Skyryse reports first automated helicopter autorotation landing


Skyryse says it has completed the “world’s first” fully automated helicopter autorotation emergency landing in an outfitted R22.

The procedure is one of dozens of safety features that will come standard on all Skyryse technology-equipped airplanes and helicopters. The firm will unveil its first production helicopter featuring its technology in the first quarter of 2024. 

Mark Groden, founder and CEO of Skyryse, said: “Every year, more than 400 people lose their lives in general aviation accidents just in the United States alone. Fully automated autorotation is just one example of how our technology will bring a commercial grade of safety and beyond to general aviation.”

Skyryse’s proprietary technology cane be installed on any aircraft and is the first and only system that works with the pilot through a HMI (human machine interface) to manage emergency procedures — including the failure of a helicopter engine, said developers.

In an engine failure situation, helicopter pilots have less than two seconds to perform a fully manual series of multiple control movements in a manoeuvre called an autorotation. Due to the complexity of current control systems, no helicopter has ever been able to automate this manoeuvre until now, said Skyryse. 

Using redundant flight controls and a range of sensors, the system quickly recognises a power failure and sets in motion multiple procedures, and with a push of a button, makes the landing uneventful. “From entry to steady descent, it lowers the pitch, aligns the nose, manages aircraft stability, completes the flare and lands at the desired landing location,” said a spokesperson for Skyryse.

According to the firm, it has now completed dozens of automated autorotations, with the first fully automated procedure from altitude fully to the ground achieved in an outfitted Robinson R66 at their Los Angeles-area facility, in July. Guinness World Records certified the record.

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