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Air Force Conducts F-35 Auto GCAS Test Flights

The U.S. Air Force’s 461st Flight Test Squadron has begun conducting test flights for the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System onboard the service’s F-35 aircraft, Edwards Air Force Base said Thursday.

The Auto GCAS is designed to activate in cases of potential ground collision and determine the safest altitude for the plane to recover based on its current speed, trajectory and lack of operator input. The automated platform collates data from the plane’s sensors, on-board monitors and terrain information to calculate the trajectory needed to save pilots from gravity-induced loss of consciousness and target-fixation. The system is based on the F-16 Auto and F-22 GCAS platforms

Lt. Col. Raven LeClair, test pilot for the 461st FLTS, said the Auto GCAS provides the Air Force with a stepping stone to increased combat readiness through a combat autopilot that can execute tactical maneuvers to thwart inbound kinetic and non-kinetic threats.

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