The team has been awarded the 2011 James S. McDonnell Award for Outstanding Team Achievement in the Field of Flight Test Engineering by the Society of Flight Test Engineers.
The team, comprised of the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Northrop Grumman, was recognized for testing innovations related to the evaluation and flight demonstration of the tailless X-47B earlier this spring, and to the July 2 demonstrations of aircraft- and ship-based precision navigation and landing systems that will enable the team to safely launch and recover the X-47B on a Navy aircraft carrier in 2013.
The award was presented at the organization's symposium last week in Seattle.
"Receiving this award is truly an honor for the UCAS-D program," said Janis Pamiljans, vice president and program manager, Navy UCAS, for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "It recognizes the outstanding mix of collaboration, creativity and engineering talent that characterizes our government/industry flight test team.
"By defining and implementing a new family of test methodologies, the team has successfully positioned us to evaluate the performance of a tailless, autonomous, low-observable relevant unmanned air system in the complex and very challenging carrier environment."
Named after American aviation pioneer and McDonnell Aircraft Corp. founder James Smith "Mac" McDonnell, the McDonnell award is given annually by SFTE to honor excellence by flight test teams.
Northrop Grumman is the Navy's prime contractor for the Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration program, which is designed to demonstrate the operation of a tailless, low-observable, autonomous unmanned aircraft to and from the deck of an aircraft carrier.