Little Bird

Thursday, September 19, 2013
By George Hatcher

A development like the Boeing helicopter that can make autonomous takeoffs and landings is one that brings with it a whole set of questions.

The “little bird” which is the first full-size helicopter to take off and land on its own was developed by Boeing, Carnegie Mellon University and Piasecki Aircraft.

One wonders for example, if the software/hardware is transferable to other helicopters, and if this would increase or decrease the safety of those aboard.

I am looking forward to hearing more about the progress of this helicopter.

According to Boeing, the Unmanned Little Bird Demonstrator is a modified MD 530F single-turbine helicopter designed for optionally manned flight, a platform capable of dual pilot, single pilot or no pilot flight operations. It can be remotely operated or programmed for autonomous operation in any mode. The unmanned variant is only being marketed internationally.

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