JetZero's BWB is a 'promising' prototype, says a senior Air Force official

By Apurva Minchekar / September 15, 2023 at 2:39 PM

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- Based on analysis and research of over 20 years, JetZero's Blended Wing Body seems to be a "promising" prototype, a top Air Force official told reporters Wednesday at the Air, Space and Cyber Conference.

“We're in the very front end of this developmental prototyping process for the Blended Wing Body aircraft. We know that that particular aircraft design has been through a number of trade studies over the past 20 years,” Assistant Air Force Secretary for Energy, Installations and Environment Ravi Chaudhary said.

In August, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said JetZero’s new blended wing body aircraft will be a streamlined design that will also help to increase fuel efficiency and enhance capabilities, as well as impact the environment.

“I want to emphasize that this project is a win-win for the commercial industry as well as for the [Defense Department] and hopeful that the commercial interest will result in additional investments that will benefit all of us,” Kendall said at an Air and Space Forces Association event last month.

Chaudhary, at the ASC conference this week, said 15 years ago the service had flown the aircraft at a small scale to locate any issues and is now going to build the prototype at a full-scale level.

“So there's gonna be a lot of knowledge that comes out of that,” he said.

Chaudhary added his department is closely working with Air Mobility Command and the Air Force Research Laboratory to get closer to achieving the BWB goals.

“We look at ways in which we can improve aerodynamics and aircraft to reduce fuel consumption,” he continued.

Additionally, JetZero is also collaborating with Northrop Grumman’s Scaled Composite to build the prototype and Pratt & Whitney to take benefit of its GTF engines that will help to easily integrate the prototype into the commercial fleet.

JetZero is expecting to launch the BWB prototype aircraft by 2027.