The Control Display Unit is for deck operators to maneuver the X-47B by remote control on the carrier deck.
During the test, the Northrop-Navy team demonstrated the CDU’s ability to control the X-47B’s engine thrust, to roll the aircraft forward, brake and stop, to use its nose wheel steering to execute tight turns and to maneuver the aircraft into a catapult or out of the landing area following a mock carrier landing.
The CDU is for moving the aircraft into the catapult for launch or out of the landing area following recovery, said Daryl Martis, Northrop’s test director for UCAS demonstrations.
“Instead of towing the aircraft out to the flight line, we can now start the X-47B outside its hangar, then use the CDU to taxi it out to the runway, or into a catapult for launch,” Martis said.
Northrop is the Navy’s prime contractor for the UCAS Carrier Demonstration program with Dell, Lockheed Martin and Rockwell Collins also on the industry team.