Air University Press

Wright Flyers

Wright Flyers are occasional papers sponsored by the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC). The ACSC prints and distributes a limited run of each paper. AU Press does not stock any titles in the Wright Flyers series and they are available in PDF only.

Wright Flyer Papers

  •  AFD-190430-614-008.PDF

    Implementing 3-D Printing in a Deployed Environment

    Maj Klinton R. Gager
    With increased budget cuts and an aging aircraft fleet, the Air Force is looking for innovative ways to reduce the procurement, transportation, and inventory costs of tools, parts, and supplies. In particular, traditional manufacturing, accounting for inventory, and transporting aircraft parts and supplies can be slow, costly, hazardous to personnel, and dangerous for the environment. The new manufacturing technology called “3-D printing,” also known as “Additive Manufacturing” (AM) has been recommended as a possible solution to reduce repair time, costs of procurement, transportation, and inventory costs, while also being safer, less labor intensive, and more environmentally sound than traditional, manufactured replacement parts. The problem and solution methodology is used to examine the extent to which AM could benefit the Air Force. Also being examined is its current implementation. This paper provides an overview of the costs, operational failures, and environmental impact of the Air Force’s current supply chain, and how AM is being utilized by military units to help reduce these problems. While steps are being made to implement three-dimensional (3-D) printing at the base and depot levels, the Air Force has not provided clear direction for its implementation or adequately capitalized on its benefits. Consequently, this paper recommends the Air Force develop deployable 3-D printing packages, provide 3-D printing training, and provide more guidance on the circumstances under which 3-D printers should be purchased. Additionally, recommendations are made for what parts should be printed, and a formal approval process for certifying 3-D printed aircraft parts is established. [Maj Klinton R. Gager, USAF / 2019 / ISSN: 2687-7260 / 43 pages / AU Press Code: WF-66]
  •  AFD-171201-427-007.PDF

    Looking Skyward

    Maj Ronald G. Machoian, USAF
    The twentieth century’s first decades were a time of enormous technological achievement that had profound influences on the modern battlefield. The invention of the airplane and its subsequent adaptation for military use inarguably changed the face of twentieth-century warfare. It was during this dynamic period that America’s earliest Airmen began to articulate ideas on how airpower might best be used and what its presence might mean to the future conduct of war. These thoughts represented the barest beginnings of an airminded culture in the US military. In addition to defining what American soldiers knew and believed about aviation, this culture eventually founded the professional impetus for a separate air arm. Thus, a study of the ideas put forth by these first Airmen is an important historical endeavor, lending a more complete understanding of the development of American airpower. This paper relies primarily on articles that appeared in contemporary professional journals and popular periodicals. Airmen laid out a collective argument from which emerge several identifiable themes—crude tenets about the application of airpower as a weapon of war. Conclusions posit these themes as the reflection of a coherent air-minded perspective and discuss their historical relevance as a benchmark for later efforts to further develop American airpower. Secondary support comes from extant historical monographs that provide an account of military aviation’s early development. [Maj Ronald G. Machoian, USAF / 2004 / 36 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-17]
  •  AFD-190610-825-034.PDF

    Masters of Analytical Tradecraft: Certifying the Standards and Analytic Rigor of Intelligence Products

    Lt Col J. Tucker Rojas, ANG
    This paper explores analysis in intelligence and evaluates a proposal to certify and convey analytical rigor as it relates to intelligence products. To accomplish this, an examination of intelligence failures was conducted to assess the application of analytical rigor across historic case studies. The historic failures demonstrate gaps in standardization and insufficiencies in analytical rigor. This paper proposes establishing unit-level certified Masters of Analytic Tradecraft (MAT) analysts to be trained and entrusted to evaluate and rate the standards and analytical rigor of intelligence products prior to publication. [J. Tucker Rojas / 2016 / 32 pages / AU Press Code: WF-61]

    Medical Support for Manned Military Space Missions: A Role for an Existing Medical Service, or a New Approach for the Final Frontier?

    Maj Alexander F. Bedard
    America’s success in space and the continuation of escalating military missions in this security domain necessitates a perpetual and potent medical support apparatus both in space and on land. This research sought to answer the question: How will medical support for manned military space missions need to be organized, trained, and equipped to meet the National Security Strategy (NSS) objective of advancing space as a security domain? The hypothesis was that a dedicated medical support structure specifically for DOD space operations would be necessary. [Maj. Alexander F. Bedard / 2020 / 28 pages / ISSN 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-76]
  •  AFD-171201-073-011.PDF

    Microsoft, Al-Jazeera, and the Predator

    Maj David J. Kumashiro, USAF
    A complex and interdependent environment in the global war on terrorism (GWOT) highlights the challenge of translating the theory of effects-based operations (EBO) into practice, particularly with respect to influencing the will of the people and achieving a desired end state. The following paper seeks to illustrate the conditions and challenges surrounding the translation of current effects-based theory into operational practice in the GWOT by using three conceptual constructs. First, the Microsoft Corporation, its connectivity to the Internet, and the persistent attacks by computer hackers on Microsoft products help frame the adversary and the complex environment and conditions surrounding the GWOT. Second, the Al-Jazeera satellite news network serves as an anecdotal backdrop for the challenges military planners face in managing EBO assessment and controlling the “effects” in EBO. Third, the versatility of both the MQ-1B Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and Special Operations Forces illustrates the importance of developing and maintaining collective knowledge, technological relevance, and doctrinal adaptability in an ever-changing GWOT environment. Military planners who follow an effects-based strategy should recognize EBO’s inherent limitations and plan for its characteristic uncertainty and uncontrollability. In the end, the ability to manage the constructive and destructive strategic effects required to achieve a desired end state as complex as that found in the GWOT requires a holistic perspective that is, at its heart, more art than science. [Maj David J. Kumashiro, USAF/ 2005 / 33 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-21]
  •  AFD-171204-460-019.PDF

    Military Payloads Hosted on Commercial Satellites

    Maj Peter A. Cunningham, USAF
    Commercially hosted military payloads (CHMP) is one approach the Space and Missile Systems Center would like to use to accomplish its mission of delivering resilient and affordable space capabilities. A CHMP uses a commercial satellite’s available size, weight, and power to accommodate a military payload. When the military payload requirements and commercial host characteristics match, a CHMP solution can be a cost saving alternative. To date, the Air Force has only contracted one CHMP, with a 21 September 2011 payload launch. The CHMP was a wide field-of-view infrared sensor, known as the commercially hosted infrared payload (CHIRP). The CHIRP demonstrated that a CHMP solution would garner a reduction in cost and schedule. [Maj Peter A. Cunningham, USAF / 2015 / 49 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-35]
  •  AFD-190523-292-023.PDF

    Movement and Maneuver in Deep Space: A Framework to Leverage Advanced Propulsion

    Maj Brian E. Hans, Maj Christopher D. Jefferson, and Maj Joshua M. Wehrle
    This analytical study looks at the importance of Deep Space Operations and recommends an approach for senior policy leaders. Section 1 presents a capability requirements definition with candidate solutions and technology strategies. Section 2 recommends an acquisition and organizational approach. Section 3 provides an extended strategic rationale for Deep Space Operations as a national priority. [Maj Brian E. Hans, Maj Christopher D. Jefferson, and Maj Joshua M. Wehrle / 2019 / 73 pages / ISSN: 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-67]
  •  AFD-171204-605-016.PDF

    Nontraditional Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

    Maj Michael S. Cornelius, USAF
    This paper uses nontraditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR), now known in tactics, techniques and procedures as Operations Reconnaissance, as a case study to increase combat capability across multiple weapon systems within the Air Force. NTISR demonstrates how one capability can flex to bridge gaps across several doctrinal functions and mission sets. It also provides an argument for the development of future technologies within extant fiscal constraints, revealing a requirement to shift the acquisition weight of effort away from traditional niche assets to those that support true multi-role capabilities. [Maj Michael S. Cornelius, USAF / 2015 / 41 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-50]
  •  AFD-171201-543-008.PDF

    On the Wings of the White Eagle

    Lt Col Pamela J. Wolosz, USAF
    In 1989 years of Soviet control over political, economic, and military systems had left Poland unprepared to significantly contribute to NATO. However, Poland accepted the challenge of building a capable air arm for NATO as it began to reform its political system, modernize its air force, and strengthen its economic system to support air force modernization. This research paper analyzes Poland’s progress in implementing these reforms and is grounded in three themes: (1) the political progress of reforming the civil-military structure, (2) the economic progress of reforming Poland’s defense budget and defense industry to support air force modernization and, (3) the military’s progress in modernizing its air force weapons. This study does not provide specific solutions but instead gives a general understanding of the long road Poland has embarked upon to transform itself from a Soviet satellite into a valued, all-around NATO contributor. [Lt Col Pamela J. Wolosz, USAF / 2004 / 29 pages / ISBN: / AU Press Code: WF-18]
  •  AFD-200727-403-048.PDF

    Opportunities and Implications of Brain-computer Interface Technology

    Maj Mark W. Vahle
    This paper examines the implications of a technological convergence of biotechnology and cyber technology and how best to prepare for the exponential change triggered by this emerging field. This convergence, specifically brain-computer interface (BCI) technology, is enabling bidirectional communication between the brain and a computer. Clinical applications are significant, offering treatments for epilepsy, dementia, nervous system disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, as well as advanced prosthetics. In some cases, BCIs may be able to not just restore functionality but also augment it. New noninvasive techniques are now showing benefits to the point where healthy individuals may opt to have BCIs installed to augment their abilities. This paper will explore the opportunities this technology creates for the United States Air Force (USAF) to enhance combat capability, particularly in high-workload career fields, and the policy choices needed to prepare for the next 20 years. It concludes that in order to seize these opportunities, the USAF needs to act now on currently available technologies to foster a culture of increased experimentation and calculated risk-taking. [Maj Mark W. Vahle / 2020 / 27 pages / ISSN 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-75]
Page 5 of 10

Orders and Copyright Notice

AU Press publications are available at no cost to active duty, total force, and retired military and to Department of Defense personnel and organizations. Publications can be ordered by e-mail at or by calling 334-953-2773 (DSN 493). Please note some of our publications are only available online.

Copyright Notice:
Authors may retain copyright on this material. For more information contact AU Press at