In what may be a Kitty Hawk moment for an unmanned aircraft, an experimental drone made a 29-minute flight late Friday, lacking not only an onboard pilot, but one on the ground, flying the vehicle remotely.
"Such events are history in the making," said Janis Pamiljans, vice president and program manager for the X-47B program at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, which built the plane for the U.S. Navy. "We surpassed what we wanted to achieve with the flight."
The bat-winged, tail-less X-47B, one of two demonstrators built by Northrop Grumman, flew as high as 5,000 feet during its debut and touched down right on target.
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