Briefing: June 2014
X-47B Wins Collier Trophy
The first autonomous combat drone for carrier operations, Northrop Grumman’s X-47B, won the 2013 Collier Trophy, the National Aeronautic Association announced in April. The stealthy drone first flew in 2011 and spent much of 2013 in carrier and runway recovery operations. It will become the ancestor of the Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS), which is scheduled to be deployed by the Navy in 2019. NAA Chairman Walter Boyne called the X-47B a “remarkable accomplishment.” Other nominees included NASA’s Lunar Laser Communications demo team, Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower geared turbofan engine, and the Atlas and Gamera human-powered helicopters.
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