March 28, 2023

FAA Grants Rotor Approval to Fly Second Uncrewed Helicopter

Rotor Newsroom

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate for Rotor’s second R220Y aircraft. This new aircraft will join the first R220Y in Rotor’s flight test program and accelerate the development of Rotor’s autonomous flight technology. The first R220Y received FAA approval to fly in late 2022 and achieved its first flight on December 2, 2022.

The R220Y is an uncrewed helicopter based on the Robinson R22, which is the world’s most common 2-seat light helicopter. The R220Y is a R&D platform and is used to develop and demonstrate core autonomous flight technologies that will be used on the R550X, Rotor’s first production model. A test fleet of multiple aircraft allows Rotor to increase test cadence, log more time in the air, and reduce maintenance or upgrade-related downtime for the flight test program.

The R220Y and R550X are enabled by Cloudpilot, Rotor’s human-supervised autonomy framework. Key elements include an advanced perception system, low-latency satellite communications links, fly-by-wire flight controls, and a simplified vehicle command architecture. Cloudpilot is designed to reduce the likelihood of pilot error and increase accessibility to piloting jobs.

“We thank the FAA for their close collaboration and speedy approval of our safety plans, and we are excited to scale up our test program as we move towards meeting the safety, reliability, and certification standards needed for uncrewed commercial operations”, says Dr. Yiou He, Rotor’s Chief Technology Officer and Flight Test Director. 

Rotor appreciates the continued support of the FAA and looks forward to accelerating a future of VTOL flight that is radically safer, more accessible, and more capable than today.

Published On
March 28, 2023
About Rotor

Rotor develops autonomous vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft to make vertical flight radically safer and more accessible.

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