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Monday, March 1, 2010

Sikorsky’s Innovations Targets Unmanned Black Hawk


A U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk from Task Force 34, 1st Battalion-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion, flies above a mosque during an early 2009 mission in Iraq. Sikorsky is investing $1 billion in its new Innovations segment, which will research a number of next-generation technologies, including an unmanned version of the Black Hawk.U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Lynette Hoke
More than 100 people attended a Feb. 1 ceremony at Connecticut Science Center in Hartford where Sikorsky uncovered plans for its latest division—Innovations. The “virtual” organization will seek to establish and strengthen collaborations between government, universities, businesses and other United Technologies Corp. (UTC) research facilities.

During the next decade, Sikorsky plans to invest $1 billion in Innovations for a number of projects, including an unmanned version of the UH-60 Black Hawk. Efforts under the new division have already started at more than 20 global locations. The helicopter manufacturer says that one such investment was recently completed at Eagle Aviation Technologies in Hampton. Va.

Mark Miller, vice president of research and engineering, said that Sikorsky is “currently working on challenges in the areas of high speed flight, optionally piloted aircraft, systems that enable safe operation in blinding, brownout conditions, and many others that only a few years ago might have been considered technologically and economically unfeasible.” (From March 2010 Rotorcraft Report)

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