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Lockheed aims for Demo of autonomous helicopter tech in 2020

by Michael Willoughby

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin subsidiary, plans to conduct a fully autonomous flight of the S-70 helicopter as an optionally manned aircraft by 2020, according to ExecutiveBiz blog of a Military.com report.

“The helicopter firm’s new optionally piloted vehicle technology will allow the military to autonomously deploy the UH-60 Black Hawk, an S-70 variant.Sikorsky seeks to allow for autonomy retrofitting on existing aircraft and provide warfighters with multiple autonomous modes,”, says the blog.

“Mark Ward, chief test pilot at Sikorsky, said the optionally piloted helicopter has reached a speed of 150 knots over 54.5 recorded flight hours”, according to the news source.

“The effort will move on to testing a range of piloting modes with varying levels of autonomy,” according to the reports.

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