By Daryl Mayer
AFLCMC Public Affairs
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) – “Think about shrinking the world by getting somewhere twice as fast,” said Brig. Gen. Ryan Britton, Program Executive Officer for Presidential and Executive Airlift.
Always looking for new capabilities, AFLCMC’s Presidential and Executive Airlift team is partnering with leading aviation companies to explore the possibility of supersonic travel.
The week on Leadership Log, Britton spoke about industry efforts under way now that could reduce flight times by 50 percent or more.
The idea came about while exploring potential future requirements in executive travel and learning about burgeoning interest in supersonic travel within private business in the United States.
“We were able to identify several opportunities where we could use small business money with some investments from my portfolio to begin to seed these opportunities for supersonic travel,” Britton said.
To date, the team has partnered with Boom Supersonic in Colorado, Hermeus in Georgia and Exosonic in California. Each are exploring different aspects or approaches to high-speed travel.
“From an Air Force perspective, we would never holistically invest in commercial transport for executive airlift to fly supersonic and do it all ourselves. But if we can pair our investments with what private investors are doing, well then you have a 10-15 fold increase in the amount of money available to actually do something that could change the way we do business for executives or military teams,” Britton said.
From a modest $4.5 million Air Force investment teamed with many millions more in private investment, the team is looking to make some huge strides in the near future toward proving out supersonic capability.
“That’s a huge payoff if we are able to make this happen not only for the DOD, but specifically to build the industrial base for the nation,” he said.
Beyond learning about new materials, new engine technology and benefits resulting from research, there could benefits in military strike or reconnaissance missions as well, he said.
To hear the full conversation, you can watch Leadership Log on YouTube at https://youtu.be/c-J5KzIIeZc
. You can also listen by searching “Leadership Log” on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, Radio Public or Breaker.