Self Flying Helicopter

Self-Flying Helicopter

A challenge to teach helicopters how to actually use it. Early in the morning of January 11, 2000, US coastguard helicopter driver Mark Ward reacted to a call for emergency assistance from a vessel picking up sea and being captured in a northeast off the North Carolina coastline. Ward fought with 70-mph winches and 30-foot oceans and fought to keep the helicopter calm as he and his crews brought all five fishers to safe haven.

Although in a where airplanes travel most of the way with autopilots and robotic vehicles in towns around the globe, learning to pilot a helicopter is a big draw. They must be able to float above vessels that flounder up and down on harsh sea and climb down on offshore platforms in gusty wind.

By May, Boeing Aurora Flight Sciences' automated freight handling system, mounted in an old Bell UH-1H helicopter, had finished its first stand-alone operation, taking natural gases, clean waters and healthcare to the California Marines. Since 2007, Lockheed Martin has been designing its K-MAX UAV, starting with radio and semi-autonomous helicopters delivered to Afghanistan between 2011 and 2014.

Sikorsky' s release is the matrix technology system tested on board the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA) test bed since 2013 by Ward pilot, an upgraded variant of the company's S-76 helicopter. Among the fundamental functions are the flying of transport pattern around an airport and the following of motion object on the surface for approach and landing.

Even more impressive is the fact that SARA performed a 30 mile long stand-alone take-off, cruising and landing mission - complete with the analysis and choice of location - on the computer. It is also in the midst of upgrading two Black Hawk UH-60 Matrix models to provide the Army with "optionally controlled" airplane choices. End of the line for most helicopter operators seeking helicopter independence is complete hands-free flying with humans, not just freight.

It will be the backbone of the emerging aviation taxis as well as for defence and merchant operations that may face pilots bottlenecks. The evaluation of how all these items and algorithm work in the atmosphere comes from Ward. During test flight, he assesses the system's decisions to help fine-tune the flight and optimize usability (and remains willing to take charge if necessary).

"He says we want a few tap on the tray to substitute ten minute play around with the air traffic control system of a traditional helicopter. During this 2000 emergency operation, when Ward enabled the helicopter to float over the vulnerable vessel, he had to continue working with the cane, lever and pedal to maintain his stance against the winds.

The degree of matrix automatization means that the system can be monitored and changes such as positioning settings can be made using a light push on a stylus on the tray. Sikorsky' own technology design accelerates the design cycle so that Ward can give advice on things like placing or celebrity control - and see the changes a few day or even a few moments later.

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