Cadets Have High Hopes for Stealthy Target

Air Force Academy cadets have designed a stealthy, twin-engine, remotely piloted aircraft that is one of the finalists in the Air Force’s search for a threat-representative aerial target that F-22 and F-35 pilots could shoot at in training drills. If selected, it would be the first academy-designed airplane meant for large-scale production to join the Air Force’s fleet, reported the Colorado Springs Gazette. The cadets are still competing against one other company, with selection of the winner possibly still coming this year, according to the report. “There are still a lot of people who have to say ‘yes,'” said academy professor Steve Brandt, who has worked with cadets on the airplane since 2003. Recent wind-tunnel tests with a scaled model showed that the aircraft could be air-worthy in about two years. If built, the aircraft would be 40 feet long with a wingspan of 24 feet. Used engines from T-38 trainers would power it.