First drone launch from aircraft carrier


The above video from the US Navy’s YouTube channel shows the first-ever launch of an unmanned drone from the deck of an aircraft carrier using the same steam catapult that thrusts traditional Naval aircraft into the sky. This aircraft, the X-47B, looks huge for a drone. Just compare it to the two F-18 fighters sitting on the deck nearby. As I understand it, this drone is operated by computer program and not by a distantly located pilot with a joystick (although such a pilot is on duty to override the computer if necessary). The strategic significance of this launch system is that bigger drone aircraft, once perfected, can be utilized in distant theaters without the need for being based in other countries near the scene of the action. The next big test for the X-47B is to land on the deck of a carrier such as the USS George H W Bush which is the ship shown in this video.

One Response to First drone launch from aircraft carrier

  1. Dean says:

    Big step for the U.S.Navy. Pilotless Aerial Vehicles (PAVs) are the wave of the future. In forty years there will there not be any planes in the U.S. military piloted by a human.