C-65 AURORA | STRATEGIC AIRLIFTER
The Aurora was designed to become the first production composite aircraft, with the fuselage assembled in one-piece composite sections instead of the multiple aluminium sheets and some 50,000 fasteners used on existing aircraft. The Aurora is 55% more fuel-efficient than other aircraft in its class with one-third of the efficiency gain from the engines, another third from aerodynamic improvements and the increased use of lighter weight composite materials, and the final third from advanced systems.
During the design phase the Aurora underwent extensive wind tunnel testing at Trinity Aerospace's Transonic Wind Tunnel. The final styling of the aircraft was more conservative than earlier proposals, with the fin, nose, and cockpit windows changed to a more conventional form.
The cargo aircraft version of the Aurora is a true heavy lifter in every sense of the word. Internal area and lifting ability allow for air transport of six heavy tanks versus the single tank that the current generation of cargo aircraft can haul. This efficiency is further expanded if transporting rotary wing aircraft such as utility helo's or attack helicopters. Eight Apache sized attack helicopters can be airlifted with ease per Aurora flight. In terms of deployment efficiency increase, New Hayesalia can deploy troops, supplies, and heavy equipment with 90% less cargo flights needed, leading to a faster and less expensive deployment schedule. If used for transporting troops, 800 fully outfitted paratroopers can easily be carried, while traditional seats can be installed to accommodate up to 1100 individuals.
The tanker version of the Aurora is generations ahead of the competition. Outfitted with both flying boom and trailing fuel line equipment the Aurora is capable of refuelling both land based and carrier based aircraft, and is capable of serving a large number of aircraft in a single mission. Internal fuel stores are carried in eight fuel bladders, each filled with inert gas. A simplified pumping system allows for ease of transfer of fuel stores between tanks or to the aircraft tanks for an increase in range of mission.
On the flight deck you will find the Aurora to be a marvel of software engineering. Flight surfaces are directed and controlled by a multiplexed fiber optic flight management system. All aspects are taken into account, from fuel burn rate, surface temperature of the skin, to operating altitude are monitored and compared an astounding three hundred times per second. The flight management system further controls the aircraft's electronic countermeasure system, reducing the need for an additional crew member. Five loadmasters are assigned to the aircraft as standard in the general cargo configuration. Three air refuelling officers and one mission coordinator are required for air refuelling operations. 21 flight stewards are employed on full personnel transportation missions.
Due to the design of the Aurora and materials used in its construction it can be classified as a stealth aircraft. In testing it was found to have a radar cross section approaching a much smaller aircraft. This allows for a heavy lifting and tanker fleet that is much more survivable on the modern electronic battlefield. In tanker configuration where loiter time is a major factor these stealth characteristics are a massive force multiplier.
Utilizing next generation systems and a lifting body configuration give the Aurora unrivaled lifting ability and range. The top speed allows for faster transport in and out of a theater of combat. Stealth gives Aurora a covert ability. When weighing these merits it is clear the Aurora is truly the next great evolution in modern transport and tanker aircraft. Logistics are the deciding factor in modern warfare, and the Aurora will be it's fulcrum.