Photo courtesy U.S. Navy.
Updated: Tuesday, 11 Dec 2012, 4:32 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 11 Dec 2012, 1:08 PM EST
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Sailors on USS Harry S. Truman taxied an X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator aircraft for the first time on a carrier.
According to the Navy, the X-47B was taxied Dec. 9 by deck operators using an arm-mounted control display unit.
“With the CDU, we followed the aircraft detector’s signals to move the aircraft left or right, over the arresting wire, to and from the catapults and to various spotting positions,” Gerrit Everson, one of the operators, said.
“Nobody has never done this before,” Lt. Cmdr. Larry Tarver, Truman’s aircraft handling officer said. “Unmanned aerial vehicles have flown all over the world, but an X-47B has never operated on an aircraft carrier. Every evolution with this aircraft is taken step-by-step because we don’t fully know how it will react to a carrier environment.”
The aircraft was hoisted aboard Truman on Nov. 26 while it was in Norfolk and the carrier is undertaking about three weeks of tests with the unmanned system.
The current round of tests on the Truman is centered on testing handling and control characteristics, but officials have not ruled out a flight test if all conditions are perfect.
The X-47B is scheduled to complete taxi testing before Truman returns to Norfolk.
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