The Molecular Optical Air Data System (MOADS) is a compact optical instrument that can directly measure aircraft velocity, as well as the density of the air surrounding the aircraft. From these measurements, many air data products can be determined. Successful MOADS operation has been demonstrated in the laboratory using a wind tunnel. Recently, a MOADS prototype was designed and built in order to complete an upcoming flight experiment aboard a Beechcraft King Air 300. This flight program will be a significant milestone for direct detection lidar systems configured as an air data system aboard an aircraft. The background of the technology, ground experimentation summary of results, flight experiment approach, flight prototype design, and flight experiment planning are discussed.