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Aurora is exploring multiple aircraft configurations and propulsion-airframe integration alternatives.

Aurora Flight Sciences wins RCEE contract

Aurora Flight Sciences was awarded a contract for the Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL) Revolutionary Configurations for Energy Efficiency (RCEE) program. Aurora will explore methods of achieving a 90% reduction in air mobility fleet fuel usage in the 2030-2050 timeframe.

The study begins with a comprehensive analysis of airlift and tanker aircraft to determine the best fleet composition, aircraft performance attributes, and technology requirements to meet the aggressive goals. Myriad technologies will be evaluated in aerodynamics, structures, propulsion, subsystems, and operations. As the study progresses, down-selected technologies will be modeled with increasing fidelity and applied within Aurora's multidisciplinary design optimization environment. The program concludes with technology demonstration plans for continued research.

Aurora can objectively evaluate technologies rather than push proprietary solutions since it does not presently produce aircraft within the subject classes. The team is also engaged in NASA's N+3 future commercial transport program along with MIT exploring similar technologies and methodologies. Aurora's RCEE program manager, Jay Gundlach, said, "Aurora's innovative team and subject matter expertise across multiple aircraft system disciplines will yield revolutionary solutions to reduce our nation's dependence on strategic, non-renewable resources."

Press release issued by Aurora Flight Sciences on July 27, 2009

 

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