The multi-rotor, electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft Hexa has successfully completed its first test flight at the US Air Force’s (USAF) Duke Field.
This milestone achievement marks a significant step in incorporating Hexa into operations at a controlled military airfield.
The test flight was conducted on 6 July at Duke Field, an auxiliary field located North of Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida.
Developed by LIFT Aircraft, the single-seat uncrewed eVTOL aircraft Hexa is piloted using a remote control.
It uses 18 motors and propellers to fly for around ten minutes and attain a height of approximately 50ft from the ground.
The latest test flight was completed using Hexa 09, one of the two aircraft stationed at Duke Field.
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The other aircraft, Hexa 05, was used during another test flight conducted in April this year.
The USAF’s 413th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) manages the Hexa aircraft programme under its Agility Prime flight.
The 413th FLTS rotary-wing developmental test experts are working together with the USAF AFWERX’s Agility Prime to advance the Hexa eVTOL test and experimentation.
In addition, the 413th FLTS provides coordination, logistics and support for the flight-testing operations and developmental ground for the Lift team.
413th FLTS futures flight commander major Riley Livermore said: “This is an opportunity to leverage some of the unit’s expertise with rotary aircraft and apply it to this new field of electric propulsion aircraft.
“This flight was an important step in advancing the testing forward.”
According to LIFT Aircraft, Hexa is a lightweight aircraft, weighing 432lb and can land on land, as well as water.
In August 2020, AFWERX’s Agility Prime demonstrated the developments in the uncrewed Hexa aircraft.