Air Methods to Retrofit Medical Transport Fleet with FlightOS Control Interface
Air Methods, one of the biggest air medical service companies and helicopters operators in the U.S., hasactually signed a brand-new contract with California-based transport innovation supplier Skyryse to retrofit more than 400 single-engine helicopters and fixed-wing airplane with the FlightOS automation hardware and softwareapplication.
Skyryse veryfirst began making headings in 2019 after utilizing its flight stack automation innovation—a mix of helicopter flight and interactions systems consistingof “smart helipads”—to autonomously fly a customized Robinson R44 helicopter with no human intervention. In addition to retrofitting its air medical transportation fleet with FlightOS, Air Methods will invest $5 million into a Series B financing round for Skyryse, taking the start-up’s overall raised to $205 million.
The Air Methods’ overall fleet of owned, rented, or kept airplane functions more than 450 helicopters—the world’s biggest fleet of civilian helicopters—and fixed-wing airplane operating at more than 300 bases throughout the U.S., moving more than 100,000 individuals last year. A collaboration video launched by the 2 business programs Air Methods pilots examining the brand-new innovation in the Skyryse FlightOS innovation in Big Bear, California, changing the conventional cyclic-collective flight controls with a side stick and touchscreen tablet userinterface for the pilots.
Mark Groden, CEO of Skyryse, informed Avionics International in emailed declarations that the retrofit program will change the cockpit systems included on repaired and rotary-wing airplane in the Air Methods fleet with a “full fly-by-wire system that’s constructed to business airliner requirements.” That setup is paired with Skyryse’s “universal flight deck and four-axis side stick,” according to Groden, who likewise keepsinmind that the business offers all of the required interactions and navigation systems along with sensingunits essential to allow their system.
“We will be changing standard flight controls, avionics, radios, GPS, and ADS-B with our system,” Groden stated. “We change airframe particular and complex flight controls with a touch screen userinterface and a four-axis side stick. That shift significantly minimizes pilot work in the cockpit and we likewise manage emergencysituation circumstances such as autorotation. We are presently doing autorotations with FlightOS, an market .”
As Groden formerly described in a March 2020 interview with Avionics, FlightOS is created to be simple sufficient to control and findout that individuals with little to no flying experience might findout to usage it. While the flight controls are controlled through the touchscreen tablet and side-stick setup, on-board computersystems control all elements of the flight envelope, handle the airframe’s structure and aerodynamic operating limitations, and takeadvantageof outside radar and sensingunits for real-time situational awareness.
Skyryse has continued to raise capital and establish its FlightOS innovation as well as offer media presentations over the last year. Michael Huerta, the previous FAA Administrator, and Chris Hart, previous chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), were likewise included on as consultants in November.
Groden stated the business was notable to share information about the cloud computing and IT facilities needed to allow FlightOS or images of what the retrofitted Air Methods fleet will appearance like once the upgrades are finished at this time.
“As the leading Air Medical company in the United States, we are constantly looking for methods to make rotor and fixed-wing flight muchsafer,” Air Methods CEO JaeLynn Williams stated in a declaration. “Skyryse is a innovative innovation that will drive a action modification in the security of rotor and fixed-wing flight not just for Air Methods, however for our consumers and the whole HEMS market.”