Lockheed Martin flies unmanned Black Hawk for first time
Lockheed Martin has flown its Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) Sikorsky UH-60A/S-70 Black Hawk testbed helicopter for the first time, the company announced on 8 February.
The 30-minute flight, which took place at the US Army installation of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, saw the OPV Black Hawk fly unmanned for the first time with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS).
“The Black Hawk was retrofitted with Sikorsky MATRIX autonomy technologies that form the core of ALIAS, and can change the way aviators and air crews execute their missions by providing assistance when flying with limited visibility or without communications,” DARPA said.
As noted by the agency, ALIAS aims to support execution of an entire mission from take-off to landing, including autonomously handling contingency events such as aircraft system failures.