Not Really Pie in the Sky

The Air Vehicles Directorate of the Air Force Research Lab wants to get a handle on the technologies needed for a proposed Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (see above) before “working to a specific set of requirements,” Barth Shenk, project manager, told the Daily Report. He explained: “What we’re trying to do is … get the technologies in place. If and when requirements do come, they can be built on the basis of what we know the physics will bear.” However, he said that the lab works closely with the planning staffs of Air Mobility Command and Air Force Special Operations Command to keep track of the capabilities they have in mind for the future. The laboratory asks contractors to include these military utility attributes in their submissions. “This is a real direct feed right from warfighter planning to AFRL execution,” Shenk said.