WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – AFWERX Agility Prime Partner, Moog Aircraft Group, has created a prototype electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (eVTOL), the SureFly S250, which seeks to explore the potential of eVTOL utility in unmanned flight applications. With this development, the U.S. Air Force will be able to test for mission utility, costs, risks, and technical maturity as the project progresses.
"Moog brings years of experience in design and manufacturing systems for applications in the aerospace and defense industry,” said Darshan Divakaran, Program Manager, Agility Prime. “As full battery electric propulsion systems still have limitations, with the SureFly eVTOL aircraft, the Air Force will get a more in-depth understanding of hybrid electric power system technology and also Moog’s aircraft control systems."
Moog’s SureFly S250 vehicle is a two-seat all-electric multi-rotor vehicle which can fly manned or unmanned utilizing eight independent propulsion motors as its flight controls. The vehicle will be modified to a hybrid power electric system. The Air Force is focusing its support of the project into vehicle aerodynamics, pilot interfaces, and system safety, as well airworthiness support for unmanned operations.
Completing the military airworthiness process through the Air Force will allow the SureFly S250 to continue flight test experimentation at an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) test site in Springfield, Ohio later this year.
“Moog is very pleased to be working with AFWERX in their Agility Prime program to accelerate the maturation of our SureFly vehicle,” said Paul Stoelting, Director of Innovation at Moog. “The SureFly, and its other autonomous eVTOL derivatives, will provide ideal solutions for missions ranging from battlefield resupply and casualty evacuation to humanitarian disaster response and distributed logistics.”
AFWERX, a program office at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), connects innovators across government, industry and academia. Through innovation and collaboration with our nation’s top subject-matter experts and harnessing the power of ingenuity of internal talent, by expanding technology, talent, and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability.
In 2020, Fast Company ranked AFWERX #16 of Best Workplaces for Innovators, alongside brands such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon. Additional information is available at: https://www.afwerx.af.mil/
About Agility Prime
The Air Force recently launched Agility Prime, a non-traditional program seeking to accelerate the commercial market for advanced air mobility vehicles. 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. Additional information is available at: https://agilityprime.com/
About USAF SBIR/STTR
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/ Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program was established by Congress with the goal of identifying small businesses that could provide a solution to the warfighter in a faster, more efficient manner than was presently available. This program is reducing barriers and accelerating processes, seeding the future of the U.S. Air Force through innovation and forward-thinking technology. Additional information is available at: https://www.afsbirsttr.af.mil/
About Moog Inc.
Moog Inc. is a worldwide designer, manufacturer, and integrator of precision control components and systems. Moog’s high-performance systems control military and commercial aircraft, satellites and space vehicles, launch vehicles, missiles, automated industrial machinery, and marine and medical equipment. Additional information about the company can be found at www.moog.com. For further information on Moog’s eVTOL vehicle, visit: https://www.moog.com/innovation.html
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: www.afresearchlab.com.