This New Super-Simple Helicopter Looks Easier Than Flying A Drone

Flying a helicopter might seem daunting, but with the Skyryse One, equipped with just one stick and two touchscreens, the task becomes surprisingly manageable. Priced at nearly $2 million, this innovative aircraft by California’s Skyryse promises a simplified flying experience through its semi-autonomous piloting system.

Since its establishment in 2016, California-based aviation company Skyryse has been dedicated to advancing helicopter technology. Their latest creation, the Skyryse One, is the first helicopter to integrate a semi-autonomous piloting system directly into its design, resulting in a drastically simplified cockpit.

Named SkyOS, the aircraft’s operating system incorporates fly-by-wire technology akin to drive-by-wire systems in cars. This technology replaces mechanical linkages with electrical wiring, eliminating the need for traditional controls like cyclic sticks and collective levers. Instead, these functions are seamlessly programmed into SkyOS, accessible through intuitive touchscreens.

Despite its advanced capabilities, SkyOS is not a full autopilot system. Pilots remain in control, steering the helicopter via a single four-axis control stick. However, SkyOS continuously analyzes pilot input, environmental conditions, and flight parameters to maintain a safe flight envelope. Features Hover Assist also ensures stable hovering even if the pilot releases the stick.

The touchscreens of the Skyryse One facilitate easy operation, allowing simple swipes to start the engine, perform startup procedures, and activate automated takeoff and landing functions. In the event of an engine failure, SkyOS seamlessly transitions into autorotation mode, automating critical flight functions such as glide and flare while allowing the pilot to maintain manual control for a safe descent.

Despite its advanced features, training to fly the Skyryse One is straightforward. According to Skyryse VP of communications Ray Wert, all that’s required is a standard helicopter Private Pilot License. An additional 20 hours of flight training in a Skyryse One suffice for those already licensed for aeroplanes.

Skyryse accepts deposits from prospective buyers with an introductory price of $1.8 million. Deliveries are expected to commence after airworthiness certification, with complete specifications to be released closer.

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