Edwards Testers Try New Tricks with Old Airdrop System

The 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., is putting the new High Speed Container Delivery System through the wringers. HSCDS, an evolution of the proven Container Delivery System airdrop method, would allow for the aerial delivery of supplies from C-130Js at lower altitudes and higher airspeeds, said Edwards officials in an Aug. 1 release. Initial developmental testing began in June and is expected to wrap up in late August. The testing includes increasing airdrop airspeed from 140 knots to 245 knots, reducing drop altitude to 250 feet above the ground, and using a parachute to extract up to eight 2,000-pound supply containers that have traditionally been gravity-dropped with the CDS, said Chris Webber, 418th FLTS airdrop testing lead engineer. HSCDS has the promise of being a more accurate delivery method and will also be safer for aircrews since they won’t have to fly slower during the airdrop, which makes them more vulnerable to anti-aircraft threats, states the release. (Edwards report by Jet Fabara)