Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Air Force Awards Start-Up $235 Million for Sleek New Plane Prototype
By admin
Published 10 months ago on
August 17, 2023

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The U.S. Air Force will invest $235 million to help a start-up manufacturer build a jet with a blended-wing body that officials say could provide greater range and efficiency for military tankers and cargo planes and perhaps eventually be used to carry airline passengers.

JetZero and the Air Force, which announced the award Wednesday, say they hope that the full-size demonstrator plane will be ready to fly in 2027.

The Innovation Behind the Design

Most large airplanes are tubes with wings and a tail section attached. Blended-wing planes are designed with the body and wings being one piece. The result is a sleek, futuristic-looking aircraft with less aerodynamic drag than a conventional plane of the same size.

JetZero officials argue that traditional planes are running out of ways to improve fuel efficiency, and, with fuel prices likely to rise, an entirely new design is needed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Partnerships and Progress

The Air Force, the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit and NASA are working on the project. JetZero has a partner in defense contractor Northrop Grumman.

The idea of a blended-wing body is not new. Boeing built and tested reduced-scale samples of its X-48. Lockheed Martin has tested a Hybrid Wing Body design in wind tunnels. The Air Force said technology advancements in materials and manufacturing have made the production of larger-scale demonstrators possible.

Future Implications

At a briefing Wednesday, officials said the JetZero demonstrator could determine whether a blended-wing body could be used in future refueling tankers and cargo planes for the Air Force. They said passenger and cargo airlines could also benefit if the design adds seating or cargo space and reduces fuel costs.

“The commercial industry is thirsty for solutions that aren’t so thirsty for fuel,” said Tom O’Leary, the CEO and co-founder of JetZero, which is based in Los Angeles.

O’Leary acknowledged that the Air Force award will not be enough to cover the development and production of even a single full-scale prototype, but he gave few details on the company’s funding.

“While our total funding is not public, we will be having private investment and partners contributing to that,” he said.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Watch: Saudi Crown Prince Demands Netanyahu Face Criminal Charges for Gaza

DON'T MISS

Mehdi Hasan Debates Zionism in Heated Live Event

DON'T MISS

Happ, Swanson Homers as Chicago Cubs Battle SF Giants

DON'T MISS

Luxury Portable Bathrooms? Fresno Co. Lets You to Do Your Business in Opulence

DON'T MISS

Tropical Storm Alberto Forms in Southwest Gulf, 1st Named Storm of the Hurricane Season

DON'T MISS

Images Reveal Extensive Destruction in Lebanese Villages

DON'T MISS

Rifts Seem to Appear Between Israel’s Political and Military Leadership Over Conduct of the Gaza War

DON'T MISS

Anarchy Hinders Gaza Aid Efforts, Despite Daily Combat Pause

DON'T MISS

Trump Tries to Set Expectations, and Floats Excuses, for His Debate With Biden

DON'T MISS

Parlier Political Wars Update: Did the Council Fire the City Attorney, or Not?

UP NEXT

Are Planes Safe Right Now? How to Understand Flight Disruptions.

UP NEXT

A Look at Where the Navy’s 11 Aircraft Carriers Are Now

UP NEXT

U.S. Debt on Pace to Top $56 Trillion Over Next 10 Years

UP NEXT

On Juneteenth, Freedom Came With Strings Attached

UP NEXT

Boeing CEO Apologizes to 737 Max Crash Victims’ Families in Senate Hearing

UP NEXT

After Delay, Top Democrats in Congress Sign Off on Sale of F-15 Jets to Israel

UP NEXT

Joe Biden’s Best Chance to Shake up the Race

UP NEXT

Biden’s Stimulus Juiced the Economy, but Its Political Effects Are Muddled

UP NEXT

America Needs Big Wins. These Would Be Three.

UP NEXT

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore to Issue Over 175,000 Marijuana Pardons

Luxury Portable Bathrooms? Fresno Co. Lets You to Do Your Business in Opulence

2 hours ago

Tropical Storm Alberto Forms in Southwest Gulf, 1st Named Storm of the Hurricane Season

3 hours ago

Images Reveal Extensive Destruction in Lebanese Villages

3 hours ago

Rifts Seem to Appear Between Israel’s Political and Military Leadership Over Conduct of the Gaza War

3 hours ago

Anarchy Hinders Gaza Aid Efforts, Despite Daily Combat Pause

3 hours ago

Trump Tries to Set Expectations, and Floats Excuses, for His Debate With Biden

3 hours ago

Parlier Political Wars Update: Did the Council Fire the City Attorney, or Not?

3 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Fresno to Decide on 114% Trash Rate Hikes

5 hours ago

UN Commissioner Calls Israeli Army ‘One of the Most Criminal in the World’

6 hours ago

Iran’s Nuclear Expansion Raises Global Concerns, Condemnation

6 hours ago

Watch: Saudi Crown Prince Demands Netanyahu Face Criminal Charges for Gaza

In a recent video released by Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjami...

42 mins ago

42 mins ago

Watch: Saudi Crown Prince Demands Netanyahu Face Criminal Charges for Gaza

1 hour ago

Mehdi Hasan Debates Zionism in Heated Live Event

1 hour ago

Happ, Swanson Homers as Chicago Cubs Battle SF Giants

2 hours ago

Luxury Portable Bathrooms? Fresno Co. Lets You to Do Your Business in Opulence

3 hours ago

Tropical Storm Alberto Forms in Southwest Gulf, 1st Named Storm of the Hurricane Season

3 hours ago

Images Reveal Extensive Destruction in Lebanese Villages

3 hours ago

Rifts Seem to Appear Between Israel’s Political and Military Leadership Over Conduct of the Gaza War

3 hours ago

Anarchy Hinders Gaza Aid Efforts, Despite Daily Combat Pause

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend