The first-ever flight of an X-47B happened in early February 2011 at Edwards AFB. Like the maiden flight of the AV-2, it too lasted 29 minutes. The upcoming test flights at the Patuxent River facility will begin in early 2012, Northrop Grumman says. There, the company and the Navy hope to get a better sense of how the aircraft handles the precision approaches and arrested landings, as well as catapult launches, that are necessary for aircraft carrier operations. The next phase of testing will also assess recently installed guidance, navigation, and control software.