by Geoff Ziezulewicz
Bealeton, Va. (UPI) Jun 3, 2016
Aurora Flight Sciences recently tested a system that allows traditional helicopters to fly unmanned.
The Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System, a kit that attaches to full-scale rotary-wing aircraft and allows them to fly in and out of austere landing zones with little human assistance, was attached to a Bell 206 helicopter on May 25 and flown around Bealeton, Va., the Pentagon said.
The AACUS sensor package aims to make combat missions safer and easier for pilots.
Pilots control the helicopters remotely via an app on a military tablet.
"We can put this kit on any aircraft and as long as we do the science and engineering behind it, it can fly autonomously," Marine Capt. Christopher Alfaro, the logistics integration officer for the logistics division and strategy branch of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, said.
Aurora plans to test the system on a UH-1H Huey helicopter from 2017 to 2018, with an aim to implement the tech into the Marine Corps sometime in 2018, the Pentagon said.
"This system is going to allow pilots to let the system do the risk jobs," Osprey pilot Maj. Jason Jewell said.
In other unmanned helicopter news, Sikorsky's S-76 commercial helicopter flew an unmanned 30-mile flight in Connecticut using the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System, the company announced this week.
UAV News - Suppliers and Technology
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|