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Pratt & Whitney powers X-47B system

Nov. 29, 2011 at 6:32 AM   |   Comments

EAST HARTFORD, Conn., Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Pratt and Whitney reports its F100-PW-220U engine and exhaust system successfully powered the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System for U.S. Navy.

The flight of the tailless, autonomous aircraft lasted about 30 minutes last week at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

It was the first flight of the second Northrop Grumman X-47B flight test aircraft for the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration project.

"The successful flight of the second UCAS aircraft is a testament to a strong partnership between Pratt and Whitney and our teammates from Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy," said Jimmy Reed, director of Advanced Engine Programs for Pratt and Whitney.

"We have worked diligently to get ready for these tests and Pratt and Whitney's propulsion system performed well, allowing the aircraft to complete all planned activity during the flight."

Pratt and Whitney's F100-PW-220U is derived from engine models that power the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Falcon. The engine can provide as much as 16,000 pounds of thrust and is intended for operation in a maritime environment, including carrier aircraft.

Carrier demonstrations for the X-47B are scheduled for 2013.

The X-47B is about 38 feet long, can fly as high as 40,000 feet and has a range of 2,400 miles. The Navy intends to use it for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

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