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Magic Carpet flies into testing

30th June 2016 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Navy’s Strike Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX-23) has tested the Maritime Augmented Guidance with Integrated Controls for Carrier Approach and Recovery Precision Enabling Technologies (Magic Carpet) aboard the USS George Washington (CVN 73), a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, it announced on 28 June.

The technology is designed to streamline and simplify the aircraft carrier landing process, and reduce the training time for future pilots. Its initial version was tested by VX-23 in April 2015 aboard the USS George HW Bush (CVN 77). The final fleet release version of the technology is expected to be released in 2019. 

VX-23 is testing the initial fleet release version aboard the CVN 73, with an improved head-up display (HUD) on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft.

Typical carrier landings require the pilots to align the glide slope, angle of attack and line up, often making hundreds of individual adjustments to land safely. Magic Carpet seeks to simplify the process.

Capt David Kindley, the F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager, said: ‘With the technology, we decoupled the glide slope, angle of attack and line up into three separate pieces. Before, if a pilot made one small change to any of these it would affect all the other things. With Magic Carpet, if the pilot wants to adjust glide slope, he just pushes the stick without changing the power or anything else.’

Kevin Teig, the lead flight test engineer, added: ‘On CVN 77, we were just trying to test the feasibility of the software. We were also looking for deficiencies and ways to improve. One of the refinements we made for this test iteration was to fine tune the gains and sensitivity of the flight control and see how the system handles.’

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