Control Display Unit Controls Remotely the X-47B Unmanned Aircraft
The Control Display Unit (CDU) is a new handheld gadget, developed by the Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy, enabling deck operators to maneuver the X-47B unmanned aircraft wirelessly around the deck of an aircraft carrier. The CDU has features a number of functions, such as remote control the aircraft’s engine thrust, rolling the aircraft forward, brake and stop, carrying out tight turns. Northrop Grumman’s UCAS-D test director, Daryl Martis, reports, “The CDU is fundamental to integrating the X-47B seamlessly into carrier deck operations. It will allow us to move the aircraft quickly and precisely into the catapult for launch, or out of the landing area following recovery. 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”. Designers hope, that in 2013 the X-47B will safely operate from a Navy aircraft carrier, including launch, recovery, and air traffic control operations.