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June 2024

 

Seaflight Technologies partners with the US Air Force on ultra-high lift aerodynamic technology 

Seaflight will demonstrate how its advanced aerodynamic circulation control can benefit next-gen electrified platforms

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(Los Angeles, California) – Seaflight Technologies Inc. announced it has been selected by AFWERX for an SBIR contract focused on using aerodynamic flow control to increase range and efficiency for electrified aircraft - a pressing challenge in the Department of the Air Force (DAF) and other sectors within the Department of Defense (DoD). Electrified flight reduces reliance on liquid fuel in remote or austere locations and allows for quieter, low emissions flight, yet the energy density of batteries remains poor compared to traditional fuel. As the US Department of Defense increasingly focuses attention on the Pacific as well as emerging threats in the Arctic, the challenge exists in providing persistent presence and logistics capability over long distances - something that electric flight is not able to provide with today's capabilities.

Seaflight Technologies aims to change this paradigm by demonstrating clever, affordable use of aerodynamic innovation, enabled by new electric aircraft architectures. By increasing airflow temporarily over the wings at takeoff, without adding the extra mass, cost and complexity of Distributed Electric Propulsion, Seaflight has shown it's possible to preserve invaluable short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability from improvised or unprepared strips, while reducing the overall wing area needed for cruise by up to 40%. That reduction in wing area means a reduction in drag, which in turn significantly improves the range that can be obtained using existing, widely available batteries. The goal is a simple and effective system that can eventually apply to any fixed wing aircraft.

 

Seaflight's founder and CEO, Dr. Graham C. Doig, stated "Seaflight has been focused since the start on figuring out the most effective aerodynamic technologies to accelerate an electrified future for aviation. Our aerodynamic flow control technology, which we first started working on with the National Science Foundation, has shown strong potential for short takeoff and landing while also enhancing range and payload. Those benefits are essential for transporting cargo using today's batteries.  Working with the Air Force is a logical nest step for taking this to a flying prototype, and we're excited to help address "tyranny of distance" problems that are pervasive in the Pacific."

 

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

About Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

The Air Force Research Laboratory 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 12,500 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.

 

About AFWERX

As the innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. AFWERX employs approximately 325 military, civilian and contractor personnel at six hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4 billion budget. Since 2019, AFWERX has executed 4,697 contracts worth more than $2.6 billion to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit: www.afwerx.com.

 

Seaflight Technologies Inc.

Contact:
media@seaflight.tech

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