American defense company Lockheed Martin conducted the second test of the Sikorsky Black Hawk UH-60A combat helicopter, turned into an unmanned aerial vehicle.
Here's What We Know
The helicopter was converted as part of the ALIAS (Aircrew Labor In-cockpit Automation System) program. The project was launched by the Office of Advanced Research Projects of the U.S. Department of Defense (DARPA).
Black Hawk is equipped with an onboard computer, which is responsible for control without human participation. As part of the test, the helicopter was able to successfully fly on a selected route. The aircraft successfully delivered cargo and a patient to the designated point.
In the tests of the unmanned system Black Hawk was able to fly 133 km, relying solely on the capabilities of the onboard computer. The weight of the cargo was 226 kg. The helicopter traveled at low altitude, but at high speed.
In a new test Black Hawk performed a flight in which it had to deviate from the given route to take on board a patient. At the same time, the aircraft was hitched to the cargo, the weight of which was 1000 kg.
Despite the fact that now an unmanned version of the Black Hawk UH-60A is being tested by the U.S. military, the technology has a future in the civilian sphere. For example, helicopters without crew on board will be able to deliver cargo or be used to extinguish fires.
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