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Pictures | Tue May 14, 2013 | 5:05pm EDT

Carrier drone launches

<p>Northrop Grumman test pilots Bruce McFadden (L) and Dave Lorenz are pictured with their arm-mounted controllers after they successfully launched an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. The U.S. Navy made aviation history on Tuesday by catapulting an unmanned jet off an aircraft carrier for the first time, testing a long-range, stealthy, bat-winged plane that represents a jump forward in drone technology. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

Northrop Grumman test pilots Bruce McFadden (L) and Dave Lorenz are pictured with their arm-mounted controllers after they successfully launched an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H....more

Northrop Grumman test pilots Bruce McFadden (L) and Dave Lorenz are pictured with their arm-mounted controllers after they successfully launched an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. The U.S. Navy made aviation history on Tuesday by catapulting an unmanned jet off an aircraft carrier for the first time, testing a long-range, stealthy, bat-winged plane that represents a jump forward in drone technology. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is pictured with its wings folded before being launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013.  REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is pictured with its wings folded before being launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason...more

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is pictured with its wings folded before being launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft prepared for launch for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft prepared for launch for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft prepared for launch for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>Crewmembers react as an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

Crewmembers react as an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Crewmembers react as an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is pictured as it flies over the aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, after being launched from the ship in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is pictured as it flies over the aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, after being launched from the ship in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is pictured as it flies over the aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, after being launched from the ship in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>U.S. Navy personnel and media watch as an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft performs a fly-by after being launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

U.S. Navy personnel and media watch as an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft performs a fly-by after being launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14,...more

U.S. Navy personnel and media watch as an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft performs a fly-by after being launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>Members of the media take pictures and footage of an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft before it is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013.  REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

Members of the media take pictures and footage of an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft before it is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. ...more

Members of the media take pictures and footage of an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft before it is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>Northrop Grumman test pilot Bruce McFadden gives a thumbs-up after successfully launching an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

Northrop Grumman test pilot Bruce McFadden gives a thumbs-up after successfully launching an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of...more

Northrop Grumman test pilot Bruce McFadden gives a thumbs-up after successfully launching an X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft performs a fly-by after being launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft performs a fly-by after being launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft performs a fly-by after being launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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