Air Force Opens Contest For Small Jet Design


A $2 million prize from the U.S. Air Force awaits the first American team to successfully develop a small 100-horsepower turboshaft engine. Registration for the Air Force Prizeopened this week. The engine must be rated to 100 horsepower, consume fuel up to 0.55 pounds per horsepower per hour, and generate at least two horsepower per pound. It must run on Jet-A fuel. Teams can submit performance data to the Air Force Research Laboratory, which will complete a verification test before awarding the prize.

The contest, which has detailed rules regarding team makeup and engine design, is open to companies, academic entities and individuals. According to the contest website, the winner owns the engine and all rights to the design and intellectual property, while the Air Force will own the verification testing data and make it available free to the winner. “In order to continue to move forward and to ensure that our Air Force has the best technology available, it is imperative that we collaborate with industry and academia,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said. “The Air Force Prize is an exciting step in the right direction to encourage this kind of innovation.”