Navy drone makes first carrier landing

“Just got a look into the future of #NavalAviation. #X47B successfully completed its first arrested landing,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus tweeted.

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This is the second time this year that the X-47B has made aviation history on the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush. In May, the drone took off from the carrier for the first time, landing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

After the successful catapult takeoff, the X-47B made nine successful touch-and-go landings on the moving carrier deck before Wednesday’s test flight.

Capt. Jaime Engdahl wrote on the Navy’s blog Tuesday that landing on a carrier’s flight deck is one of the most challenging tasks for a naval aviator.

The drone was making the landing by using precision GPS navigation, a high-integrity network connection and advanced flight control software, Engdahl wrote.