Air Force reaches new milestone while testing the LIFT Hexa

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Brad Bollig and Luke Reddaway, LIFT team members, secure batteries to the Hexa aircraft’s motors before its first flight at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., July 6, 2022. The Hexa team completed the aircraft’s flight test at Duke Field via remote control. The aircraft, which used 18 motors and propellors, flew for approximately 10 minutes and reached a height of about 50 feet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)


By Samuel King Jr.

Eglin Air Force Base Public Affairs

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) —  

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 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 Hexa, an electric, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, hovers in the air during its first test flight at a military airfield July 7 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Hexa team completed the aircraft’s flight test via remote control. The aircraft, which used 18 motors and propellors, flew for approximately 10 minutes and reached a height of about 50 feet. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

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.

“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,” said Maj. Riley Livermore, 413th FLTS Futures Flight commander. “This flight was an important step in advancing the testing forward.”