Skyryse revolutionises flight controls with one stick and two screens

One stick, two screens... that's it for Skyryse One, the modified R66
One stick, two screens... that's it for Skyryse One, the modified R66

If you’ve ever flown a helicopter, you’ll know how complicated it can be. Move one control and you have to adjust another, and then another.

It’s the same to a lesser extent in fixed-wing aircraft but the fact is, pilots have persevered with traditional controls for decades and no one has much of an attempt to move forwards.

Until now, it appears. US company Skyryse has revealed the production version of its modified Robinson R66 helicopter with a single stick control, fly-by-wire system and two touch screens.

Skyryse calls it SkyOS, a nod to the simplicity and clean design that Apple has introduced to computer and smartphones.

It’s an operating system that offers simplified control and an aircraft-agnostic, triply-redundant fly-by-wire system. ‘Aircraft-agnostic’ means it can be applied to almost any aircraft, not just helicopters.

"Yes, it's Robinson R66, Jim, but not as we know it..."

“Yes, it’s Robinson R66, Jim, but not as we know it…”

“The Skyryse One might look familiar on the outside, but the similarities to any other aircraft end there,” said Dr. Mark Groden, founder and CEO of Skyryse.

“Since the invention of vertical flight, pilots have juggled four controls simultaneously, using both hands and both feet just to keep it airborne. Until today.”

Features in Skyryse One, as the company calls the modified R66:

  • Fly-By-Wire Flight System: This isn’t autopilot. Tt’s a full four-axis flight control system flown with the SkyOS operating system and fly-by-wire.
  • Dynamic Envelope Protection: Continuously combining pilot inputs, environmental conditions, aircraft status, and flight parameters to keep the aircraft in a safe envelope. The interactive and triply-redundant flight control system provides a level of aviation safety usually found only in fighter jets and airliners.
  • Fully Automated Autorotation: Skyryse SkyOS quickly recognises a power failure and automatically enters into an autorotation, automating the glide, flare, and set-down, with the pilot in control.
  • Auto-Pickup and Set-Down: The Skyryse One will auto-pickup and set-down at a pilot’s command with one simple swipe on the screen.
  • Hover Assist: Traditional helicopters require a complex synchronisation of all four controls. Skyryse SkyOS simplifies all that, assisting pilots by maintaining a hover at their command (without hands or feet!).
  • Inherent Stability: Because Skyryse One is continuously stabilised by SkyOS, you can let go of the controls at any time and the aircraft will stay inside a safe flight envelope.
  • Swipe-to-Start: Traditional helicopters are also started through a lengthy multi-step startup procedure. The Skyryse One automates all of that, allowing a pilot to start the engine by swiping right on the screen.
  • IFR-capable: Skyryse One will be fully certified for Instrument Flight Rules, at half the cost of an IFR-certified helicopter.
Skyryse single-stick control has a fly-by-wire to take the aircraft where the pilot points it

Skyryse single-stick control has a fly-by-wire system to take the aircraft where the pilot points it

Skyryse has removed the complex mechanical controls and replaced them with a single four-axis control stick said to be similar to that found in an F-35.

The single control stick is combined with two touch screens, uncluttered by the traditional complex array of boxes, controls, and indicators.

The complete price for a Skyryse One is $1.8m, excluding any customised interiors or paint.



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