STRATFORD, Conn., — Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development organization of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., today announced it has made an equity investment in Adaptive Flight, Inc., a Georgia-based manufacturer of avionics system solutions for small and medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The investment, in part, will be directed toward developing technologies that allow piloted and unpiloted aircraft to work together, an area in which the parties have been collaborating. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
This investment signals another step forward in Sikorsky’s ongoing work in the area of autonomy and optionally piloted aircraft technology, meaning aircraft that can fly with or without pilots on board. The effort is currently focused on developing optionally piloted technology for the BLACK HAWK helicopter. Current plans include a demonstration flight of an unmanned resupply cargo mission.
“Adaptive Flight is a great match with the Sikorsky Innovations’ charter to redefine the future of vertical flight. We are pleased with this investment and look forward to working more closely with them,” said Chris Van Buiten, Director of Sikorsky Innovations. “Adaptive Flight is a leader in autonomous technology development for small-scale rotorcraft, and it brings a solid expertise in small unmanned systems as well as a broad synergy with our Manned/Unmanned Resupply Aerial Lifter program.”
“This investment in Adaptive Flight continues Sikorsky Innovations’ commitment to mature autonomy related technology to improve our current and future products,” said Mark Miller, Sikorsky Vice President of Research & Engineering. “We look forward to exploring the manned – unmanned teaming potential of our products with the Adaptive Flight team.”
“This is a big deal for us,” said Henrik Christophersen, Chief Executive Officer for Adaptive Flight, Inc. “Sikorsky’s recognition of our technology and capabilities, as well as the opportunity for growth and collaboration this investment enables, represents a significant step for Adaptive Flight. We look forward to working with Sikorsky and to apply our products and skills to develop new and exciting unmanned Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) solutions for a wide range of applications.”
“Along with our other recent technology investments, Adaptive Flight helps us execute our strategy of demonstrating differentiating technologies. The Sikorsky strategy and business development team will continue to seek out and close on opportunities with small, innovative businesses,” said Mark Cherry, Sikorsky Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Synergy.
Sikorsky Innovations is an agile, networked group of Sikorsky employees dedicated to demonstrating innovative technology solutions to the toughest problems in vertical flight. Sikorsky Innovations is pursuing a broad range of advanced technologies, including the X2 TechnologyTM demonstrator; aware and adaptive aircraft systems; and optionally piloted aircraft.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
Adaptive Flight, Inc. manufactures avionics system solutions for small and medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It offers the HORNET UAS helicopter systems to support close-range reconnaissance missions during tactical operations in cluttered urban terrain; FCS20, an integrated flight control system to enable advanced behavior in small UAVs; and the FCS20 image processing development system, which allows flight control and image processing applications to be developed, tested and integrated. The company also provides hardware, firmware, and engineering services to the UAV industry.
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