New Fuel Savings Concept Evaluated

Air Mobility Command testers have completed an operational evaluation of a new fuel savings concept called mission index flying, or MIF. It entails C-17 aircrews utilizing software on mission laptop computers in the cockpit to help them fly at optimal altitudes and airspeeds based on their current flight conditions, thereby minimizing flight time and fuel burn. Beginning in mid January, AMC test directors accompanied C-17 aircrews from the 6th Airlift Squadron at JB McGuire, N.J., on 15 sorties from the United States to Europe. The C-17 pilots provided feedback on how the system affected their cockpit responsibilities. With test data in hand, the AMC officials are now assessing whether the MIF software is effective and suitable for use during C-17 strategic airlift missions. They think it could reduce fuel burn across the mobility fleet by 1 percent to 2 percent annually. (McGuire report by Karen Dooney)