Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology

Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology

A technology kit developed by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company was used for the first time to operate a Black Hawk helicopter with full-authority, fly-by-wire flight controls. The May 29 flight marked the official start to the flight test program for the soon-to-be optionally piloted aircraft. Follow-on flight testing aims to include envelope expansion throughout the summer leading to fully autonomous flight (zero pilots) in 2020. This is the first full authority fly-by-wire retrofit kit developed by Sikorsky that has completely removed mechanical flight controls from the aircraft.

Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology

Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology


Through DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program, Sikorsky is developing an OPV approach it describes as pilot directed autonomy to give operators the confidence to fly aircraft safely, reliably and affordably in optimally piloted modes enabling flight with two, one or zero crew. The program aims to improve operator decision aiding for manned operations while also enabling both unmanned and reduced crew operations. Sikorsky has been demonstrating its MATRIX™ Technology on a modified S-76B™ called the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA). The aircraft, which has been in test since 2013, has more than 300 hours of autonomous flight.
Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology

Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology


Sikorsky announced in March that its S-92® helicopter fleet update will include the introduction of phase one MATRIX Technology that will bring advanced computing power to the platform. This foundation enables adoption of autonomous landing technology. Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA) utilizes MATRIX™ Technology which enables users of military and commercial helicopters, and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, to safely, reliably and affordably operate as autonomously or optionally piloted aircraft. MATRIX™ technology combines software and hardware components, enabling autonomous, reliable mission execution in obstacle-rich environments. This creates a safer flying experience overall.

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