HomeNewsArticle Display

Newly-acquired AFRL test aircraft to aid personnel recovery research

The AFRL LASH Lysander XCub is shown here during a Dec. 21, 2020 stop at the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport in Greene County, Ohio, on its journey to the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing’s contracted research flight test organization facility in Maryland. The craft will be used to advance the initial “Lysander” personnel recovery flight experiments. (U.S. Air Force photo/Richard Eldridge)

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Low Altitude Sensing Helmet, or LASH, system Lysander XCub sits on the tramac during a stop at the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport in Greene County, Ohio, Dec. 21, 2020. The aircraft was traveling to the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing’s contracted research flight test organization facility in Maryland and will be used to advance the initial “Lysander” personnel recovery flight experiments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Richard Eldridge)

On Dec. 21, 2020, The AFRL LASH Lysander XCub stopped at the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport in Greene County, Ohio, on its journey to the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing’s contracted research flight test organization facility in Maryland. The craft will be used to advance the initial “Lysander” personnel recovery flight experiments. (U.S. Air Force photo/Richard Eldridge)

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Low Altitude Sensing Helmet, or LASH, Lysander XCub flies, Dec. 21, 2020 on its journey to the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing’s contracted research flight test organization facility in Maryland. The aircraft will be used to advance the initial “Lysander” personnel recovery flight experiments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Richard Eldridge)

CubCrafters pilot Mark Keneston (left) and Air Force Research Laboratory pilot Dr. Eric Geiselman are pictured next to AFRL LASH Lysander XCub at the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport in Greene County, Ohio, on Dec. 21, 2020. The aircraft made a brief stop before traveling on to the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing’s contracted research flight test organization facility in Maryland, where it will be used to advance the initial “Lysander” personnel recovery flight experiments. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dr. Darrel G. Hopper)

Mark Keneston, CubCrafters pilot and Dr. Eric Geiselman, Air Force Research Laboratory pilot, stand next to the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Low Altitude Sensing Helmet, or LASH, Lysander XCub at the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport in Greene County, Ohio, Dec. 21, 2020. The aircraft made a brief stop before traveling on to the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing’s contracted research flight test organization facility in Maryland where it will be used to advance the initial “Lysander” personnel recovery flight experiments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dr. Darrel G. Hopper)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) --

A small aircraft that is poised to make a big impact on military personnel recovery made a brief stop in the Dayton area on its way to St. Mary’s County, Maryland, where it will be used to test the Air Force Research Laboratory-developed Low Altitude Sensing Helmet system.

The CubCrafters XCub aircraft was ferried from Yakima, Washington, to Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport near Dayton, on its journey to the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing’s contracted research flight test organization facility, Dec. 21. The aircraft was recently purchased by AFRL to advance the initial “Lysander” flying experiment, which will demonstrate the Low Altitude Sensing Helmet system, known as LASH.

LASH, a portable kit developed within the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing’s Airman Systems Directorate, contains specialized equipment including a flight helmet, a thermal camera, night vision goggles and various other components. The kit can quickly and easily be installed onto nearly any general aviation aircraft to equip pilots for low-level, low-speed, nighttime flight – something that is essential for personnel recovery and other “featherweight airlift” special missions, according to Dr. Darrel G. Hopper, 711th Human Performance Wing project lead.

“The Air Force’s CODE (Combat Operations in Denied Environment) program determined that these types of missions could not be executed effectively by the large aircraft that we have been using over the last 20 years in areas where we have air dominance,” Hopper said. “Project Lysander was conceived as a method of rescuing isolated personnel in both heavily defended and undefended airspace. A critical element of the project was determined to be a carry-on kit that could allow such operations.” He explained that the LASH system kit was designed to fill this need and provide pilots with sensory situational awareness required to fly safely, at night, at extremely low altitudes and slow airspeeds.

Hopper explained that LASH came about after the Air Combat Command and the Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation office at AFRL asked the 711th Human Performance Wing’s Airman Systems Directorate to lead this research effort.

“They called on us based on our expertise in this type of work,” Hopper explained. “Our directorate has decades of experience in researching, developing and fielding helmet- and cockpit-mounted displays and other wearable vision aids for combat pilots, aircrews and special operations warriors.”

After careful study of mission requirements and aircraft capabilities, AFRL researchers designed the LASH kit using a number of mostly commercial-off-the-shelf components. The kit was packaged into a compact, easy-to-transport, one-person carrying system that could be easily fitted temporarily to virtually any small aircraft without additional modification.

Hopper said the CubCrafters XCub was identified by ACC as the safest and most capable commercial-off-the-shelf aircraft for the initial flying experiment to test the LASH System kit.

“If we can demonstrate that the XCub can be flown safely at night at low speed and low altitude using the LASH night vision aids, then we can expand LASH system kit use to other types of short takeoff and landing general aviation aircraft.”

After the aircraft reaches the flight test organization in Maryland, it will first be used to fit-test the LASH system. AFRL researchers and contractor partners will next refine the installation and de-installation process as well as baseline-test metrics, and develop the associated test cards, while flying without the kit. The first flights with the LASH system are scheduled for early spring 2021. If flight tests are successful and program objectives are achieved, the LASH system could be on track for technology transfer and possible deployment as early as 2022.

“This system offers the potential to greatly expand our capability to perform necessary personnel recovery and related missions,” Hopper said. “The acquisition and delivery of this test vehicle is a critical milestone in getting the LASH technology and featherweight airlift capability into the hands of the warfighter.”

Hopper added that after the XCub test aircraft has completed its role in this project, AFRL will be able to use it as a test asset for future research projects as well.

Engage

Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: USecAF Jones attended the unveiling ceremony at the Pentagon for the 2021 National POW/MIA Recognition Day poster. #YouA
Twitter
.@AF_Academy cadets completed the Basic Cadet Training assault course in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The six-week t… https://t.co/o4hTS4B1x8
Twitter
"We were chasing the sun. We actually saw the sunset for 8 hours." - Maj. Cassidy Helregel, 89th Airlift Squadron… https://t.co/QkxIMT8CDq
Twitter
The #DAFArticStrategy discussion happens today. Register for free: https://t.co/A1r9lOlW0y https://t.co/WTLtyEt8jX
Twitter
A new Tactical Air Control Party program is now combat ready. Using multi-channel communications equipment in Humve… https://t.co/ihY1nXf9X2
Twitter
RT @SecDef: As America’s 26th Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall III’s decades of expertise and impact in service to our national se…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Mr. Frank Kendall has been confirmed by the Senate as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! In this role, he will lead ho…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones has arrived! “Serving as the Under Secretary of the Air Force is an absolute honor! I’m…
Twitter
A little #MondayMotivation from the 33rd Fighter Wing “Nomads,” @TeamEglin flight line ops-- are the graduate flyin… https://t.co/Ua0opwxkWH
Twitter
The 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron conducted a mobile training team engagement with the Jamaican Defense… https://t.co/mLoRIEZxu1
Twitter
Another week clear for take off. #AirPower A crewchief marshals an F-16 Fighting Falcon during Combat Raider Exerc… https://t.co/avL8z6c33J
Twitter
One step closer... #AirForce Officer Training School candidates complete a four-phase, nine-and-a-half week progra… https://t.co/gQNQ2IMlim
Twitter
You got this! 💪 https://t.co/WnevIeJbQ4
Twitter
Not a bad way to cool off in the summer. The 815th Airlift Squadron's Reserve #Airmen visited Alaska to airlift o… https://t.co/DElqEx4JwJ
Twitter
RT @USAFRecruiting: Built different 😤 These @airforcespecwar exercises will put your strength to the test and show you what muscles these…
Twitter
Another Air Force week complete, and we've got it in photos! View the rest here: https://t.co/OkjRFKvDjz https://t.co/HXcWkJN35U
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: On behalf of our #Airmen and families, congrats and welcome to Ms. Jones, our new Under Secretary of the @usairforce. #…
Twitter
Jumping into the weekend Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron pe… https://t.co/VLRxCb90mw
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Getting ready for the big leap into civilian life? #Airmen preparing to separate from active duty service can take steps towar…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,354,519
Follow Us