> our title:

Software Glitch Aborts Third X-47B Carrier Landing

> original title:

Glitch Forces Navy Drone to Abort Carrier Landing (excerpt)

(Source: The Virginian Pilot Online; published July 12, 2013)

The unmanned aircraft that made history when it achieved two tailhook landings aboard a moving aircraft carrier Wednesday suffered a computer glitch on its third attempt and had to divert to shore, the Navy said Thursday.

Instead of spending the next six days on board the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, the prototype X-47B “waved off” the carrier landing and touched down at Wallops Island flight facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The disrupted attempt came on the heels of success. Twice on Wednesday, the aircraft made automated landings on the carrier flight deck, witnessed by top Navy leaders and dozens of journalists who were brought on board for the event. (…/…)

After the journalists departed the ship about 4 p.m. Wednesday, the prototype, which goes by the call sign Salty Dog 502, was launched by catapult for a third landing attempt.

It was about 4 miles out and was approaching the deck for a landing when there was a fault with one of three computers used for navigation on the X-47B, said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, the program’s manager.

The other two computers recognized the “anomaly,” and the drone responded the way it was programmed to, he said. It waved itself off and, as it climbed, alerted the mission operator, who directed the craft to fly to the nearest landing site on shore, on Wallops Island. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full report, on the Virginian Pilot website.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The US Navy has not so far issued any statement about this failure.)