This was the latest milestone in a US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program called ALIAS that is testing Sikorsky’s MATRIX technology – a drop-in kit that can convert helicopters into aircraft that fly autonomously. The first, shorter flight tests without any humans on board took place in February.
“I think it’s a significant jump from the prior exercises and experiments where there was still a pilot onboard,” says Stacie Pettyjohn at the Center for New American Security, a national security think tank in Washington DC. “Eighty miles is a pretty significant distance.”
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