Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass came together to witness the advances in electric vertical takeoff and landing flight (eVTOL) at Camp Mabry, Aug. 20.
Exactly 112 years after the Wright Brothers delivered their first military aircraft, top Air Force leaders gathered with their Texas National Guard hosts and AFWERX personnel to watch the first Agility Prime ORB flight demonstration.
The demonstration was presented by LIFT Aircraft, a Texas-based Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract recipient, as one of the first companies of its size to join the Agility Prime “Air Race to Certification.”
Agility Prime is a program with a vision of world impact,” Barrett said during the program’s launch in April 2020. “The thought of an electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle — a flying car — might seem straight out of a Hollywood movie, but by partnering today with stakeholders across industries and agencies, we can set up the United States for this aerospace phenomenon.”
In the heat of the afternoon, Matthew Chasen, LIFT chief executive officer, piloted the Hexa over the Camp Mabry parade ground, just a few miles from downtown Austin.
We now have over fifteen of the leading aircraft manufacturers in the world applying to partner with Agility Prime, with many of them already on contract,” said Col. Nathan Diller, AFWERX director and Agility Prime lead. “This flight today marks the first of many demonstrations and near term flight tests designed to reduce the technical risk and prepare for Agility Prime fielding in 2023.”