Legislators Want Military To Speed Up Electric Aircraft Integration

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Stars and Stripes is reporting a House subcommittee has proposed a bill aimed at speeding up integration of electric aircraft into military operations. Since 2020, the Air Force has had a program called Agility Prime to look at electric aviation’s potential uses, but now legislators want the effort to be ramped up. As part of the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act, the bill would “set up a working group made up of top-ranking defense officials” to kick start Agility Prime, and it’s throwing some major brass at it.

The new committee, if approved, would be run by the Secretary of the Air Force and would include the Army and Navy secretaries and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Air Force Secretary would have to submit a first report by September of 2025 and annually until 2027. The Air Force already has contracts with several companies developing eVTOLs, including Beta Technologies, which delivered a test article of its Alia aircraft to Eglin Air Force Base, where it did its first test flight last November.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Dumbfounding… the stupidity is beyond comprehension. Again, how easy it is to spend other people’s money. Mine, yours and not their’s. The cannibal’s are on the loose.

    • ” Again, how easy it is to spend other people’s money. ”

      That comment right there shows your profound ignorance of how governments work.

      • No, not really. Since the 1980’s, Congress hasn’t seen a dollar it didn’t want to spend or are you completely ignorant of the $24 TRILLION in debt we have?

    • The stupidity of some commenters on this site is what is beyond comprehension. EVTOLs and other electric aircraft hold the promise of being much more reliable, having a lower much lower operating cost, and having a much lower noise profile especially when compared to helicopters. Yes, they do not have the range to replace all helicopter missions with the current battery technology but there are numerous missions that they could perform especially if noise is a consideration.

      • So long as you can tell your enemy “hold on we are currently charging our weapons.”

        • Maybe you have not been paying attention to what is going on in Ukraine. The Ukrainians are trashing million dollar Russian tanks with electric drones that cost less than 1000 dollars.

      • Hard to take somebody seriously when they start their comment out with an ad hominem.

        Anywho…
        “EVTOLs and other electric aircraft hold the promise of being much more reliable, having a lower much lower operating cost, and having a much lower noise profile especially when compared to helicopters.”

        Yes, lets have A/Cs powered by technology that’s far worse for the environment than gas turbines, have a limited lifespan, bricks the machine that its installed in when it fails, incredibly expensive to fix when it fails, and is produced with child labor. Bravo Zulu, everyone!

    • “A Taste of Armageddon” Episode 23 Star Trek.

      No climate impact, no money spent, just human casualties. What, sounds ridiculous, while of course, just like todays Government and Top Brass of all the Armed Forces.

  2. In the original article, the “House subcommittee” is not identified as a subcommittee of HASC until the second-last paragraph. Who is on that subcommittee and what is its official name? Integration of new equipment should not happen until testing is complete. So speeding up the process should not be considered until more is known. But they knew that, right? The virtue signalling is really getting tiring.

  3. I’d want to know what is driving this direction from this subcommittee? As the article states, the USAF is already “on” it with Agile Prime. Why is legislation needed? MORE meddling by people who don’t know what they hell they’re doing in most cases.

    Beyond that, what do they think electric airplanes will be doing during a war … sitting at charging stations waiting for electrons in a war area? On the one hand, they’ll be blowing stuff up while on the other they’ll be saving the planet!

    SHEER LUNACY !

    • More likely little electric buzzy drones will be punching holes in the plastic bladders Nato air forces use to store fuel, and then taking their time to deliver, one hand grenade at a time, to the whopping great jets which burn 30 litres of kerosene a second……and sit still when they cannot get it.

    • Larry, I would have thought you’d figure this out. The people in Congress who want electric aircraft are the ones with constituents who make them!

      Are you not well, bro? 😂🤣

  4. Ah yes… the clown car of decisive decision making. The clueless know-nothings of innovation…
    Mission? We don’t care!

  5. My, My, the pundits, the know-it-all, the naysayers are having a field day today. Ignorant keyboard cowboys craping up the comments section.

    This is woke? This is DEI? Bit of a stretch there as the connection is opaque

  6. “Stars and Stripes is reporting….” My next-door-neighbor in Germany was the female editor of the Stars & Stripes, a far-left greenie married to a flake. She was part of the cabal that tried, unsuccessfully, to ban Rush Limbaugh from Armed Forces Network. I would like to see names of who in Congress is behind this. My guess is this is all vapor, a nothing-burger, one of many desperate 11th-hour attempts by cronies to suck more billions from us before the Real President Trump begins his third term in office next January.

  7. Need more information. What are the pols expecting? Right now, the big and proven practical use of e-powered flight in the military is in tactical recon or attack drones, which is mostly within the Army’s purview. Air Force seems to be mostly just offering minor support to the E-VTOL crowd & encouraging them to make suggestions like autonomous cargo delivery.

  8. Thanks, Russ. As soon as saw the headline, I thought the knuckle draggers- you know, those true, blue patriots of the upside down flag variety – amongst us would pipe up. Sure enough, imbecility on parade. My reading of the article leads me to believe Congress is encouraging more THOUGHT be given to the possibilities of electric power, not massive, probably, inevitably wasteful (like so many of the current OIL powered headliners of today – F-35, anyone?) procurement programs. It will be a refreshing day when many more Americans again feel it’s prudent to think before opening their mouths. I’m holding my breath in anticipation.

    • If you believe that a pushed program to make “Battery powered military weapons” a priority, will not drain the bank, you are the knuckle dragger.

  9. If the people on the committee all wear 4 stars, I’d doubt it’s really going to get much done. Those guys are busy AF.

    The airspace management system in use when I was in the Army was created by a group headed by a Lt. Colonel IIRC. Assign a bunch of mid grades and NCO’s to a group if you want something done.

  10. Nonsense. If you want to defeat your enemy you need to get them to drain their oil reserves, open their borders to spies, deplete their military reserves in other skirmishes, and sew political division within the country. No country would be that dumb to let THAT happen.

    • Monoplanes and biplanes developed side by side; which is why your comment is somewhat amusing….

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