Sikorsky Debuts Fly-by-Wire UH-60M
(NSI News Source Info) August 30, 2008: Sikorsky has begun flight testing the UH-60M Upgrade, the latest version of the Black Hawk and the first fly-by-wire helicopter for the U.S. Army.
The first flight at the company’s West Palm Beach, Fla, test center lasted around 60 minutes and included hover, forward flight and a hover turn, Sikorsky says.
The M Upgrade introduces a digital fly-by-wire (FBW) system with triple-redundant Hamilton Sundstrand dual-channel flight control computers and actuators, and BAE Systems active control sticks.
Sikorsky says FBW, coupled with Rockwell Collins’ Common Aviation Architecture System (CAAS) glass cockpit, reduces pilot workload, improves aircraft handling qualities and increases pilot situational awareness.
Eliminating mechanical control linkages also saves weight and reduces maintenance, the company says. At the same time, the engines are upgraded to General Electric T700-701Es with fully authority digital engine control.
The UH-60M entered services in June and U.S. Army plans to procure a total of 1,227 new Black Hawks. Some 900 of those are to be M Upgrade aircraft, with deliveries scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2010.