‘Light Sport’ Fly-By-Wire Helicopter Unveiled


A California partnership says its fly-by-wire two-seat helicopter can be flown away by anyone with $188,000, a driver’s license medical and 30 hours of training as soon as the new MOSAIC regs come into effect. Advance Tactics and RotorX say the ATRX-700 will be easy to fly thanks to the computer on the other end of the controls, and it will carry 650 pounds 300 miles at 100 MPH. The new Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certification has added eVTOLs and helicopters under a new regime that expands the current Light Sport Aircraft designation.

The ATRX-700 is based on a RotorX A600 kit helicopter but with modernized controls based on the control systems Advance Tactics has developed for pilot-optional military airlift multicopter vehicles. Under the MOSAIC umbrella, the 1,700-pound helicopter will be factory built and the 30 hours of training will be offered at the factory in Torrance, California. MOSAIC was announced on July 19 and is in the comment stage.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. Will “modernized controls” make this helicopter safer to fly? I am not dual-rated and after working with numerous R-22 through H-53 pilots understand several of the challenges faced by helo drivers. Will fly-by-wire reduce the dangers of dynamic rollover, settling with power, chopping off the tail, etc? 30 hours of training seems hair raisingly minimal.

  2. I want one! I’m going to do some research on the ship and I wonder what the training requirements are if already rotor rated.

    • Bill, go to FAA.GOV and download a copy of the ACS for the certificate you wish to add the rotor-craft category rating onto! It will tell you which tasks you need to demonstrate for an add on.

  3. Looks much more appealing than an eVTOL if the numbers are going to pan out in production.

    I took a lesson in a Robinson R22 some time ago. I had about 1,000 + hours fixed wing at the time and was impressed just how #&ing difficult it is to fly a helicopter. I can’t imagine that 30 hours would be enough training.

    • If they can keep a handle on the price & the bureaucratic hurdles are cleared, I bet they actually could sell an appreciable number of these.

      I too am fixed wing & have caged a little casual hands-on helicopter time, but only in larger & more stable machines than the Robinson with the goodies like autothrottle. Discounting all the rotary wing gotcha stuff I didn’t get into learning & have only vague knowledge of, I found basic takeoff-hover-fly-land actually seemed fairly easy to do in those machines, so with the proposed quasi-automated controls they should be well within the capabilities of a fixed-wing pilot.

      • I wish You’re right, Mr. John K., but I assume (and, at least right now, I’m convinced I’m sure)) You aren’t.