HQ-90 arrives at NASA’s Armstrong FRC

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The Hybrid Quadrotor 90C (HQ-90) is displayed outside the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center’s Dale Reed Subscale Flight Research Lab in California on Oct. 1, 2020. The Resilient Autonomy project will use this vertical lift and transition remotely piloted aircraft for software testing. (NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich)
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The L3Harris built Hybrid Quadrotor 90C (HQ-90) arrived at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California on Sept. 30 and was transferred to AFRC’s Dale Reed Subscale Flight Research Lab on Oct. 1.

Engineers Derek Abramson and Robert Jensen assembled the aircraft for the Resilient Autonomy project.

When the aircraft is ready to fly the team will perform flight tests in a variety of scenarios using the Expandable Variable Autonomy Architecture software.

Derek Abramson and Robert Jensen assemble pieces of the Hybrid Quadrotor 90C (HQ-90) at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center’s Dale Reed Subscale Flight Research Lab in California on Oct. 1, 2020. This vertical lift and transition remotely piloted aircraft arrived in pieces packed in crates. It was reassembled for the Resilient Autonomy project to test software in flight. (NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich)

The project will test the software and inform airworthiness requirements to enable future autonomy, such as link-less operations in an unpiloted aircraft, while also providing enhanced automated safety to modern piloted aircraft.

In parallel with data collection from flight-testing and simulation, the Federal Aviation Administration is developing a certification approach that could leverage a common framework of the EVAA system for potential use on aircraft ranging from general aviation retrofit to future autonomous aircraft.

Derek Abramson and Robert Jensen install a wing on the Hybrid Quadrotor 90C (HQ-90) at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center’s Dale Reed Subscale Flight Research Lab in California on Oct. 1, 2020. This vertical lift and transition remotely piloted aircraft arrived in pieces packed in crates for the Resilient Autonomy project to test software in flight. (NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich)

This HQ-90 named “Lewis” is a hybrid vertical takeoff and landing fixed-wing remotely piloted aircraft featuring an 8-to 22-pound payload capacity. The aircraft has a long-endurance flight time of 12 to 22 hours, depending on the payload. The HQ-90 is 120 pounds, 98 inches long and has a 185-inch wingspan.

A second HQ-90 named “Clark” is set to arrive at AFRC in late 2020. This second aircraft will have integrated acoustic sensors in the custom-made wings to help detect air traffic. Also included in the shipment will be a second set of these wings to replace the wings on the first aircraft. One vehicle will remain at AFRC and the second vehicle will be transferred to the U.S. Department of Defense.
 
 
 

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