A new era for naval aviation has just begun.
On May 14, the US Navy successfully launched the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) off the deck of an aircraft carrier for the first time. A breakthrough for robotic aviation and military Implementation of unmanned systems.
The video, just released by the U.S. Navy shows the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air Systems (UCAS) demonstrator – please note that both UCAV and UCAS acronyms are used for this drone, being taxied and then catapult-launched from the flight deck of USS G. W. Bush.
Ship-board testing had started on Dec. 9, 2012.
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.