AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — An Air Force Academy team has won an innovation competition sponsored by the Defense Department’s research arm by coming up with a fuel-saving aircraft engine.

The academy said Monday a cadet team led by Lt. Col. A.J. Rolling developed an engine that saves 50 percent of fuel costs by redirecting excess air through the wing, creating more forward thrust with less fuel.

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Rolling says the technology could be used on traditional aircraft as well as drones. He says he’s already briefed aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney about it.

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The academy says the engine is also quieter than traditional engines.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency sponsored the competition among the Air Force Academy, West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy.

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