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US Navy: Blue Angels Will Transition to Unmanned Aircraft for 2018 Season

skynet

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Blue Angels to Fly Unmanned Drone Aircraft – Artist’s Depiction

In a surprise announcement today, the US Navy announced that the Blue Angels will transition from their current F-18 Hornets to unmanned F-47 aircraft for their 2018 airshow season. The team will still fly a full ‘delta’ aerobatic routine, including tight formations, using six of the cutting edge drones. The only difference is that the pilots will never leave the ground and will instead monitor the pre-programmed flight routines from special trailers set up at each show site. Since the aircraft are unmanned, the team will no longer offer media rides but will allow selected media representatives to ‘sit in’ on practice demonstrations using a virtual reality headset that will be known as Blue Angel 7, the same callsign as the team’s current two-seat media jet. The pilots will also be expected to post to social media during the routine to increase their interaction with fans.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Navy to showcase our advanced technology and cutting edge aircraft,” said Jack Herndon, the Navy’s Chief of Public Outreach. “Honestly, the Hornets are getting to be quite old and worn out. We saw the need to replace them and decided to take advantage of the timing by leaping straight ahead to our very newest fighter aircraft, the F-47. The Blue Angels’ primary mission is to inspire America’s young people to join the Navy, and with this transition we are able to demonstrate that even young men and women who only want to sit at a computer all day can have a successful Navy flying career. Those are exactly the people we are looking to recruit in the future.”
 

Víðarr

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This isn't and can't be true.

1. the UCLASS program hasn't even finished and wont until 2022-2023 - this is the program that will decide the Navy's carrier UAV. Thus no X-47B in service before that time, unless the Navy orders a limited emergency production run, as seen with the LRASM - whose program is ongoing too.

Navy Pushes UCLASS Fielding Date, Air Segment Request for Proposal - USNI News


2. The X-47B is only one competitor in the UCLASS program, and it isn't a production model. It's a tech demonstrator used to validate carrier take-offs and landings for the UCLASS program. If the Navy selects it as the winner of the UCLASS program, it will become a production aircraft.

Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

3. "F" is a fighter designation, the UCLASS project is for an ISR/attack platform. There will be no "F-47" unless the Navy starts a fighter UCAV program. No such program currently exists (that we know of).

The UCLASS will have "cooperative engagement capabilities," but it's not a fighter in its own right.

The Navy’s New Drone Will Be Able to Fight Other Planes — War Is Boring — Medium

4. Source?

I don't believe this at all, and I'm speaking as an active duty US Navy personnel.

Ok, here's the source - US Navy: Blue Angels Will Transition to Unmanned Aircraft for 2018 Season | AirshowStuff

Posted on April 1st. Happy late April Fools Day everyone:angry:!
 
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gau8av

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View attachment 211287
Blue Angels to Fly Unmanned Drone Aircraft – Artist’s Depiction

In a surprise announcement today, the US Navy announced that the Blue Angels will transition from their current F-18 Hornets to unmanned F-47 aircraft for their 2018 airshow season. The team will still fly a full ‘delta’ aerobatic routine, including tight formations, using six of the cutting edge drones. The only difference is that the pilots will never leave the ground and will instead monitor the pre-programmed flight routines from special trailers set up at each show site. Since the aircraft are unmanned, the team will no longer offer media rides but will allow selected media representatives to ‘sit in’ on practice demonstrations using a virtual reality headset that will be known as Blue Angel 7, the same callsign as the team’s current two-seat media jet. The pilots will also be expected to post to social media during the routine to increase their interaction with fans.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Navy to showcase our advanced technology and cutting edge aircraft,” said Jack Herndon, the Navy’s Chief of Public Outreach. “Honestly, the Hornets are getting to be quite old and worn out. We saw the need to replace them and decided to take advantage of the timing by leaping straight ahead to our very newest fighter aircraft, the F-47. The Blue Angels’ primary mission is to inspire America’s young people to join the Navy, and with this transition we are able to demonstrate that even young men and women who only want to sit at a computer all day can have a successful Navy flying career. Those are exactly the people we are looking to recruit in the future.”
you're a couple of days late, it's the 3rd already :coffee:
 

Víðarr

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oops :p: , i thought it was true :cray:
Not this early, but give it time. We'll see the Angels with UAVs soon enough.

They'll always use manned aircraft, but UAVs will be added to their repertoire too.
blue-angels-part2-920-23.jpg


I wonder how maneuverable these would be versus the Hornets?
url.jpg


Maybe a QF-18 once the F/A-XX comes into service?
f-16-fighter-jet-unmanned-drone.jpg


Or something like this:yahoo:. This would be sooooo cool!!!
UAV_0.png


Office of Technology Commercialization

Alright, I'm just rambling now:p:.
 

gau8av

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Maybe a QF-18 once the F/A-XX comes into service?
what is that, a remote controlled hornet ? trailed by an f 16 and a phantom ?? :o:

I googled "QF-18" and it says it's a qantas jumbo enroute from los angeles to sydney :P
 

Víðarr

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what is that, a remote controlled hornet ? trailed by an f 16 and a phantom ?? :o:

I googled "QF-18" and it says it's a qantas jumbo enroute from los angeles to sydney :P
:lol: Yeah, I got Qantas Flight 16 too - qf-16 - Google Search

No that's a QF-16 target drone, but the QF-18 would be the designation for an unmanned F/A-18. Currently none exist, but as the next generation F/A-XX is finished surplus F/A-18s will need to be put to use somewhere.

QF-16.jpg


F-16 Versions - QF-16

"Q" being the US military's designation for UAVs - Current Designations of U.S. Military Aircraft
 
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