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Air Mobility Command wins national attention for energy savings

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, ILLINOIS — Lt. Gen. Brooks L. Bash, the Air Mobility Command’s vice commander, likes a challenge. A few years ago the Pentagon tossed a big one his way. The Pentagon mandated that the Air Force cut its fuel consumption by 10 percent. That Pentagon target later led Bash to tell some of the Air Force’s top leaders that AMC must lead the way “because we are using 50 percent of the Air Force energy,” recalled Bash, who at the time was AMC’s operations director. “Just AMC. So… ( More...

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Bill Harris 1
'One of the most intriguing lines of AMC research is Erbschloe’s work on “vortex surfing,” by which gasoline-guzzling C-17 air cargo planes fly in formations that mimic the V-shaped flight patterns of migratory birds. The idea is for trailing aircraft to cut the drag they experience by “surfing” the vortex created by the aircraft at the top of the V. Flight tests so far show the idea behind “vortex surfing, ” to be highly promising, with potential fuel savings of 10 percent of more per participating aircraft.'

Presumably not a practice that will be coming soon to commercial operations.

bentwing60 1
I predict that 10% cost savings figure will rapidly become minus 50% when one or more aircraft are lost due to jet upset. I seriously question whether the proponent of this idea has ever experienced any sort of wake turbulence encounter. High or low altitude, it gets ones attention every time! At some 500,000 pounds a C-17 ain't a goose. Maybe a little more turbulence I think.
cliff731 1
How often does one see C-17's flying in formation? I doubt this has significant impact on real fuel usage in Air Force airlift.


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