Unmanned X-47B Completes First Carrier-Based Launch [PHOTOS]

ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 14, 2013) An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator flies over the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is the first aircraft carrier to successfully catapult launch an unmanned aircraft from its flight deck. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman by Alan Radecki/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 14, 2013) An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator flies over the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is the first aircraft carrier to successfully catapult launch an unmanned aircraft from its flight deck. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman by Alan Radecki/Released)

While not many of us were noticing, the U.S. Navy was off the coast of Virginia on Tuesday, changing the game of naval aviation forever.  The X-47B is a demonstration platform that first flew on February 4th, 2011.  On Tuesday, the unmanned aircraft was successfully launched from the USS George W. Bush and landed at Patuxent River, Maryland after performing several aerial maneuvers.

X-47B Launch Photo Gallery: