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Air Force Working on Fuel-Saving, 3D-Printed ‘Microvanes’ for C-17

Chris Gordon writes in Air & Space Forces Magazine about a retrofit to reduce fuel usage and the Air Force’s environmental footprint.

The C3 Take
  • The Air Force has begun to retrofit its C-17 cargo planes with 3D-printed microvanes in order to improve fuel efficiency.
  • Microvanes are fin-shaped structures that attach to the fuselage of a plane to reduce drag.
  • The Air Force believes that this retrofit will pay for itself within seven months and save over $10 million per year through reduced fuel usage.

“By reducing drag, the Air Force can save fuel by reducing the workload of the engines. C-17s with microvanes installed save around one percent in fuel over regular C-17s, according to the service. The Air Force says those savings are significant if added up over the fleet.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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