Aurora Flight Sciences will explore methods to reduce air fleet fuel usage by 90% by 2030-50, under a contract from the Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL).

The study will be conducted under the AFRL’s revolutionary configurations for energy efficiency (RCEE) programme.

Aurora RCEE programme manager Jay Gundlach said that the solutions will reduce US dependence on strategic, non-renewable resources.

The study will initially analyse airlift and tanker aircraft to determine the best fleet composition, aircraft performance attributes and technology requirements to meet the aggressive goals.

Aurora will evaluate technologies aerodynamics, structures, propulsion, subsystems and operations.

In the advanced stages of research the selected technologies will be modelled and applied to a multidisciplinary design optimisation environment, culminating in technology demonstration for continued research.