NASA's Newest Subscale Aircraft 'MicroCub' Has Successful First Flight

The Subscale Research Lab at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center  has a new addition to their fleet of miniature aircraft. The MicroCub, a modified Bill Hempel 60-percent-scale super cub with a 21-foot wingspan, supports engineering campaigns focused on the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS). MicroCub's eventual missions include simulating autonomous collision avoidance. On January 18, 2018, Armstrong's Subscale Research Lab team piloted the MicroCub for its inaugural flight, successfully demonstrating the aircraft's airworthiness. This initial flight was intended to check the ground handling and flight characteristics of the aircraft, along with validating the Command and Control system, verifying the 'remote control only' mechanism, setting the tuning for autopilot gain, performing engine runs, gauging fuel consumption, and testing stall speed.