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Army to Test Experimental Autonomous Helicopter With No Crew

1 min read

The U.S. Army will conduct a completely unmanned test-flight of the Sikorsky-made Black Hawk helicopter’s optionally manned variant in January, Vertical reported Monday.

The optionally piloted vehicle (OPV) Black Hawk’s first uncrewed flight will take place at Fort Campbell and follows the Project Convergence exercise where the experimental helicopter underwent demonstrations.

The optionally manned helicopter first flew in 2019 and has since undergone tests with safety pilots who supervised the autonomous flights while inside the aircraft. Now, the Army wants to demonstrate Black Hawk’s autonomous flight with no human in the cockpit.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) developed OPV Black Hawk, which can autonomously operate through DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System.

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