Aurora Flight Sciences announced today that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded the company the prime contract for Phase 2 of the Agency’s Vertical Takeoff and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) program.
VTOL X-Plane seeks to develop a technology demonstrator that could:
• Achieve a top sustained flight speed of 300 kt-400 kt
• Raise aircraft hover efficiency from 60 percent to at least 75 percent
• Present a more favorable cruise lift-to-drag ratio of at least 10, up from 5-6
• Carry a useful load of at least 40 percent of the vehicle’s projected gross weight of 10,000-12,000 pounds
The Aurora team’s design for its unmanned aircraft, named LightningStrike, seeks to provide an approximately 50-percent increase in speed over existing VTOL aircraft designed for comparable mission applications.
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1790 days ago by
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