(Image: Screenshot via YouTube, watch full clip here)

With the amount of government workers in and around the Washington, DC metro area, you’d think locals would be among the last to cry “UFO” after witnessing a mysterious aircraft being transported on the back of a flat bed truck. But an X-47B on the Washington Beltway bound for Patuxent River, MD, ignited a lively Twitter debate and found its way onto a number of mainstream news sites.

x 47b1  X-47B has Washington, D.C Residents Crying “UFO”(Image: U.S. Air Force, public domain)

The experimental Northrop Grumman X-47B – the second to arrive at NAS Patuxent River for testing – was at the end of a two week road journey from Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA, where it was manufactured. Now a key part of the U.S. Navy’s UCAS-D (Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration) programme, the semi-autonomous UCAV is undergoing carrier launch and recovery testing at Patuxent River before sea trials commence next year.