For the company's live test before Navy officials, Aurora installed AACUS an existing UH-1H helicopter, which had been outfitted with LiDAR and cameras to avoid obstacles. Earlier demonstrations had proven its autonomous flight capability, according to a press release, but this test had the aircraft simulating cargo and utility missions. Soldiers loaded supplies on the aircraft and it successfully took off autonomously, taking one more step toward a self-flying delivery system that doesn't require complex training for troops to use.
While this test featured the AACUS-Enabled UH-1H, a setup that the FAA specially certified in October, the technology could theoretically be integrated into other rotary-wing aircraft. This demonstration was the final phase in its five-year testing program; Now the Marine Corps will experiment with the system and figure out whether to buy it. If so, it would be another feather in Boeing's cap: The aerospace giant bought Aurora back in October.