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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Military Technology

I have been catching up with some recent copies of "The Economist". In their issue 15th - 21st September 2012 under the headline "Autonomous Helicopters", the paper reports on developments within the US military.

We have seen unmanned drone flights for some time, control is by personnel sitting at a remote control centre using cameras and joysticks. This is different. Two Kaman K-Max helicopters have been modified to fly without pilots. They carry cargo in slings underneath the aircraft, the flight pattern is pre-programmed with one or more cargo drops and away it goes. Trials are being conducted in Afghanistan to supply remote Marine bases and is a success.

Cameras could be fitted to allow remote control. This would also greatly increase the civilian uses of the system, such as search and rescue, traffic control or emergency pipeline inspection.

If you wish to see the helicopters there is video on Kaman's website.

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