X-47A Pegasus First Flight

Released on Sunday, February 23, 2003
GPS - Global Positioning System
UCAV-N - Naval Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle
Northrop-Grumman Corporation has announced the successful first flight of its X-47A Pegasus experimental Unmanned Air Vehicle. This autonomously controlled first flight took place at China Lake, California.

Northrop-Grumman designed and built the Pegasus X-47A with its own funds to demonstrate low-cost, robust and tailless aerodynamic qualities suitable for autonomous launch and recovery flight operations from an aircraft carrier. Lessons learned from Pegasus will be applied in support of the UCAV-N program.

Specific first flight objectives included low-speed handling qualities, air vehicle performance, navigation performance and collection of landing dispersion data.

The X-47A landed near a predetermined touchdown point simulating the tailhook arrestment point on a carrier flight deck. This landing data and future testing will settle the X-47A's landing accuracy potential.

The GPS will play a major role in the X-47A's landing system when high precision position data required.

The X-47A Pegasus has been built largely with composite materials and it is powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5C engine providing 3,200 pounds of thrust. Pegasus measures 27.9 feet long with a nearly equal wingspan of 27.8 feet.


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