US aviation software and safety technology startup SkyRyse has completed the world's first fully automated autorotation emergency landing procedure, one of dozens of safety features that will come standard on all SkyRyse technology-equipped aircraft and helicopters. The company will unveil the first production helicopter featuring its technology, including a simplified control system, in Q1 of next year.
"Every year, more than 400 people lose their lives in general aviation accidents just in the US alone," says founder and CEO Mark Groden. "Fully automated autorotation is just one example of how our technology will bring a commercial grade of safety and beyond to general aviation."
SkyRyse's proprietary technology is a highly automated flight control system capable of being installed on any aircraft and is the first and only system that works with the pilot through a reimagined HMI (Human Machine Interface) to manage complex emergency procedures, including one of the most dangerous and harrowing scenarios in all of general aviation, the failure of a helicopter engine.
In this situation, helicopter pilots have less than two seconds to perform a fully manual series of multiple control movements in a manoeuvre called an autorotation. Because of the complexity of current control systems, no helicopter has ever been able to automate this manoeuvre until now. Using proprietary redundant flight controls and a suite of sensors, the SkyRyse system quickly recognises a power failure and sets in motion multiple procedures and, with a push of a button, makes the landing uneventful. From entry to steady descent, it lowers the pitch, aligns the nose, manages aircraft stability, completes the flare and lands gracefully at the desired landing location.
SkyRyse has completed dozens of automated autorotations, with the first fully automated autorotation from altitude to the ground achieved in a Robinson R66 outfitted with SkyRyse technology at its Los Angeles-area flight test and performance facility on 22 July, 2023, with Guinness World Records certifying the record for first automated autorotation landing by rotorcraft.