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Us Navy Tests Bizarre Bat Wing Robo Bomber



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Edwards Air Force Base, California: The US Air Force has nothing on the US Navy. While it's true the USAF has top guns slipping their superstealth aircraft through layers of enemy radar—snapping photos from 100,000 feet of the enemy enjoying an afternoon tea—the salty seadogs only respond with a deprecating smile.

The grinning swabbies proved once again they can command the sky (as well as the seven seas) with their radically designed, bat-winged X-47B jet. As the aircraft roared off the sprawling Air Force base's desert runway February 7th, it turned, banked, and clawed itself upwards into the pristine sky.  

As it flew, the benchmark for pilotless military aircraft was ratcheted up several more levels. The robot plane responded to computer commands transmitted by a ground-based technical flight team.

"Today we got a glimpse towards the future as the Navy's first-ever tailless, jet-powered unmanned aircraft took to the skies," Captain Jaime Engdahl, a program manager for the warplane, said in a prepared statement.

The futuristic robo-bomber built by Northrop Grumman Corporation is strikingly similar to the famous B-2 stealth bomber albeit smaller. The aerospace company has a 2007 $636 million contract with the Navy to develop the deadly little bomber designed to take off from US aircraft carriers.

During its maiden test flight, the unmanned aircraft executed flawless aerobatic maneuvers with such precision even South American fruit bats would have to stop in mid-flight to stare with envy.

The robo-bomber burned through the crystal blue sky shattering the silence of the desert landscape below it, at times skimming the landscape like a 1920s barn-burner and at other times rolling and diving like a member of a sport plane pylon racing team.

According to proud Navy spokesmen and the defense contractor that built the X-47B, the remotely-controlled aircraft was airborne for almost 30 minutes and attained an altitude of 5,000 feet. It "flew a racetrack pattern over the dry lake bed with standard-rate turns," they said.

Navy officials have big plans for the bat-wing robo-bomber. They plane to introduce it as part of the next generation of armed drones. According to Northrop's declassified specs the aircraft is configured to evade painting a radar signature with its stealthy characteristics and profile while flying much faster than the current classes of drones, the prop-driven Reapers and Predators used extensively in Afghanistan mission.

A Northrop press release stated the target date for carrier tests of the X-47B is 2013.

Once it takes command of enemy skies those skies will become the property of the United States Navy.

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  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.edwards.af.mil/
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://hsleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/x-47b.jpg
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.edwards.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123241590
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.edwards.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/110204-F-1162D-019.JPG
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.html?d=212928
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.northropgrumman.com/