HeliSAS Stability Augmentation and Autopilot System
The HeliSAS Digital Autopilot employs an all-digital design that supports all conventional autopilot modes, as well as Cobham's unique Highway-In-The-Sky roll and pitch steering (when optionally coupled to Cobham's Synthetic Vision EFIS). Designed from the ground up for helicopters, the Cobham HeliSAS is a full-authority system based on a dual-processor, fail-passive architecture that can be fitted to any hydraulic-control helicopter. The HeliSAS dramatically reduces pilot workload for cross country or demanding special mission applications.
The HeliSAS system overcomes the two major barriers to autopilot use in helicopters: weight and price. The HeliSAS weighs less than twelve pounds and is projected at half the price of conventional helicopter autopilots. The HeliSAS is the result of a NASA research program lead by flight control expert and helicopter test pilot Roger Hoh. The innovative design is a direct outgrowth of research conducted for the U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate using NASA simulators and the Canadian National Research Council variable stability Bell 205 helicopter.