(This is an update to the Technology Essential post Reducing drag time for the legendary C-130 Hercules, 25 November 2020)
The Artemis Shield Program collaboration between government, academic and industry partners continues to advance toward the dual goal of reducing drag on the C-130 platform while advancing the Air Force’s Additive Manufacturing (AM) capabilities. The team designed, analyzed and built prototype finlets to mount on the back of a C-130 aircraft to reduce induced drag.
In recent months, the Artemis Shield team has rapidly prototyped the draft design using cheaper polymer materials, producing successful test fits on C-130 aircraft. Design tweaks and iterations ensured proper fit and smooth installation. AM technology was critical in completing this process in a timely and cost-effective manner.
After the final design tweaks, the team will flight test the Artemis Shield finlets on an AFSOC C-130 in mid-July through early August 2021, focusing on validating the modeling and proving the concept of government-developed AM. Flight test results will also be posted here at the RSO’s Technology Essential. Stay tuned!