The U.S. Air Force was founded on the idea that an independent service was required to properly exploit the revolutionary combat capabilities of the airplane. The Air Force mission has been fundamentally linked with the advancement of myriad technologies: propeller-driven aircraft to hypersonic weapons, space-based navigation and sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles and beyond. Our eye is constantly discerning new horizons as we create tomorrow’s technologies. The aerospace industry thrives on competition, from the Orteig Prize collected by Charles Lindbergh after crossing the Atlantic to the Ansari X Prize that spurred commercial space access. To encourage the development of future turbine engine technologies, the Secretary of the Air Force established The Air Force Prize.
The inaugural Air Force Prize is administered by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.
The Air Force Research Lab is dedicated to leading the discovery, development, and integration of warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace forces, leading a worldwide partnership of government, industry and academic interests. We trace our roots to the vision of airpower pioneers who understood science as key to air supremacy. Since its inception in 1947, the U.S. Air Force has maintained the most technologically advanced air force in the world. To preserve that advantage, it is crucial for AFRL to continue driving innovation to create technologies that are revolutionary, relevant, and responsive to the needs of the Airman.
The Turbine Engine Division plans, develops, and transitions versatile, affordable, turbine engine technology to sustain legacy systems, develop emerging technology, and enable future capabilities. The Division formulates, manages, directs and performs basic research in addition to undertaking exploratory and advanced development programs.