When historians come to write about technological innovation in the first half of this century, they are likely to pay special attention to a US Navy drone called the X-47B — otherwise known as the Salty Dog. Two years ago, the autonomous drone created aviation history when it landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier by itself — that is, without the help of a pilot operating it remotely. Last year the unmanned aircraft marked another first when it refuelled from a tanker while airborne. It went a long way towards demonstrating the potential for semi-autonomous drones to conduct bombing missions over long distances.
Read the full article in Financial Times.