November 30, 2010 | last updated May 29, 2012 11:57 pm

Sikorsky invests in Ga. drone partner

Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford has bought a stake in a small Georgia firm working with Sikorsky to devise avionics used to pilot unmanned Army Black Hawk helicopter drones in tandem with manned helicopters.

Sikorsky Innovations made an unspecified equity investment in Adaptive Flight Inc.

The Marietta, Ga., outfit makes avionics systems for small- and medium-sized pilotless helicopters used in tactical and reconnaissance roles in urban battlefields.

Sikorsky's investment, in part, will be directed toward continuing their collaboration on technologies that allow much larger piloted and unpiloted aircraft to work together, said Sikorsky Innovations Director Chris Van Buiten.

For some time, Sikorsky has been working on a version of its venerable Black Hawk that can either be flown with a pilot aboard or unmanned. Sikorsky is preparing to demonstrate a drone version performing cargo resupply missions.

Another Connecticut aerospace company, Kaman Corp. in Bloomfield, is also devising pilotless drone versions of its K-Max helicopter for the Marines.

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