test, the drone took off from the carrier, flew in the designated pattern along with the manned jet, and then landed again.
In the video above, you can see the drone take off and land, as well as fold its wings in and, ultimately, move out of the way of other incoming aircraft. According to the Navy, the drone was manually controlled when it came to moving out of the way. Other operations are planned, including ones that take place at night and refueling tasks.
Said Rear Adm. Mat Winter overseeing the program, “The X-47B’s air vehicle performance, testing efficiency and safety technologies and procedures developed and tested throughout the program’s execution have paved the way for the Navy’s future carrier-based unmanned system capability.”