Aircraft

Research insights into aircraft selection and maintenance, crew training, test facilities, and airspace access are valuable to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and U.S. and allied air forces. RAND studies have also examined military air power and aerospace industry issues.

  • North Korean defectors living in South Korea hold balloons containing leaflets and CDs denouncing Kim Jong-un near the demilitarized zone north of Seoul, February 16, 2013

    Report

    Options for Flying Contraband into North Korea

    Activist groups in South Korea are seeking improvements in the balloons they use to carry political, religious, and humanitarian materials across the border into North Korea. Balloon delivery techniques have evolved and some have started using hexacopter drones. How effective are these methods?

    Apr 2, 2018

  • F-16 Fighting Falcons from the Pakistan Air Force fly to a joint exercise with the air forces of the United States and its allies, Nevada, July 21, 2010

    Report

    Prospects for U.S. and Pakistan Air Power Engagement

    As U.S. military action in Afghanistan stabilizes below its peak levels, the U.S.-Pakistan security relationship will enter a new phase. What is the nature of the relationship between the U.S. Air Force and the Pakistan Air Force, and how can it be strengthened?

    Mar 28, 2018

  • Man with drone in a warehouse.

    Research Brief

    What's the Buzz? Delivery Drones Are Here

    Delivery drones are fast becoming a reality. As many as three million commercial drones could be flying in U.S. airspace by 2020. The prospect of a package arriving at your door in a matter of minutes is exciting, but what do we know about the hidden costs, the safety concerns, and the trade-offs?

    Mar 5, 2018

  • Report

    Report

    Limited Intervention: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Limited Stabilization, Limited Strike, and Containment Operations

    The report analyzes the strategic effects of low-cost and small-footprint military options across a range of irregular warfare operations and in a range of operational environments.

    Feb 22, 2018

  • An MQ-9 pilot

    Report

    A Career Field Planning Tool to Build a Healthy MQ-1/9 RPA Pilot Community

    The personnel who operate remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) are crucial in the Air Force, but many in the RPA career field are dissatisfied, and it is difficult to train and retain enough pilots to meet the demand. To assist in building a healthy, sustainable RPA career field, RAND has developed a long-term RPA career field planning model.

    Jan 23, 2018

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: January-February 2018

    This issue highlights RAND research on life inside the Islamic State and on the economic returns of early childhood investments, plus lessons for the U.S. from Britain's approach to free child care.

    Jan 3, 2018

  • Unmanned aircraft system (uav) quadcopter drone in the air over commercial buildings

    Report

    International Commercial Drone Regulation and Drone Delivery Services

    Commercial drone regulations vary from country to country; regulatory bodies struggle to adapt current laws to new technology. The author draws on a literature review to summarize regulations and highlight the obstacles to drone use worldwide.

    Dec 5, 2017

  • A drone takes off from an operations center in Muhanda, Rwanda, on its way to deliver blood supplies to remote hospitals, October 12, 2016

    Commentary

    Drones Could Deliver Change to Africa

    Drones could transform Africa's urban and rural infrastructure and enhance its agricultural productivity. But deployment of drones on the continent faces technological, economic, social, and legal, and regulatory challenges.

    Nov 17, 2017

  • Report

    Report

    In Line or Out of Order? China's Approach to ADIZ in Theory and Practice

    This report contrasts the considerations that drove China's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea with the conditions in the South China Sea and explores China's options for declaring an ADIZ there.

    Nov 10, 2017

  • Report

    Report

    The Chinese Air Force's First Steps Toward Becoming an Expeditionary Air Force

    This is one of four reports based on RAND Project AIR FORCE Strategy and Doctrine Program research that assesses notable developments and implications of China's emerging aerospace expeditionary and power-projection capabilities.

    Nov 10, 2017

  • A quadrocopter being flown over a field

    Report

    Options for Regulating Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

    The FAA predicts that there will be between 2.75 and 4.47 million small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) flown in the United States by 2021. As the skies become more crowded, action is needed from the federal government and sUAS manufacturers and operators to ensure the public's safety.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • Natalie Crawford speaking at the One Night with RAND event in Santa Monica, California, November 9, 2017

    Brochure

    Every Day Is a School Day: Natalie W. Crawford's 50 Years at RAND

    Natalie Crawford's career at RAND spans five decades, during which she has advanced from new analyst to Project AIR FORCE director to RAND senior fellow. This biography is predominately an oral history as more than 60 people from RAND, industry, academia, and family participated in interviews to describe Crawford's life and career.

    Oct 30, 2017

  • Robots working with cardboard boxes on a conveyer belt

    Commentary

    AI's Promise and Risks

    Artificial intelligence seems to be advancing faster than efforts to understand its potential consequences, good and bad. And discussions about AI often veer toward extremes. More balanced, rigorous analysis is needed to help shape policies that mitigate AI's risks and maximize its benefits.

    Oct 24, 2017

  • Report

    Report

    The Energy Implications of Drones for Package Delivery: A Geographic Information System Comparison

    In this report, we use a geographic information system analysis to compare truck versus delivery drone energy use.

    Sep 28, 2017

  • Report

    Report

    Design Perspectives on Delivery Drones

    This report explores the vehicle design aspects of delivery drones, including flight efficiency, energy consumption, noise, and safety, which are central to the viability of delivery drones.

    Sep 28, 2017

  • A Chinese military plane H-6 bomber flies over the Pacific October 27, 2013

    Commentary

    Chinese Bomber Flights Around Taiwan: For What Purpose?

    Recent bomber flights near Taiwan represent the most concerted training regimen yet aimed at improving Chinese airpower. China seeks to enhance the PLA Air Force's capabilities and signal Beijing's will to defend its territorial claims against the U.S. and its regional allies and partners, especially Taiwan and Japan.

    Sep 13, 2017

  • Report

    Report

    Exploring Parallel Development in the Context of Agile Acquisition: Analytical Support to the Air Superiority 2030 Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team

    In providing analytical support to the U.S. Air Force, RAND researchers explore how a parallel development approach in an agile acquisition environment can help more rapidly transition new technologies and concepts to the fleet.

    Aug 25, 2017

  • Report

    Report

    Enhancing Management of the Joint Future Vertical Lift Initiative

    It is possible to achieve some degree of commonality without joint program management and identifies lessons from historical experience and how they apply to the joint Future Vertical Lift initiative.

    Aug 14, 2017

  • A delivery drone flying over a city

    Report

    What's the Buzz? The City-Scale Impacts of Drone Delivery

    This report examines the developing technology for using drones to deliver packages and attempts to identify the societal impacts. In particular, the author estimates the potential effects on energy consumption, aerial congestion, and other outcomes.

    Aug 9, 2017

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    Search and Rescue in the Arctic: Is the U.S. Prepared?

    Explores the U.S. capability to handle the Arctic Search and Rescue (SAR) Agreement, a landmark treaty that gives the U.S. responsibility for conducting SAR in a slice of territory that surrounds Alaska and stretches to the North Pole.

    Jun 19, 2017