Electronic Weapons: A Smarter Helicopter Autopilot


July 25, 2010:  An American helicopter manufacturer (Sikorsky) has developed a new capability for flight control systems. This system  (AFF, or Autonomous Formation Flying) uses a camera and new software that enables a helicopter to automatically fly in formation with other helicopters. Such formation flying requires a lot of effort by the pilots, and the AFF can handle most of the work required, reducing pilot fatigue (which is the cause of many accidents). The AFF has been successfully tested, and will probably take a year or so of additional testing before it enters service.




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