DARPA is Testing Self Flying Helicopters


Staff member
Mar 3, 2018
While some companies are developing flying taxis from scratch, others like SkyRyse are working from the other end, trying to automate existing helicopter airframes. DARPA is taking that approach as well, as they just recently showed off the "Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System" that lets helicopters fly themself. While the system still requires a pilot, DARPA is aiming to automate more mundane tasks, like maintaining altitude, planning routes, or avoiding obstacles, to allow flight crews to focus on more important things. They're testing the system on a modified Sikorsky S-76B now, and they plan to test the system in Black Hawk helicopters some time in 2019.

Check out the video here.

Now in Phase 3, the Sikorsky engineers developing ALIAS have begun to integrate the system into a UH-60 Black Hawk for testing and flight demonstration in 2019. As the biggest fleet of aircraft in the Army and widely relied on by the Department of Defense, Drozeski said the Black Hawk is the ideal platform for ALIAS to quickly benefit service partners. "We've chosen the Black Hawk as the platform we want to demonstrate full integration of ALIAS-type capabilities - all the circuit breakers and switches and instruments in the aircraft, so that the capability ALIAS provides to a crew member is really like a co-pilot," said Drozeski. "It can fly routes, plan routes, execute emergency procedures, and do all that perfectly."
What is more important than avoiding obstacles? i'll wait on your answer.............