Merlin Labs Conducts Autonomous Test Flights

Advanced Aviation Technology company Merlin Labs has made headlines recently with a series of successful automated flight tests. The company reached a major milestone in the development of its advanced automated flight system, allowing the company, with the backing of a $1 million contract with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA),  to complete a series of 25 test flights in Alaska, in the process showcasing its highly automated flight control systems alongside a safety pilot.

This was not the accomplishment of solely Merlin Labs, with the University of Alaska Fairbanks UAS Test Site and Everts Air Cargo playing roles in the development of the software and hardware that was critical for these test flights. The product of years of development is the Merlin Pilot, an integrated hardware and software solution that can be utilized on crewed aircraft.  Beginning its journey in Fairbanks, the test flights ventured throughout the state, including destinations such as Fort Yukon, Galena, Huslia, Tanana, and Prudhoe Bay. Throughout the course of these flights, the Merlin Pilot logged over sixty hours of autonomous flight time, collecting data in real-world conditions characterized by challenging terrains and adverse weather.

About Steven Montes

An enthusiast of aerospace technologies, government, and military history, Steven spent his undergraduate life at the University of Connecticut as a member and eventual president of the Astronomy Club. Throughout his educational career, Steven has, in particular, focused on the continent of Asia, studying the politics, culture, and technology of the region. After spending time in the field of education, Steven was brought onto Forecast International to provide his multidisciplinary experience to the team, assisting other analysts with projects involving the Department of Defense budget and database updates.

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