Video of Unmanned Combat Air System X-47B Taxi at Sea shows the future of naval aviation

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air Systems (UCAS) demonstrator is currently conducting trials on the on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) at sea.

Involved in Carrier Qualification, the Truman supercarrier is the first flattop to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft.

Ship-board testing started on Dec. 9. On the flight deck the X-47B (that on Nov.29, successfully completed its first land-based catapult launch from Naval Air Station Patuxent River) is controlled using an arm-mounted control display unit (CDU).

The new gadget is a special remote control for moving the X-47B on flight decks which attaches to the wrist, waist and one hand. Through the device, deck operators ahve access to a display and  can control the aircraft’s throttle, tailhook, steering, brakes and perform several other functions associated with maneuvring an aircraft on deck.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.