Black Hawk helicopter flies for the first time without a pilot

by | Apr 29, 2022 - 9:36AM | Tech

A Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter flying autonomously across a field in Kentucky, USA.

It’s often been speculated that in the near future, military aircraft might not need pilots.

Whilst unmanned drones do exist, these are still piloted on the ground by a human operator.

This, however, is a major step towards that autonomous future.

READ MORE: 7 military aircraft you can actually buy – From Russian MiGs to a giant $15m Hercules

A Black Hawk helicopter recently flew for the first time without needing any kind of pilot assistance at all!

The test took place at the Fort Campbell army installation in Kentucky.

The Black Hawk was modified with Lockheed Martin’s new MATRIX technology.

It also used new tech developed from the US Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program called ALIAS.

The chopper passed all the tests with flying colours!

This included completely autonomous takeoffs and landings and a “simulated obstacle avoidance scenario”.

It was monitored closely by a ground crew during the tests.

READ MORE: Driverless car takes off after baffled cops try to pull it over

Why is this being trialled?

Lockheed Martin believes that it could help pilots carry out complex missions more easily and safely.

“This capability will allow pilots to confidently switch back and forth between autonomy and piloted modes at any point of their mission with the literal flip of a switch,” test pilot Benjamin Williamson said.

“This will support autonomous flight during a wide range of missions such as flight in degraded visual environments (DVE) and confined areas.

“Most critically, ALIAS will be capable of automatically detecting and preventing dangerous situations that lead to accidents, thereby saving lives.”

The tests have been so successful that more applications for MATRIX are being considered.

This could include use in both military and civilian fixed-wing aircraft.

WATCH:

FOLLOW US ON
FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS

Check this out

World’s first 6×6 Rolls Royce Phantom

World’s first 6×6 Rolls Royce Phantom

This Rolls-Royce Phantom has been turned into a 6x6 off-roading beast.  The Phantom has been hacked apart and extended, with creator Alexandre Danton making it 6.3 meters in length and 2.3 meters wide. The 6x6 now has a huge LED bar on top of the windshield, side...

Top 10 craziest concept cars that never passed the design phase

Top 10 craziest concept cars that never passed the design phase

Every now and then, car designers throw sanity out the window and come up with some seriously insane concepts. While these cars typically never make it to production – or even get a physical mock-up model – it's still interesting to see where the future of car design...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!