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AirMethods/Skyryse Partner on automation hardware

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AirMethods/Skyryse Partner on automation hardware

Old 3rd May 2022, 23:23
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AirMethods/Skyryse Partner on automation hardware

Just Helicopters > Articles and News > Industry Wide News

SKYRYSE AND AIR METHODS PARTNER TO ENHANCE SAFETY BY HELPING PILOTS FOCUS ON THEIR LIFE-SAVING MISSION


Air Methods is retrofitting its fleet with the proprietary Skyryse FlightOS automation hardware and software to make the nation’s largest fleet of air medical aircraft safer to pilot.

LOS ANGELES, — Skyryse, a transportation technology company, and Air Methods, the leading American air medical transport company, today announced a partnership to retrofit more than 400 single-engine helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in the Air Methods fleet with FlightOS, a shared mission to advance further safety measures to protect pilots and patients. The new Skyryse FlightOS hardware and software stack replaces overly complex and manual flight control systems, allowing pilots to control helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft with a far simpler and safer control interface. Air Methods has also invested $5 million into Skyryse Series B, bringing the total raised to $205 million, further backing the LA-based company’s automation hardware and software.

Skyryse’s FlightOS state-of-the-art technology provides increased operational safety in clear or inclement weather using advanced sensors currently only used in commercial aviation and advanced military aircraft, meaning more missions are completed, and more lives are saved. The flight system is operational through every phase of flight and during any situational hazard, designed to never go offline, including during emergencies. Air Methods will use the Skyryse technology to elevate air crews’ ability to safely perform their core function of providing immediate, critical care where it is needed most.

“We are excited to partner with Air Methods to bring our innovative technology to their aircraft and patients who benefit from their remarkable services,” said Dr. Mark Groden, CEO of Skyryse. “We created FlightOS to enhance safety, especially in critical life-saving missions, where technology unlocks dramatic potential for all people to receive the safest, most effective medical care available in the direst situations. The Air Methods partnership highlights the value of our technologies interoperability and safety across all types of aircraft.”

Air Methods will retrofit FlightOS within their diverse and complex fleet of single-engine helicopters, such as the EC130, AS350, and Bell 407, and fixed-wing aircraft such as the Pilatus PC-12. Air Methods intends for the immediate benefits of FlightOS to reduce operational complexity by making the flight deck more intuitive and standardized.

“As the leading Air Medical provider in the United States, we are always looking for ways to make rotor and fixed-wing flight safer,” said Air Methods CEO JaeLynn Williams. “Skyryse is a cutting-edge technology that will drive a step change in the safety of rotor and fixed-wing flight not only for Air Methods, but for our customers and the entire HEMS industry.”

FlightOS is designed to protect a pilot from exiting the flight envelope and can safely manage the aircraft through various flight emergencies, including complete engine failures and autorotation.

“The Skyryse Flight Operating System is a transformational technology for the industry, and we are honored to be partnering with Skyryse,” said Air Methods Executive Vice President of Operations Leo Morrissette. “The results of deploying this technology will first and foremost improve safety, lower cockpit workload, and allow our fleet to fully maximize the potential of patient care in a wide range of aircraft models and types.”

About Skyryse

Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, Skyryse is a transportation technology company built by transportation experts from Airbus, Boeing, Ford, General Atomics, JetBlue, Moog, SpaceX, Tesla, Uber, the U.S. Military, and Zoox. The company is building the future of general aviation. Its flagship automation technology, FlightOS, enables anyone to fly in any aircraft just as safe as the best pilots in the world on their best day. Skyryse has raised over $250 million to date and is backed by leading investors, including Fidelity Management & Research Company, Monashee Investment Management, ArrowMark Partners, Venrock, Eclipse Ventures, Cantos, Stanford University, and Bill Ford, the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company.

www.skyryse.com

Media Contact

[email protected]

About Air Methods

Air Methods is the leading air medical service, delivering lifesaving care to more than 70,000 people every year. With nearly 40 years of air medical experience, Air Methods is the preferred partner for hospitals and one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. United Rotorcraft is the Company’s products division specializing in aeromedical and aerospace technology design and manufacture. Air Methods’ fleet of owned, leased, or maintained aircraft features more than 450 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 4th May 2022 at 07:15. Reason: Using quote button isn't that difficult. Is it?
havoc is offline  
Old 4th May 2022, 00:42
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Now how cool lis that!

How about doing away with all of the usual instruments....in place of them install a nice computer screen...rig up a joystick and some buttons to move around a cursors and provide some Mouse capabilities.....throw in a Latte Dispenser and Bob's your Uncle.

In moments of high stress, in the dark, rain and fog around....high ground and obstacles....distractions by the Med Crew....some good turbulence.....I can see some small problems that might need working through.....and please dear Lord....don't make it Windows based software.

That could bring a whole new meaning to the Blue Screen of Death!

Actually, I shall not scoff at this just yet...as some very good Autopilot technology that improves upon the best that is out there currently might be a real improvement.

The trick will be in making the complex simple and intuitive. The "No Failures" notion strikes me as being a bit of a stretch.
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Old 7th May 2022, 02:30
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I think this release deserves far more attention here than it is getting. Maybe linking a video showing the system in action in an R44 can serve as a "TL,DR" as to what they are actually talking about. And what they are talking about is apparently a fully hover/takeoff/cruise/land capable autopilot system, that totally replaces the conventional flight controls, can be retrofitted into any (?) helicopter or plane, and that is controlled by swiping some arrows on a couple of iPads.


Obvious scepticism aside, the fact that Air Methods has apparently decided to install these systems in their fleet tells me that this is a little beyond the "silicon valley pipe dreams" stage, and that they must have some fairly convincing arguments regarding safety and potential benefits to their operation. The press release and website raises more questions than answers as to what this system can do, what it is good for, and when/how it would be used.

With near zero information other than this, I think I'll have to wait until an insider chimes in before forming an opinion one way or the other.

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Old 7th May 2022, 05:50
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and please dear Lord....don't make it Windows based software
I see they are looking for a Software Engineer and the prerequisites include experience with Windriver VX-Works.

Airbus Helionix uses VXworks and will just about do most things autonomously for you without a tablet - for now at least.
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Old 7th May 2022, 12:47
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Especially the "stays online during various emergencies including autorotation" part is interesting and I'm waiting on youtube videos on that topic.
Picking a spot on a camera image/map and it does the rest? Or steering there with sweaty fingers using touch sliders?
Or is it just 'helping' the pilot on the normal controls? Anyhow, the 136000 files a former Moog employee made available to them, at least according to a lawsuit filed by Moog, may help them figure it out.
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Old 21st May 2022, 20:51
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The FAA certification aspects of this are just mind blowing. However, in watching and reading between the lines of this video it brings up few points.

1. Pilots will be able to fly more than 2 aircraft, since the interface to the aircraft is the same, thereby increasing utilization, and deceasing training

2. Lower minimums

3. The “box” will know all the emergency /abnormal procedures simplifying those task.

4. In 2018 Skyryse already responded to HMS calls in Tracy CA




https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/28/t...on-valley.html
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Old 21st May 2022, 23:38
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Some pretty interesting technology from Garmin.

https://discover.garmin.com/en-US/autonomi/
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Old 22nd May 2022, 00:58
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Air Methods has a ton of AStars and 407's. Be interesting to see how the system handles hydraulic and FADEC failures.
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Old 22nd May 2022, 01:53
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Originally Posted by BigMike View Post
Some pretty interesting technology from Garmin.
It is very impressive technology. The project manager is a friend, and I’ve been able to chat about it a bit with her. Beside the technical hurdles you can imagine, one of the challenges was educating the FAA so they could evaluate and approve the technology. Tech advances quicker than the regulator’s knowledge and understanding. It fascinates me that many of today’s advances, particularly in avionics and electronics, are developed in the experimental world, then migrate “up” to the certificated sector. Earlier today, another friend showed me his new Garmin autopilot/EFIS in an otherwise unremarkable C-172. He had taken his brother for a flight, who said there was greater sophistication there than his former ride, an F-15.
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Old 22nd May 2022, 09:54
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1. Pilots will be able to fly more than 2 aircraft, since the interface to the aircraft is the same, thereby increasing utilization, and deceasing training
a system that allows pilots to fly at low level in poor weather safely, needs more training not less or you will end up with them following magenta lines into hillsides and wires, not to mention dangerous weather.

What works on a FW at altitude doesn't automatically read across to RW at low level - very different environments with very different threats.
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Old 22nd May 2022, 10:33
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https://www.aviationpros.com/aircraf...viation-market
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Old 22nd May 2022, 11:50
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Originally Posted by LRP View Post
Air Methods has a ton of AStars and 407's. Be interesting to see how the system handles hydraulic and FADEC failures.
Or a Tail Rotor Failure....or a simple complete Engine Failure.

The whole iPad concept is what stops me.

If the technology is incorporated by means of a screen display but controlled by buttons on the Cyclic and Collective....I might become a believer as I see some value in the technology.

Air. Methods has always had an interesting view on autopilots versus a second Pilot .

Perhaps what they are hoping to do in the end is buy some Monkeys and be able to pay them with real peanuts.
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Old 22nd May 2022, 12:46
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Maybe Air Methods will review their partnership with Skyryse if there is truth to that law suit Big Mike linked to. it appears to be complete theft of intellectual property and very underhand business practice.
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Old 22nd May 2022, 14:33
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mnttech: The FAA certification aspects of this are just mind blowing.
Maybe. If they keep this as a secondary means of control authority it should move forward somewhat quickly via the FAA Safer Skies Initiative. The latest SE rotorcraft autopilot approvals opened a door to flight control augmentation across the board. And especially on the EMS side where all previous regulatory “safety” attempts have not reduced the accident rates as thought. Regardless, I think their biggest hurdle will the use of consumer electronics for the interface and how they stack up to international EMI/lightning protection aviation standards.
rotorfan: It fascinates me that many of today’s advances, particularly in avionics and electronics, are developed in the experimental world, then migrate “up” to the certificated sector.
The migration route has more to do with vendor economic/legal issues than regulatory issues. There are existing regulatory pathways to install the non-certified equipment in certified aircraft today.


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Old 22nd May 2022, 14:45
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Crab,

I can see the FBI getting involved in that theft of Moog Data.

There are some Federal and State Criminal Statutes that would apply.

But I suppose they are too busy with other kinds of investigations having nothing to do with real crime.
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