The US Army and Boeing have completed flight testing of the company’s newly developed advanced rotorcraft flight control system, Adaptive Vehicle Management System (AVMS) in Arizona, US.
During the tests, conducted between 9 and 21 December 2011, a Boeing H-6 helicopter equipped with the AVMS conducted a series of seven separate test flights to demonstrate the system’s ability in adapting the flight controls to the aircraft’s flight condition, environment and pilot intent.
Boeing AVMS programme manager James Dryfoos said the AVMS is able to process large amounts of information and communicate with the pilot through forces applied to the control sticks.
"These tactile cues allow the pilot and aircraft to work together better and maximize mission effectiveness," Dryfoos added.
Boeing Phantom Works Advanced Mobility director Steve Glusman said that many elements of the AVMS can be incorporated into the CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache rotorcraft platforms, and could be a key capability in future Boeing aircraft including the Future Vertical Lift rotorcraft.
A joint development project between the US Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) and Boeing, the system delivers enhanced manoeuvrability and flight safety while reducing aircrew workload and overall operating costs.
The fly by wire technology, which has been in development for two years, can also help the pilot landing in brown-out conditions in a desert by holding the aircraft’s attitude stable, even in severely-reduced visibility conditions.
Boeing had won the first phase of the $5m competition to develop the system two years ago, and is currently competing for the second developmental phase of the project, scheduled to be awarded in 2012.