The next helicopter in line for an Aurora Flight Sciences autonomy upgrade is the Bell Helicopter UH-1H Huey, the company said. The new Huey upgrade will include integration between the Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System (AACUS) program and its Tactical Autonomous Aerial Logistics System (TALOS). Demonstrations could be seen in the next year or two.
Aurora demonstrated a manned Bell 206 performing an AACUS flight test Thursday in northern Virginia. The helicopter showed the perception and planning capabilities required for autonomous takeoff, transit and landing. Three piloted 206s were used previously to demonstrate TALOS, in addition to a Boeing H-6U Unmanned Little Bird. The Huey will be Aurora's third test platform frame.
TALOS is being developed as a part of the Office of Naval Research’s AACUS program. However, Aurora is also researching commercial applications for TALOS.
Graphic rendering courtesy of Aurora Flight Sciences