• Technology developed under DARPA’s Vertical Lift and Takeoff Experimental Plane program has gained approval to transition to the commercial sector. Photo credit: Aurora Flight Sciences
     Technology developed under DARPA’s Vertical Lift and Takeoff Experimental Plane program has gained approval to transition to the commercial sector. Photo credit: Aurora Flight Sciences

Lab-Developed Flight Technology Ready for Takeoff

April 25, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
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DARPA approves the transition to commercial sector.


The Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) has agreed to allow Aurora Flight Sciences to transition its X-Plane program technology to commercial applications, including expanding its research into commercial electronic vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) systems, the company has announced.

Developed for DARPA’s VTOL Experimental Plane (X-Plane) program, the XV-24 subscale vehicle demonstrator delivered a number of key aviation milestones: distributed electric propulsion ducted fans; an innovative synchronous electric-drive system; both tilt-wing- and tilt-canard-based propulsion for vertical takeoff and landing; and high-efficiency in both hover and high-speed forward flight.

The program advanced the concept of distributed electric propulsion applied to Aurora’s eVTOL on-demand aircraft, which is being developed in partnership with Uber Elevate.

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