AFWERX Shifts UAM Initiative Into High Gear
AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force unit that fosters innovation and connections between private industry, academia, and the military, is recommending more than 250 proposals it received in response to its X20D Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), Open Topic solicitation regarding its “flying car” subject.
The group is on track to be “the largest single cohort in the STTR program’s history,” said Major Jared Evans, program manager of AFVentures’ STTR.
The Phase I effort is worth more than US$ 38MM, according to Evans.
“While we are pleased to use this as a tool to bolster the workforce of the future and propel research and development in the electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOL, market, we are even more excited to see what other ‘Prime programs’ might spring from these partnerships,” added AFWERX director Colonel Nathan P. Diller.
The initiative, an out-of-cycle solicitation, seeks to operationalize “flying cars” through government missions that will also accelerate and advance development of the nascent commercial market.
Technologies being explored include those that will facilitate organic supply bus (ORBs) for disaster response, humanitarian aid, and logistics missions. Applications, such as autonomy, advanced aircraft materials and manufacturing, and electrical power storage, generation, and charging, are simultaneously being considered by AFWERX.