The Department of the Air Force selected JetZero for the next phase of a blended wing body prototype aircraft project Aug. 16.
The effort aims to mature BWB technology and demonstrate its capabilities, giving the department and commercial industry more options for future air platforms.
With a design that differs from a traditional tube-and-wing aircraft, the BWB blends the aircraft body into its high-aspect-ratio wing, decreasing aerodynamic drag by at least 30% and providing additional lift. This increased efficiency will enable extended range, more loiter time, and increased payload delivery efficiencies, capabilities that are vital to mitigating logistics risks.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Roberto Guerrero, visited Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, May 7, 2023. The visit provided Guerrero a better understanding of the processes and technologies that Airmen use on a day-to-day basis, and helped identify obstacles associated with everyday logistical tasks which are vital to combat mission accomplishment.
“We’re here to understand the processes and technologies to make ourselves more effective in executing the mission,” said Guerrero.
Active duty C-17 Globemaster III units from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, and Travis Air Force Base, California, will receive over $1.8 million in rebates and awards as part of the Mission Execution Excellence Program, a new incentive program led by Air Force Operational Energy to enhance mission execution through more frequent use of operational ‘best practices.’
Working directly with aircrew, MEEP helps to streamline sorties and increase aircraft range and capability by incentivizing optimized flying through monetary rebates and awards provided directly to participating wings.
As part of its effort to increase readiness and capability, the Air Force is working to introduce aerodynamic technologies on mobility aircraft to improve airflow, reduce maintenance issues, increase payload capability, and decrease fuel demand. Air Mobility Command, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and Air Force Operational Energy have partnered with commercial vendors to research, design, test, and certify a number of these innovations into the mobility fleet, including the KC-135 Stratotanker, C-17 Globemaster III, and C-130 Hercules. Each initiative is at various phases of development and transition, gaining momentum with the influx of funding from the Fiscal Year 2022 Presidential Budget.
The Department of the Air Force released its Climate Action Plan Oct. 4, which defines how it will preserve operational capability, increase resiliency, and do its part to help mitigate future climate impacts through specific and measurable objectives and key results. It lays out its enterprise-wide approach to ensuring policies, technology innovation, and evolving operations remain relevant in a changing climate.