A group of fighter pilots from Hawaii Air National Guard have conducted a demonstration to assess if flying aircraft at an increased speed consumes less fuel while saving flight hours.
The demonstration has been conducted in support of the Air Force Operational Energy Program.
A total of six F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft flew from Alaska to JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, to participate in the demonstration alongside two aerial refuelling KC-10 Extenders on 13 August.
A group of F-22s along with an accompanying tanker were flown at a higher velocity, while the other group flew the standard profile and acted as a control group.
During the five-hour-long flight, multiple data points were collected by researchers to compare results from both groups.
The aircraft that flew faster could cut more than 10% off the total flight time and six percent of the fuel required for this type of aircraft re-deployment.
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US Air Force (USAF) operational energy deputy assistant secretary Roberto Guerrero said: “Last year, about 1,250 Air Force fighter aircraft were deployed/redeployed in this manner.
“Smart execution like this not only saves us operational costs, but, more importantly, preserves time on the aircraft for higher value sorties like combat and training.”
The airforce spends close to $5bn every year and is said to be the largest consumer of fuel across the US Federal Government.
The USAF seeks to increase operational energy efficiency while continuing to ensure mission success and plans to apply this method to other fighter aircraft.