New X-47B completes first flight
The second X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) to be built has completed its first flight. Developed by the US Navy and Northrop Grumman and with GKN Aerospace fuselage and wing structure, the X-47B is currently undergoing a full flight testing programme.
GKN Aerospace has been contracted by the team to produce the tailless aircraft’s complex centre fuselage, wings, bay covers and actuated doors, all produced by GKN Aerospace, contain a lightweight aluminium, titanium or composite substructure that is covered by several hundred square feet of durable, light weight carbon reinforced composite skins. Each wing supports a spoiler flight control surface and hosts fully integrated electrical and hydraulic routings. The wing design also incorporates a fold capability that enables the air vehicle to achieve a smaller footprint for aircraft carrier stowage.
According to GKN Aerospace, the company’s teams at its development centre in Nashville, TN and manufacturing operation in St. Louis, MO used advanced design tools and analysis techniques, with state of the art production equipment, to develop and produce more than 650 high performance metallic and composite structures and assemblies for each aircraft.
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