Kitty Hawk’s Heaviside aircraft has obtained airworthiness approval by the U.S. Air Force, allowing the aircraft to enter its next phase of flight testing under Air Force direction.
These flight tests aim to explore the unique attributes of the eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) Heaviside aircraft and its potential utility for both military and commercial use cases under the supervision of AFRL engineers and other military stakeholders.
Today’s announcement follows the recent news of AFWERX conducting its first medevac exercise with an eVTOL vehicle using Heaviside.
Designed for a range of 100 miles on a single charge and sound levels of 38 decibels at 1,000 feet, the aircraft should be 100 times quieter than a conventional helicopter and requires half of the energy per mile of an electric car. It has both remotely piloted, and autonomous flight modes, which give it increased versatility for future use.
The air-worthiness certification is only granted after a thorough engineering review of Kitty Hawk’s design and testing process and represents the Air Force accepting the controlled risk of the flight test program. A significant step in the development, which will allow experimentation and assessment of the airframe to continue through flight tests at the Agility Prime and AFRL team’s direction.