The US Air Force will launch a new program, Agility Prime, on Monday 27 April to operationalize commercial electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles (i.e., “flying cars”) for military missions, and accelerate the emerging commercial eVTOL market.
Dr William Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, technology and Logistics, will kick off the week-long, immersive, virtual event whose objective is to reinforce the Air Force commitment to partnering with industry, investors and other US government agencies to help ensure there is a robust US domestic capability in this new aerospace sector.
Besides the keynote, there will be live virtual panels for manufacturers to showcase their capabilities alongside investors and academia. The government will also provide briefings and live moderated question and answer sessions to describe the contracting, testing, airworthiness and import/export processes., a.
A full schedule of events can be found at https://agilityprime.com/index.html.
According to Agility Prime documents the USAF is looking for a vehicle that can carry three to eight personnel with a range of greater than 160km; and that can fly at more than 160kmh. It must have an endurance of more than 60min and will achieve first full-scale flight before 17 December 2020. It wants an eVTOL achieving operational capability by FY2023.
Leveraging unique testing resources and revenue generating government use cases for distributed logistics and disaster response, the government plans to mitigate current commercial market and regulatory risks.
Agility Prime also aims to bring together industry, investor, and government communities to establish safety and security standards while accelerating commercialization of this revolutionary technology.
Secretary Roper added the program’s Innovative Capabilities Opening “establishes the rapid contracting mechanism to explore and potentially field transformative vertical flight aircraft within three years, and the program will host a challenge series this year to select vehicles, certify safety and airworthiness, procure systems for the most promising missions, and reach operational capability by FY23.”
Agility Prime, in an endeavour to create alternative defense acquisition constructs, will rely on strong collaboration between the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Mobility PEO, AFRL, Air Force Warfighting Integrating Capability and Air Force Ventures. Technology Development and evaluation experts at AFRL will partner from the outset with AFLCMC, PEO Mobility and AFWIC to efficiently transition platforms and field capability to the warfighter. Air Force Ventures will be the critical link for engagement with industry, investors, and interagency organizations.
The event will be open to all who register at https://agilityprime.com/index.html.