LIFT Aircraft’s Airlift
Austin, Texas-based LIFT Aircraft has continued working with the US Air Force’s Agility Prime program. On March 23–24, the Air Force moved one of the company’s HEXA single-seat eVTOL ultralights on an HC-130J transport aircraft from Springfield, Ohio (where it had been testing near the Air Force’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) to LIFT’s hometown of Austin, Texas. The HC-130J Combat King II is based on the C-130 Hercules, but used for personnel recovery missions. This is the first time a military aircraft has been used to transport an eVTOL aircraft, which could find uses for personnel recovery or other contingency operations. The HEXA began conducting airworthiness flight testing for the Air Force in February and LIFT plans to return with a HEXA later this year. In April, it conducted a demonstration flight at the University of Texas Austin.
Meanwhile, the HEXA will be part of a public demonstration on June 3 to show a detect and avoid (DAA) system developed by Ohio’s Ghostwave, Inc. The system monitors the locations of multiple aircraft and drones in the air and will use real-time sensor data integrated with the telemetry on board HEXA.