[VIDEO] US Army Flies Drone Black Hawk Helicopter

This ought get the black helicopter crowd spinning. It was shot on Nov. 5, 2012.

Our brand new drones aren’t the only things becoming increasingly autonomous. This newly-released video of a November 5 flight over the Diablo Range in California shows a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter autonomously navigating through hills and valleys at low altitude. While the Army has released no plans to automate its workhorse fleet of Black Hawks, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center is using the platform to demonstrate autonomous technologies that will enable the automation of next-generation helos.

The helo is flying autonomously, creating a terrain map with its sensors and then avoiding the hazards it sees. That makes the chatter you hear all the more interesting.

[T]he most interesting aspect is the radio chatter between the human pilots onboard and the other mission participants. At several points it is evident that they don’t know exactly what their helicopter is going to do next, but each time it comes up with a satisfactory solution.