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  • Follow Me, Black Hawk
    Posted by Graham Warwick 2:18 PM on Jul 20, 2010

    Sikorsky announced at Farnborough that it has completed the first autonomous formation flight as it works towards its goal of developing an optionally piloted Black Hawk. An unmanned cargo demonstration is planned by year-end.

    For the June 4 flight, the company's autonomous formation flight (AFF) system was implemented on the U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate's fly-by-wire JUH-60 RASCAL, which then flew in formation with an unmodified EH-60L.

    The AFF system uses a single camera to designate and track the lead aircraft and uses fly-by-wire flight control algorithms to reduce pilot workload by automating the task of maintaining a specified relative position.

    Sikorsky's vision is to develop the capability to "dial in" the number of pilots required - two, one or none - depending on the mission being performed. The capability is aimed at fly-by-wire helicopters like the UH-60M Upgrade.

    Tags: ar99, unmanned, farn10, rotorcraft

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