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Sikorsky, DARPA Showcase Autonomy Tech in Black Hawk Helicopter Test Flight

S-70 Black Hawk
S-70 Black Hawk

Lockheed Martin‘s Sikorsky subsidiary has demonstrated supervised autonomous operations of a Black Hawk military helicopter as part of a testing program with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency aimed to reduce pilot workload while ensuring flight safety.

The S-70 Optionally Piloted Vehicle was able to take off, avoid simulated obstacles and land on the ground during a “first-of-its-kind“ mission led by Sikorsky’s chief pilot, Mark Ward, with the use of a tablet device, Lockheed said.

For the flight test, pilots used DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-cockpit Automation System in conjunction with the aircraft manufacturer’s Matrix autonomy platform.

Ward said the recent demonstration event showed the potential of Sikorsky-built technology to help aerial vehicles operate autonomously.

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