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Flying car inventors: The Air Force would like a word with you soon

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is stoking the creation of flying cars, and the Air Force wants to speak with entrepreneurs about their ideas.

In the week of 27 April, Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, will launch “Agility Prime,” the Air Force program to accelerate “the growth of the transformative vertical flight market,” the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center said Monday.

“Now is the perfect time to make Jetson’s cars real,” Roper said in AFLCMC’s release.

Agility Prime, a program run in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory, based at Wright-Patterson, seeks to make real commercial electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles — “flying cars.”

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Roper will kick off the event, which is being dubbed as a week-long immersive virtual experience. A full schedule of events can be found at https://agilityprime.com/index.html.

“The objective of the event is to reinforce the Air Force commitment to partnering with industry, investors, and the interagency to help ensure there is a robust domestic capability in this new aerospace sector,” AFLCMC said in its release.

Besides the keynote, there will be live virtual panels for manufacturers to showcase their capabilities with investors and academia. The government will also provide briefings and live moderated question-and-answer sessions to describe the contracting, testing, airworthiness, and import/export processes.

The goal is to field vertical flight aircraft within three years, and the program will host a challenge series this year to select vehicles, certify safety and airworthiness and reach operational capability by fiscal year 2023.

“Capitalizing on knowledge gained from the hybrid and electric auto industry, powerful distributed electric propulsion systems are being woven together with advanced algorithms and modern airframes creating an entirely new class of aircraft,” AFLCMC said.

The intent is to help develop the industrial base through market stimulation in an effort to make these vehicles real, while saving the taxpayer money, said Col. Nathan Diller, Agility Prime IPT lead.

The event will be open to all who register at https://agilityprime.com/index.html.

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