Get ready for another prototype airplane that looks as if it flew straight out of a science-fiction novel.
The Department of the Air Force has selected JetZero’s design for a prototype aircraft that has a swoopy blended wing body, or BWB, rather than the typical tube-and-wing look.
The design has the potential to decrease aerodynamic drag by at least 30% and provide additional lift. This could translate into extended range, more loiter time and increased payload delivery efficiencies for the Air Force.
“Blended wing body aircraft have the potential to significantly reduce fuel demand and increase global reach,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in a news release. “Moving forces and cargo quickly, efficiently, and over long distance is a critical capability to enable national security strategy.”
Commercial aviation could benefit as well. “The BWB is the best first step on the path to zero carbon emissions,” JetZero CEO Tom O’Leary said in a news release. “It offers 50% lower fuel burn using today’s engines, and the airframe efficiency needed to support a transition to zero carbon emissions propulsion in the future. No other proposed aircraft comes close in terms of efficiency.”