US Navy solves X-47B tailhook problem in-house
By Richard Scott
The US Navy (USN) has admitted another problem with a new aircraft tailhook design, this time affecting the Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Aircraft Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) programme.
According to a release issued by Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on 5 September, the service was forced to urgently task its Fleet Readiness Center South West (FRCSW) at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, California, to redesign and manufacture new hook points for the X-47B after arrestment roll-in tests revealed problems with the original design.
The X-47B is scheduled to begin land-based catapult launches and arrested landings later this year, with carrier trials to follow in 2013.
"In late spring, a team from Patuxent River, Maryland, called on FRCSW at NAS North Island to redesign the hook point for ... the X-47B UCAS-D", NAVAIR said. "When unsuccessful roll-in arrestment tests of the X-47B revealed the need for a modified hook point, the team needed to come up with a plan to make the modifications in order to perform arrested landings and catapult launches this fall [autumn]."177 of 384 words
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