Business

April 23, 2014

Optionally piloted Black Hawk demonstrator helo takes successful first flight

sikorsky-demo
In cooperation with the U.S. Army, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has successfully demonstrated optionally piloted flight of a Black Hawk helicopter, a significant step toward providing autonomous cargo delivery functionality to the U.S. Army.

Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

The Optionally Piloted Black Hawk Demonstrator, known as Sikorsky’s Manned/Unmanned Resupply Aerial Lifter Program, conducted the successful first flight demonstration on March 11 at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center. The demonstration was conducted through the use of Sikorsky’s Matrixô Technologies and advanced Ground Control Station Technologies.

The OPBH demonstrated autonomous hover and flight operations while under the control of a man-portable GCS, demonstrating the capability for expeditionary operations and critical cargo resupply.

“The autonomous Black Hawk helicopter provides the commander with the flexibility to determine crewed or un-crewed operations, increasing sorties while maintaining crew rest requirements. This allows the crew to focus on the more ‘sensitive’ operations, and leaves the critical resupply missions for autonomous operations without increasing fleet size or mix,” said Mark Miller, Sikorsky Vice President of Research & Engineering.

The MURAL Program is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Army Aviation Development Directorate, the U.S. Army Utility Helicopters Project Office and Sikorsky. The UH PO is providing access to two UH-60MU Black Hawk helicopters and Sikorsky is applying the technology it has developed with Internal Research and Development funding.

Sikorsky has been developing the technology since 2007, and signed a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement with the U.S. Army in 2013 to advance the program to a formal effort to demonstrate the full flexibility and value of a full authority flight control system. The effort includes demonstration of expeditionary ground control systems and precision control.

“The ADD’s mission is to focus on developing, demonstrating and applying critical technologies that enhance the capability, affordability, readiness and safety of Department of Defense aviation systems,” said Dr. William Lewis, Director, ADD. “The optionally piloted Black Hawk helicopter functionality stands to bring added value to DOD aviation systems, through the innovations being tested on the Black Hawk helicopter in the MURAL program.”

According to COL Thomas Todd, the Utility Helicopters Project Manager, “MURAL technology will advance material solutions related to Degraded Visual Environment operations. These solutions will provide critical flight control and flight handling quality improvements.”†

Sikorsky introduced its Matrixô Technology, a major research program, in July 2013 to develop, test and field systems and software that will improve significantly the capability, reliability and safety of flight for autonomous, optionally piloted, and piloted vertical take-off and landing aircraft. The Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft flew its first flight on July 26, 2013 and continues to explore new functionality in that portion of the program.

The application of Matrix Technology to the OPBH is an initial step toward demonstrating the flexibility, adaptability and capability to a range of aircraft systems. “Applying Matrix Technology to an already robust, reliable, and safe platform leverages these capabilities while expanding the system’s effectiveness,” Miller added.

Matrix aims to give rotary and fixed wing VTOL aircraft a high level of system intelligence needed to complete complex missions with minimal human oversight and at low altitudes where obstacles abound.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 30, 2015

News: Taliban claims responsibility for attack on Americans at military base near airport - The Taliban claimed responsibility Jan. 30 for a shooting incident at a military base attached to Kabul’s international airport yesterday that killed three American civilian contractors and an Afghan national, saying the attacker had infiltrated the ranks of the security forces. Commission...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

Military judge weighs restrictions on Gitmo female guards A military judge is deciding whether to continue restricting the use of female guards at Guantanamo. Navy Capt. J. Kirk Waits heard closing arguments Jan. 29 at the base in Cuba during a pretrial hearing for Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Waits didn’t say when he will rule. Hadi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey

Cope South experts exchange knowledge, techniques

Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey TSgt. Sam Bishop, center left, and SSgt. Jeffrey Stephens discuss propeller maintenance with Bangladesh air force maintainers, from the 101st Special Flying Unit, during exercise Cope...
 

 

Air Force names 2-star to lead F-35 Integration Office

With the initial operating capability date of the F-35 Lightning II quickly approaching, the Air Force appointed Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian as the director of a larger Air Force F-35 Integration Office, Feb. 1. In addition to gaining new leadership, the F-35 Integration Office will also grow from a staff of four to 12 and...
 
 
boeing-ana2

Boeing announces ANA’s commitment to more jetliners

Airline continues fleet modernization with Boeing airplanes Boeing and All Nippon Airways announced Jan. 30 the airline’s intent to purchase three 787-10 Dreamliners to add additional flexibility to the airline’s 787 fleet....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Air Force risks becoming too small to succeed under sequestration

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C., as Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joesph F. Dunf...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>