Sikorsky invests in Adaptive Flight to develop autonomous flight technology

  • 06-Dec-2010 04:21 EST
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Sikorsky's autonomy and optionally piloted aircraft technology effort is currently focused on developing optionally piloted technology for the Black Hawk helicopter (shown).

Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development organization of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., has made an equity investment in Adaptive Flight Inc., a Georgia-based manufacturer of avionics system solutions for small- and medium-sized UAVs. The investment, in part, will be directed toward developing technologies that allow piloted and unpiloted aircraft to work together, an area in which the parties have been collaborating. This investment signals another step forward in Sikorsky's ongoing work in the area of autonomy and optionally piloted aircraft technology. The effort is currently focused on developing optionally piloted technology for the Black Hawk helicopter. Current plans include a demonstration flight of an unmanned resupply cargo mission.

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Thermal imaging data obtained from a FLIR high-performance camera shows that the expected turbine output temperature is approximately 285°C when the helicopter is in forward flight. However, during hover operations a steady state temperature of about 343°C will be reached.

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