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Squawks & HeadlinesThe X-47B Drone Has Landed on a Carrier, And War May Never Be the Same

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The X-47B Drone Has Landed on a Carrier, And War May Never Be the Same

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It's not often that we get to witness aviation history being made, but when we do, it's often awesome. Such is the case with the U.S. Navy's X-47B which just became the first unmanned aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier. (gizmodo.com) More...

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Macmannj
Tom MacKinnon 3
The last fighter pilot has already been born....
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Higher unemployment.
paddysmyth
Patrick Smyth 1
Wait until the first robots come out replacing the average grunt in the field.
feote
Ken Jackson 1
Cylon Centurions?
Geo85374
Geo Sharp 2
Amazing what's next ??
virtualpilot
rodney harris 2
there is a lot too be said here
A6SEA
Bill Butler 2
It took three times looking at it, but the drone caught the #1 wire. LSO wouldn't like that. If he had anyone to tell about it:)
jkudlick
Jeremy Kudlick 2
It caught the #2 wire, which is exactly where it needed to be. Look abeam the props of the COD on the port side, and you'll see the housing for the #1 wire and that wire remains stretched across the deck. The #2 wire is abeam the tail of the COD, and the #3 wire is visible just above the Seahawk's folded rotor blades. This was a good landing.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Yea, but the "pilot was in a bar in downtown Minniapolis with 20 georgeous women all around not looking at an LSO and a boat full of old buffalo. Go'head and yell cmdr. Le'me turn down the volume a bit.
NF2G
David Stark 1
After all the criticism of North Korea's "stealth fighter" photo, you would think the US Navy would come up with a better "proof" video than this.

Devil's Advocate: We see the drone flying low and fast over the tail of the carrier. Then JUMP CUT and we see a drone resting on the carrier's deck. How do we know this is video of the same event? Where is the actual capture (or "trap") of the drone on the carrier deck?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Holy crap on a cracker. No more Pilot Error? What will we ever do?
Starman535
Robert Black 1
One thing: Who piloted that thing, & from where? I suspect a highly trained pilot is still necessary to accomplish this feat, so I wouldn't write off human pilots just yet.
paddysmyth
Patrick Smyth 1
Holy crap.
jgg64
John Garduno 1
Wow such a nice bird congrats
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Drone airliners. That's the ticket. One guy can fly several at a time. Finding stupid people to buy the tickets is the easy part too. Lol
NotAPilotJustLikeUrNews
Kat Rose 1
Drones are a scary thing in todays government. Im all for saving the life of the pilot that now doesnt need to fly, but i dunno...with todays war machine how it is...this news sucks.
tduggan2010
Tim Duggan 1
THIS is so cool! Really...take away the "WAR" aspect....yes, I know, "every" great discovery and push-forward of science can embody an aspect of "war"....but in the same vein, these same accomplishments can be worked to science that HELPS the species.

Airplanes, WW I....as the best example. BACK THEN, "no-one" understood the aspect of flying, let alone how it would change our society....
CharlesA
Charles Albert 1
fantastic and believable!
tduggan2010
Tim Duggan 1
THIS is pretty amazing....but, given the advancement of technology, not unexpected.

Because: "Any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic."

The quote above ( ^ ^ ^ ) is from the late, great Arthur C. Clarke. He wrote it back in the early 1960s...the man was a gifted writer, and worthy of respect. It ties in with another great writer, Isaac Asimov.

JUST THOSE TWO people are worthy of paying attention, because as we create, so must we understand.
feote
Ken Jackson 1
My, my, the distances we can make technology reach. This is a demonstration of our phenominal technological capabilities. Now, we can kill people without risk. War is a video game. Beat your chests. Wave the flag.
donhun1313
donhun1313 1
The US Navy has had the capability for fully automated landings on an aircraft carrier since it was first tested on 12 August 1957. The first system was the AN/SPN-10 which has evolved to the AN/SPN46(V) in use today. The aircraft's autopilot was coupled to the signal from the carrier and a perfect #3 wire landing can be performed with out the pilot ever touching the controls. System is so good that it can put the hook onto the same 3 squared feet of deck almost every time. Allows carrier landings in weather so bad that a commercial pilot would need a crowbar to remove the seat cushion after the landing.
fproszek
framk proszek 1
Terrorists, say hello to OUR version of a suicide bomber.
Windval
Rob Kemperman 1
Who gets the blame when things go wrong?
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I know it sounds massively calloused, but isn't that the goal? Less casualties? Get more of the men and women home alive and in one piece? This idea is probably not as much science fiction as it is just a matter of time.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
My question then is, if what you say is true, why is this particular event creating a stir in 2013? I don't get it.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Yup. It's hard enough to land one when you're in the driver seat. I can't imagine trying t from inside a mountain somewhere in Colorado.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Shhhhhh. Don't give um any ideas.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Yea, really. How long have airlines been doing cat 111's? No real difference as far as I see it.
feote
Ken Jackson 1
Jeez, the video I watched Had two different guys with controllers on their belts. My guess, however, is that they were wave off backups. This thing did a perfect "CATIII" landing. Just like airliners.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 0
Then duck when they aim at you
akovia
akovia 1
And when they aim at you, Mark, you'll still be dead and you won't know who got you.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
And is that a good thing?
phoare38
Phil Hoare 1
Does this mean the demise of the fighter pilot and the thrill of watching trained specialists put their aircraft through the hoops at Airshows - would be sad day I think if pilots are replaced but maybe it is inevitable as technology marches ever onwards.
pilotenthusiast
Fighter pilots are never going to get replaced. The X-47B's are only prototypes for the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System. The testing of the X-47B's will end in 2014 and the UCAS will be merged into the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike System. When they start implementing drones into daily carrier operations they are going to be used mainly on Recon and Surveillance missions. They don't have any immediate plans to outfit the drones with weapons
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Maybe one day all our flying heros will be on airliners. Maybe one day we'll stop fighting long enough to raise an entire generation without a war taking our best young people. Meanwhile keep your ammunition dry and your weapons well oiled.
NotAPilotJustLikeUrNews
Kat Rose 1
Ethan where do you leaen this kind of info?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
That may be true for the Navy but there are already armaments for and mounted on unmanned fighter aircraft. I suspect this is the start of something significant since it reduces the risk to human pilots. One of our favorite sayings since Gen. Washington's retreat in New Jersey: " we can always get more weapons but we can't always get men like these."
NotAPilotJustLikeUrNews
Kat Rose 0
Where do you learn this kind of info?
gusw
William Wilgus 0
They're continuing their efforts to de-humanize war. That makes it less of a problem when dealing with one's public.

The primary limitation on fighter planes is the ability of the pilot to withstand G-forces. Eliminating the pilot obviously eliminates that limitation; the drones can make tighter turns at faster speeds. Drones can also reduce the reaction time limit of a pilot.
8literbeater
Jess Glaze 0
I wish all drones would go drown themselves in the Marianas Trench.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
they hurt less when they get shot.
NotAPilotJustLikeUrNews
Kat Rose 1
Oops this was meant for Ethan B...
aat0783
Andrew Taylor 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Navy to attempt 1st unmanned carrier landing

The Navy will attempt to land a drone the size of a fighter jet aboard an aircraft carrier for the first time Wednesday, showcasing the military's capability to have a computer program perform one of the most difficult tasks a pilot is asked to do.

http://news.yahoo.com/navy-attempt-1st-unmanned-carrier-landing-093729424.html
retf14rio
John Rogers -7
It is a sad commentary that the United States must resort to drones because today's military aviators do not believe enough in what they are defending to go in harm's way.
pilotenthusiast
i don't get your point. The us of drones is too kill terrorists, destroy their outposts, etc. They us it too save lives. Our military aviators do believe in what they are defending
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
How did you make such a huge leap to that conclusion?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Huh? Where did that originate?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Now the use of drones is to spy on the citizenry. The uses are expanded every day. They're gonna have to retrain controllers for the xtra traffic.