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First Time: Navy Flies Manned, Unmanned Carriers Together

Navy Times reports that “it was one small button push for man and one giant catapult launch for the Navy’s unmanned air combat program Sunday as the X-47B flew its first takeoffs and landings with F/A-18s on the aircraft carrier Roosevelt.”  

“Off the Virginia coast, two Hornets and one X-47B practiced launches and traps in the same pattern, testing the unmanned jet’s ability to take off and land safely, then move out of the way to allow a manned aircraft to come in right behind it.”  

“It was a first for the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Aircraft Carrier Demonstration program, said Rear Adm. Mat Winter, program executive officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons at Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Maryland.”