Sailors aboard the USS George Bush remove the chocks from X-47B AV-2 ready for the type's first cat shot on May 14, 2013.
X-47B AV-2 was lifted aboard the flight deck of the USS George Bush at Naval Base Norfolk, Virginia on May 6, 2013. The air vehicle undertook the type's first carrier-borne cat shot eight days later.
Sailors move X-47B AV-2 onto an aircraft elevator aboard the USS George Bush on May 14, 2013. Within hours of this image being taken, AV-2 successfully completed the type's first cat shot from a carrier flight deck.
AV-2 rolls down the flight deck during a touch and go aboard the USS George Bush.
AV-2 shoots off the edge of the flight deck during the first cat shot made by an unmanned air vehicle from a US Navy super carrier on May 14, 2013.
Sailors assigned to the USS Harry S Truman and personnel from the UCAS integrated test team perform maintenance on AV-2.
Sailors attach AV-2 to catapult two on the USS George Bush.
Touch and go on the flight deck of the USS George Bush on May 17, 2013.
Steam builds up as X-47B BuNo.168063/'501‘ (AV-1) waits to be shot from the TC-7 catapult at Pax River, Maryland, on November 29, 2012. This was the first cat shot performed by an X-47B.
AV-2 being tow in the hangar bay aboard the Bush.
AV-2 passes over the flight deck following it's first practise approach to the USS George Bush.
The control display unit or CDU is classed as a mission control station and had to be certified just like an aircraft's cockpit requires certification to fly. The CDU can be likened to a mission control station on the deck operator's arm that requires a high redundancy system to ensure the safety and control required for moving an air vehicle on a flight deck. It was certified, through the standard airworthiness certification process, to be one of the types of controller used to control the air vehicle either at a land base or during embarkation on a carrier. The CDU features controls for the throttle and the brakes, for moving the air vehicle quickly and precisely into the catapult for launch, or out of the landing area following recovery, rolling the air vehicle forward and conducting tight turns. It also has push-button controls for the engine, BIT checks, folding and unfolding the wings, and lowering and retracting the hook; any function required on the flight deck. The CDU also includes a belt pack that holds the batteries and redundant digital modems that connect in with the air vehicle.
X-47B AV-2 on the flight deck of the USS Harry S Truman on December 11, 2012.
X-47B AV-2 taxies on the flight deck of USS Harry S Truman during the type's first embarkation on December 9, 2012.