The Air Force has given a startup $235 million to build a sleek new plane.

The United States Air Force will pay $235 million to assist a start-up company in the development of a jet with a blended-wing body, which officials believe might increase the range and efficiency of military tankers and cargo planes and could someday be used to transport airline passengers. The Air Force and JetZero, who announced the grant on Wednesday, said they want to have the full-size demonstrator plane ready to fly by 2027. The majority of big aeroplanes are tubes with attached wings and tail sections. The body and wings of a blended-wing plane are made of the same material. As a result, the aircraft is sleek and futuristic in appearance, with less aerodynamic drag than a traditional plane of the same size.

According to JetZero executives, typical jets are running out of methods to enhance fuel efficiency, and with fuel prices expected to grow, a totally new design is required to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The project is being worked on by the Air Force, the Pentagon’s Defence Innovation Unit, and NASA. Northrop Grumman, a defence contractor, is a partner for JetZero. A blended-wing body is not a novel concept. Boeing produced and tested scaled-down X-48 prototypes. In wind tunnels, Lockheed Martin tested a Hybrid Wing Body design. According to the Air Force, technological advances in materials and manufacturing have enabled the development of larger-scale demonstrators. Officials stated during a briefing on Wednesday that the JetZero demonstrator may assess whether a blended-wing body might be employed in future Air Force refuelling tankers and cargo planes. They believe that if the design boosts seating or cargo room while lowering fuel costs, passenger and freight airlines will benefit as well.



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