Heavy Utility Lift Kit

Air University, in collaboration with The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University, will sponsor an ACE technology maturation rapid prototyping project through MGMWERX. The Auburn Senior Design project identifies ACE employment MHE capability gaps and rapidly produces a prototype using the discipline of mechanical engineering.


The United States military is shifting the way it trains and fights using ACE—a reactive or proactive scheme of maneuver used to complicate the adversary’s decision-making process via adaptive basing. Therefore, the team must be able to “pick up and leave” at a moment’s notice. ACE relies on the efficient use of aircraft cargo loading equipment and capacity. Ongoing problems exist with the size and sustainability of current MHE.


Existing MHE has a large footprint (i.e., takes up too much room on transport aircraft) and is hard to sustain (i.e., fuel, power, spare parts, etc.). Without this proper type of MHE, there is no ability to on/off-load necessary cargo (in up to 10,000 lbs per pallet) at adaptive bases.


A small logistical footprint

Effective in moving cargo

Easily sustainable

(i.e., powered by and powers available equipment—aka. multi-use) which enables greater agility, efficiency, and effectiveness of the ACE concept.

Capabilities Sought

Deliver self-sustaining MHE idea and/or prototype

Prototype provides capability to on/off load cargo/ pallets

e.g., ISU-90, 463L Pallet

Prototype must have small footprint and be multi-use

e.g., loading & power source

Solution must lift up to 12,000lbs on a 15-degree incline

aircraft ramp

Minimum viable solution load and fit into cargo aircraft

C-17 and C-130

Stretch goal solution is able to load cargo aircraft without a ramp

KC-135, KC-46, etc.