A team of nine Air Force Academy cadets took first place honors in a Boeing-sponsored competition for its design of a search and rescue and medical evacuation aircraft dubbed “the Night Owl,” according to an academy release. The competition pitted the cadets against counterparts at the Army and Navy academies at West Point and Annapolis, respectively. The Night Owl, a “futuristic cyclogyro”—Boeing’s release calls it a “cyclorotor”—is projected for service around 2045, and designed to be capable of “thrust in any direction” and allow for hover and forward or backward flight, according to the academy’s May 17 release. “This is a very impressive piece of work,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president of Boeing Defense, Space, and Security. “This competition gets tougher every year and you guys knocked it out of the park,” he told the cadets. They worked for one year on the project, according to the academy release. (Colorado Springs report by Amber Baillie)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.