autoland planes

Garmin has been awarded the 2020 Robert J. Collier Trophy for the top achievement in aerospace for its revolutionary Garmin Autoland system, which debuted on the Piper M600 single-engine turboprop and subsequently became available on the Cirrus SF-50 Vision Jet and the Daher TBM 940 turboprop.

In winning the hardware, Autoland beat out some serious competition, including SpaceX’s Falcon rocket and Dragon 2 spaceship, along with the Bell V-280 Valor high-speed tiltrotor and a greener rocket propellant developed by NASA.

Autoland is truly revolutionary, a system that can in an emergency assume control of the aircraft, and with the push of a button, select a suitable airport to land at, configure the plane for landing by extended flaps and gear at the proper time, fly the approach, flare and brake to a stop—all with no pilot assistance.

While Autoland is an emergency-only system as it is now implemented, it seems clear to observers that the product has almost unlimited potential for expansion into a full-time autonomous flight system, something that is of great interest to developers of the next generation of hoped-for electrically powered autonomous aircraft.

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