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Innovation: Global Hawk testers raise their hand

A European version of the Global Hawk flies over Edwards Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Bobbi Zapka)

A European version of the Global Hawk flies over Edwards Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Bobbi Zapka)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

At the Edwards AFB commander’s call Nov. 1, Brig. Gen. E. John Teichert stated that “Innovation is an Airmen, at any level, raising their hand to say, ‘I’ve got a better way to do business.’”

 

The 452nd Flight Test Squadron is currently in the process of challenging the way the base performs flight test.

 

Originally, remotely piloted aircraft used the same control rooms as traditional aircraft, but new technology brings new opportunities.

 

Realizing the physical distance between the control room and the flight crew restricted communication, Maj. James Gresham and Capt. Evan Glowiak raised their hands. They developed an in-depth concept for future operations and a deployment plan to co-locate the Global Hawk control rooms directly behind the Global Hawk’s new mission control station cockpit upgrade.

 

The MCS is the RPA equivalent to a cockpit in traditional, manned aircraft.

 

The Global Hawk’s new MCS offers new technology. Not only does it have an updated user interface, it can also control two aircraft at the same time. It is predicted that the ability to directly observe cockpit conditions with the ability for the test director to physically walk into the MCS and communicate face-to-face will help mitigate technical risks while improving the quality of flight test data.

 

While future flight tests with the co-located control rooms and MCS will tell if the relocation was a success, the willingness to raise your hand to initiate this type of change is what the 412th Test Wing commander is encouraging to build a “culture of innovation.”

 

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