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Fly-by-Wire Technology Now Used in Army Utility Helicopters

first_img In use in other U.S. Defense Department aircraft for years, fly-by-wire now replaces the conventional manual flight controls in some Black Hawk helicopters with an electronic interface. In older aircraft, cables run from the pilot’s controls to various control systems such as rudders, ailerons and, in the case of helicopters, the pitch controls on the rotor blades. With fly-by-wire technology, the flight-control movements are converted to electronic signals and sent to flight control computers that use them to determine how to move the aircraft. This technology can automatically perform functions without input from the pilot. “The fly-by-wire variant of the UH-60M Black Hawk offers increased handling capability, lower maintenance burden, decreased pilot work load, and full-authority digital engine control,” Maj. Jeffrey Stvan, assistant program manager UH-60 Modernization, said. This technology greatly decreases the workload of the pilots, allowing them to focus on their surroundings and reduce fatigue, by permitting them to better control the loads. “One aim of the fly-by-wire system is to allow the pilot to keep more of his concentration outside the cockpit and on his surrounding environment,” Stvan said. Maj. Carl Ott, an Army experimental test pilot for the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center’s Aeroflightdyanmics Directorate at Moffett Field, California, has done testing for the Utility Project Office and Sikorsky, involving fly-by-wire technology. He said fly-by-wire technology is geared toward making the aircraft highly stable and more predictable. This technology will also help troops on the ground, when a pilot can focus more on the surroundings and efficiently making deliveries and place payloads that will be a great advantage, officials added. “The fly-by-wire is an enabling technology that will allow for more advanced, adaptive, flight controls and sensors to be integrated into a helicopter making them easier and safer to fly,” Ott said. By Dialogo August 30, 2011last_img read more

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Big plays spoil solid defense

first_imgBEN CLASSON/Herald photoThe Wisconsin defense statistically played its worst game of the year Saturday. Luckily for the defensive unit, the UW offense was firing on all cylinders, led again by its highly touted tailback.Running back P.J. Hill was rewarded for another outstanding performance by being named the Big Ten co-offensive player of the week. Hill tallied an impressive 155 yards on 34 carries, a 4.5 yard-per-carry average, along with two touchdowns.Despite the defensive difficulties, outside linebacker Jonathan Casillas was one player who earned some recognition.”Defensively, giving his best performance of the year, Jonathan Casillas did a great job,” head coach Bret Bielema said, “including the one play where he ran down a potential game-breaking touchdown.”Casillas’ performance was one of the lone bright spots for the Wisconsin defense as it gave up more than 500 yards to Michigan State. While that number draws attention for negative reasons, the UW defense was decent, on the whole. Outside a handful of plays that gained a lot of yards, UW held MSU to 324 yards.”For 70 plays, we played good defense, but the five plays that we didn’t, it’s easy to see how quickly a game can change,” Bielema said. “You get your guys to believe and understand that if you can do it for 70 plays, if you do it for five more, you could have yourself a positive situation.”Missed tackles left gaping holes in the Wisconsin defense, often resulting in big gains. “There aren’t many balls going over our head. ‘That’s not the issue,” Bielema said. “It’s the perimeter and tackling. [Tackling is about] understanding where your help is, whether your help is the sideline or your help is another player.”Despite the defense’s struggles early this season, Bielema said he was more displeased with that unit’s play than frustrated by it, saying defenders need to build on their success from previous games — developing a more consistent style of play that the defensive unit can count on.”The guys that played well, we need to keep them on that progression,” Bielema said. “Guys that didn’t play well, we need to get ’em’ moving … as long as we keep moving forward.”Preparing for ChampaignUW should face another stern test this upcoming weekend when Wisconsin travels south to take on a fellow undefeated team in Illinois.Wisconsin enters the week as an underdog for the first time all season, with UI going off as two-and-a-half point favorites.Despite that, Bielema said his team disregards this fact and is able to focus on the 1-0 mentality Badger football is known for.”[Outsider opinion] doesn’t change what we do,” Bielema said. “We really, in this program, have tried to focus on the people that control the destiny of a game — [and that] is [us].”Everything — the way we prepare, the way we approach games, the way that we handle a game — it all gets back to us.”One of the big focuses this week will be for the Badgers to find a way to stop the Fighting Illini’s rushing attack.”They’re the No.1 team in the conference in rushing,” Bielema said. “Their quarterback knows how to run it as well as their running backs.”Illinois used two quarterbacks successfully — sophomore Juice Williams and redshirt freshman Eddie McGee. Combined this season, the two quarterbacks have rushed for 287 yards and three touchdowns.Leading the way for Illinois on the ground, running back Rashard Mendenhall averages 6.2 yards per carry and 122.4 yards per game.Bielema respects Mendenhall’s improvements as a player, noting the Fighting Illini’s star running back as the biggest threat to his defense.”I really like the way that Mendenhall has developed as a football player,” Bielema said. “You can see he’s gotten better … [but] I don’t like it because I have to defend upon it.”Running back depthFor the second time this season the Badgers take to the road, and for the second time the offense will be without backup running back Lance Smith.Smith was suspended in late August for all road games following a legal run-in this summer. That leaves a hole behind Hill, which will likely be filled by a true freshman.”Because we are playing on the road, and Lance isn’t allowed to come … it could be Zach Brown or it could be Quincy Landingham,” Bielema said.Landingham is an intriguing possibility. He got a head start on the rest of the recruiting class by entering school a semester early and practicing during spring — as a defensive back. He switched to running back during fall camp and has yet to see any game action there because of a knee injury.”Quincy Landingham was probably recruited just as much as a running back as a [defensive back], but because of our immediate need for a safety, we brought him in and repped him at safety, which he was doing fine at,” Bielema said.”Unfortunately he had the knee injury, which sidelined him for about three to four weeks, but (he) has been very, very good.”last_img read more

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