This summer, C-17 aircrews will start employing mission index flying, a concept that enables them to adjust their flight profiles in real time to maximize fuel efficiency. Air Mobility Command expects to see a 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent decrease in fuel usage across the C-17 fleet, said Lt. Col. Marc Gildner of the command’s fuel efficiency office. “It doesn’t seem like much. But because mobility air forces use almost 60 percent of the total Air Force fuel inventory, that is a considerable dollar figure,” said Gildner. Under MIF, aircrews input various flight and atmospheric parameters at different intervals during a mission on a laptop computer carried in the cockpit. The laptop’s software then provides the pilots with speed and altitude recommendations for maximum aircraft performance and efficiency. Next up to utilize MIF is the C-5 fleet, followed by the KC-10 and KC-135. (Scott report by Capt. Kathleen Ferrero)
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."