Collins Aerospace, Sikorsky Unveil Fly-By-Wire Tech Kit for Autonomous Flights

Jeff Brody

Collins Aerospace and Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky subsidiary have collaborated to create a fly-by-wire retrofit technology that works to allow autonomous flights for fixed wing and rotary systems.

The technology uses electromechanical actuators controlled by a flight control computer and is built to accommodate safety critical functions, Collins Aerospace said Monday.

In addition, the system can be installed without the need for hydraulic actuator configuration and will work along the Collins Aerospace-built Vehicle Management Computer, a flight control computer designed to handle autonomous and fly-by-wire operations for military and civil aircraft units.

“By reducing pilot workload through the autonomous performance of certain flight operations, we can help improve safety, reliability and efficiency for both military and commercial operators across a variety of platforms," said Tim White, president of power and controls at Collins Aerospace.

Sikorsky tested the system aboard the S-70 Black Hawk aircraft during a flight demonstration on May 29.

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