INSTALLING THE LIDAR UNIT FOR SMOOTH LANDINGS – February 5, 2020
Switchblade Owner and Kit Builder Nick Leonard just arrived from Northern CA today and has completed his first task of wiring in the LIDAR unit inside the front hatch of the Switchblade prototype. We are installing this in the prototype to assist our test pilot during landings.
LIDAR stands for Light Detection And Ranging. It’s very similar to radar. The LIDAR instrument fires rapid pulses of laser light at a surface (in this case the runway) and measures the amount of time it takes for each pulse to bounce back.
Here’s some interesting feedback from Nick:
“I actually installed this same LIDAR unit on my RV-10, not because I needed it but because I thought it would be very beneficial when I build my Switchblade. Landing with your seat much closer to the ground than a typical aircraft, will be a different experience. What I found with the RV is that the LIDAR made my landings much more consistent, especially when going between large and small runways. When you are getting close to the runway and the callouts get down to “…5, 4, 3, 2” and at “0” the tires squeak every time, it just makes more consistent landings with the perfect flair.”