The first “cruise” flight (first official flight test was in February 2011) of the U.S. Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration aircraft. During this flight, conducted Sept. 30, 2011 flight, the aircraft’s landing gear was raised and lowered for the first time, a key milestone in the envelope expansion phase of flight testing. The X-47B was designed, developed and produced by Northrop Grumman, the leader in unmanned systems.
The X-47B weighs the same as the F-18, and has two internal bays holding two tons of smart bombs. Once it can operate off a carrier, the X-47B will be used for a lot of bombing. Sort of a super-Reaper. The navy has been impressed with the success of the Predator and Reaper. But the Reaper weighs only 4.7 tons. The much larger, 15 ton, X-47B uses a F100-PW-220 engine, which is currently used in the F-16 and F-15.