> our title:

Wind River, Northrop Share in Historic X-47 Flight

> original title:

Northrop Grumman X-47B Achieves Historic Catapult Launch and Landing with Wind River Technology

(Source: Wind River; issued July 10, 2013)


ALAMEDA, Calif. --- Wind River, a world leader in embedded and mobile software, announced that Northrop Grumman relied on Wind River technology for the successful catapult launch and landing of the X-47B unmanned aircraft from the deck of the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH carrier, the first of their kind in aviation history.

The Wind River VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS) is a key technology for the X-47B in the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program.

Developed by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Navy, the X-47B is the first tailless, autonomous unmanned aircraft to be developed for carrier operations. VxWorks was chosen by Northrop Grumman as the software platform for the UCAS-D program.

“Wind River provides the trusted systems necessary to rapidly create, deploy, and maintain critical applications, as well as satisfy complex mission-critical requirements for next-generation intelligent systems like the X-47B,” said Chip Downing, senior director of aerospace and defense at Wind River. “Wind River is honored to be part of the UCAS-D industry team responsible for this groundbreaking military program, which is paving the way for the future of carrier-based autonomous systems technology.”

Carl Johnson, vice president and Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector, commented, "The catapult launch and landing of the X-47B are historic milestones for the Navy, Northrop Grumman, and Wind River, whose technology has been critical to the success of this program. We look forward to continued collaboration and future achievements with the UCAS-D industry team.”

For more than three decades, Wind River has been a trusted advisor in the development of aerospace and defense products. The company's reliable and secure software has served as a key technology for countless autonomous systems around the globe, including the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, CIRA’s FTB-1 reusable unmanned spacecraft, and the nEUROn Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle demonstrator, among others.


Wind River, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation, is a world leader in embedded and mobile software. Wind River has been pioneering computing inside embedded devices since 1981, and its technology is found in more than 1 billion products. Wind River is headquartered in Alameda, Calif., with offices in more than 20 countries. (ends)


Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Complete First Arrested Landing of A Tailless Unmanned Aircraft Aboard an Aircraft Carrier

(Source: Northrop Grumman Corporation; issued July 10, 2013)

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. --- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) and the U.S. Navy have completed the first arrested landing of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) carrier demonstration aircraft on the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).

The Northrop Grumman-built aircraft landed at 12:23 p.m. Eastern time while the aircraft carrier was under way off the coast of Virginia, and marks the latest and most significant achievement for the program during carrier sea trials, which began in May.

"Today's historic carrier landing and our operations aboard USS George H.W. Bush show, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that tailless unmanned aircraft can integrate seamlessly and operate safely from an aircraft carrier at sea," said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, Navy UCAS program manager. "Beyond X-47B, this moment in history was made possible by an extremely disciplined and dedicated government-industry team that took a brand new unmanned combat air system from initial concept to highly successful demonstration in one of the most demanding operating environments in the world."

The X-47B aircraft took off from Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Md., July 10. A mission operator aboard the carrier took control of the aircraft and monitored the flight operations, which included several planned precision approaches in preparation for the first arrested landing.

During today's testing, the X-47B completed the 35 minute journey from Pax River to the carrier and caught the three-wire with the aircraft's tailhook. The arrested landing effectively brought the aircraft from approximately 145 knots to stop in less than 350 feet.

"Although it looks like it could be an easy maneuver, today's successful arrested landings points back to a rigorous test plan focused on software development and system maturity to prove today that an autonomous unmanned system such as the X-47B can safely, seamlessly and predictably integrate into Navy carrier operations," said Carl Johnson, vice president and Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

The arrested landings aboard the Bush mark the third major aviation achievement by the UCAS-D program since May. On May 14, the X-47B became the first unmanned aircraft to be catapult launched from a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. On May 17, the aircraft performed the first in a series of precision approaches and touch-and-go landings on a carrier by an unmanned system.

Northrop Grumman is the Navy's UCAS-D prime contractor. The company designed and produced the program's two X-47B air vehicles. An integrated test team of Northrop Grumman and Navy personnel executed the rigorous flight test and carrier suitability test sequence that culminated in today's first arrested landing of an autonomous unmanned aircraft.

Northrop Grumman's UCAS-D industry team includes Pratt & Whitney, GKN Aerospace, Eaton, General Electric, UTC Aerospace Systems, Dell, Honeywell, Moog, Wind River, Parker Aerospace, Rockwell Collins and Lockheed Martin.


Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.

-ends-