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First flight of US Air Force on private eVtol

This is a California-built tiltrotor operated by a military pilot

United States Air Force (USAF) has made a first flight on a private electric Vertical takeoff and landing aircraft remotely operated by a military pilot. It represents the culmination of a series of tests on the Heaviside tiltrotor conducted by the military Air Force Research Laboratory's technology directorate. The event is part of the Air Force's Agility Prime program, which is working with private parties to promote a new class of air mobility systems by 2023.

During the flight operated remotely by an Air Force reserve pilot, Capt. Terence McKenna, the aircraft performed various maneuvers: takeoff, landing, automatic stationary flight, manual flight, and transitions between fixed-wing and rotary-wing flight. The test was conducted at the end of a training course held in late 2021 in California, where the manufacturer Kitty Hawk, which works with the US Air Force, is based. 

The eVtol tiltrotor is equipped with eight variable pitch electric propellers. It can reach 289 km/h and has a range of 160 km on a single charge. For training purposes, the aircraft has Buddy Box configuration, consisting of two interconnected remotes, to allow an instructor and a student to both operate. Heaviside is awaiting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight certification.

Gic - 1241764

AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency