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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:47 pm 
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I didn't realize autonomous helicopters were getting so far advanced! Was doing a little youtubing today and was surprised to see that the US Army has been using two autonomous Kaman K-max helicopters in Afghanistan to do sling loads to the forward operating bases for a while now.

This video shows and autonomous K-Max landing, dropping off, and picking up slung loads using just a beacon.


Also the US Navy did their first flight of an autonomos Bell 407 on October 31:


Looks like these things aren't far over the horizon; how long before we see them on the civvy side? They seem like perfect candidates for heli-logging and other localised high-risk aerial work. Most of the pilots displaced by these would be experienced enough that they'll quickly find other work, but will the reduction in the number of jobs out there make it even more impossible for rookie rotary pilots to break into the industry?



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:58 pm 
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Unless you can operate them cheaper than the current crop of vietnam era aircraft. It could be 40+ years.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z9LdL-VA3E&list=PLEF248542315177A3&index=15[/youtube]



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:24 pm 
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heli logging is the last thing you would see a robot doing. Picking up logs 200 ft away isnt the same as slinging stuff in a flat non production oriented environment. Maybe they will do powerline patrols or something first.


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