Pics of the Day: X-47B From Above

Speaking of Northrop Grumman-made UAVs, check out these new photos of Northrop’s stealthy X-47B. The downward-looking pics show the plane — designed to test out how to operate a fighter-sized, stealthy UAV from an aircraft carrier — flying from an angle I’d never seen before. They make it look all the more badass, even if it is only a concept jet.

The jet caused a stir in a small town in Kansas last month when locals mistook a shrink-wrapped X-47B being trucked from California to Maryland for a UFO!


28 Comments on "Pics of the Day: X-47B From Above"

  1. You don't read much about the program itself. I hope it is moving along smoothly. It will be such a boon for strike from CSGs.

    The pics are fantastic as well.

  2. I know in the article you mention this is a concept jet, but this is one I hope gets to production…or something a lot like it.

  3. are those flying-boom refuelling markings on the top?

  4. Strange its both ugly and cute at the same time.

  5. I wonder what kind of targeting radar that thing has and where they're hiding it.

  6. Can radar bounce off 2 objects and return to the source to register an object? It seems with an inward facing inlet for the propulsion, radar can bounce off off one side, hit the other, then travel back to the source.

    Whereas if it was a triangle facing outwards, it would bounce off to the side of the aircraft.

  7. Very nice design!

  8. i wish i had one of these when i was a kid.

  9. finger licking good, thanks!

  10. I have one question: how can a Navy hose and drogue plane refuel this thing? looks like it uses Air Force hardware…..

  11. Question: where is the radar on this thing? If it is in the nose, it can't be very powerful, right?

  12. Nice peice of kit. Too bad Australia cant afford them.

  13. Its not more bang for the buck here; the cost of computer system to operate this thing is outrageous simply because it does not have a rudder or T-tail, and the argument that its invisible just doesn't wash because it has a heat signature that is unmistakable.
    Whats really happening here is cost overruns, misappropriation of funds and basically lying to the public about things like performance, as well as falsifying documents.

  14. Put a gun and some missiles on these and they can become wingmen controlled by the WSO in the F18 two seaters.

  15. simply awesome

  16. Great view of Edwards AFB along with the UAV.

  17. Port side "wing root" there is a forward opening hatch, looks like its designed to open during operations as it has a radar defying serrated edge, is this for a gun ? never heard of anyone thinking or arming a UAV in this way ? thoughts ?

  18. every time i see something like this i can't help but wonder "holy cr*p! how can it even be flying?!?!"…

  19. That says a lot about Kansans if they thought it was a UFO. At least it didn't go through Oklahoma or Arkansas.

  20. I STILL want some with a driver in it…..
    I'm old school….
    Sometimes those things just up a quit on ya….

    BY the way what happened to the Irainian Drone recovery story?

    Was that real ……
    Or Memorex?

  21. The true beauty of a UAV like this the lack of the pilot physically in the aircraft. What are the limits of current fighter platforms? The pilot, materials, fuel, and weapons.

    1. A pilot can only stay on station so long
    2. A pilot can only take x number of g-force
    3. The materials the aircraft is made of can only take so much stress
    4. It can only hold a fixed amount of weaponry

    I'd love to see what type of maneuvering this thing could do considering there is no human limits to consider, just physics.

    Obviously – there are drawbacks – such as command and control being lost – where having a pilot is a good thing.

    I foresee a force structure where both manned and unmanned aircraft are part of the playbook, and both to be used when they have the advantage depending on the situation.

  22. Wonder which alien ship design they got this from lol

  23. So is this the new design we are going to "send" to the Iranians? Why wrap it up with a little bow while we are at it?


  25. It's a You F Ooh

  26. The radar is probably a unit very similar to the B-2s. Therefore an array can be hidden anywhere along the leading edge (perhaps where the wing-walk lines on the port wing are serrated) and be potent indeed. The boom receptacle on a Navy jet is confusing. Purposeful deception? Or just for this test article most likely.

  27. rubens marchiori | February 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply

    muito bonito, mas que pra isso, se nós preocupamos bem menos com a nossa vida, devemos nos preocupar mais: com a qualidade da vida e do planeta

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