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Optionally piloted Black Hawk begins flight tests

7th June 2019 - 10:19 GMT | by Marc Selinger in Washington, DC

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Sikorsky has begun flight testing a UH-60 Black Hawk equipped with a new retrofit kit designed to turn the helicopter into an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV).

The first manned flight, which lasted almost an hour, took place on 29 May at a Sikorsky facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. Several more flights have occurred since then, company officials told reporters on 6 June. Unmanned flights are to begin next year.

While Sikorsky is using a UH-60A, an older-model Black Hawk, the US Army is installing an identical OPV kit on a newer version, the UH-60M. This two-aircraft approach will

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