The LIFT Hexa, an electric, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, or eVTOL, recently completed its first test flight at Duke Field. The unmanned aircraft, piloted via remote control, used 18 motors and propellers to fly for approximately 10 minutes and reach a height of about 50 feet during the test flight. The test was an important first step toward the incorporating the Hexa into operations at a controlled military airfield. Duke Field is an auxiliary field located North of Eglin Air Force Base’s main base.
“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,” said Maj. Riley Livermore, 413th FLTS Futures Flight commander.
This flight was completed by Hexa 09, one of two aircraft stationed at the installation. Hexa 05 was used for the first test flight at Eglin AFB in April. The 413th Flight Test Squadron, the Air Force’s rotary wing developmental test experts, has partnered with AFWERX’s Agility Prime to advance eVTOL test and experimentation. The unit, located at Duke Field, provides the coordination, logistics and support for the LIFT team’s developmental ground and flight-testing operations.
Austin, Texas-based LIFT Aircraft started their project in Oct. 2017 in Budapest, revealed itself on Dec. 11, 2018 to the public through social media and news articles, and made its first public appearance at the SXSW (South By Southwest) 2019 Conference and Festivals held in March in Austin, Texas, USA. The LIFT HEXA (originally the “Hexa”) is an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) single-passenger wingless multicopter ultralight aimed primarily at tourism and short distance travel. The HEXA is a one passenger eVTOL multicopter amphibious modular aircraft capable of landing on both land and water. The HEXA aircraft was designed by Robert Kovacs, who is based in Hungary. LIFT was founded by Matt Chasen, a serial entrepreneur, investor and adventure sports enthusiast.