DARPA Announces VTOL X-Plane Phase 2 Design

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  1. AMDR

    AMDR Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    DARPA Announces VTOL X-Plane Phase 2 Design
    Unorthodox unmanned aircraft would push the limits of technology to combine plane-like speed and helicopter-like agility into one breakthrough vehicle


    OUTREACH@DARPA.MIL
    3/3/2016

    For decades, aircraft designers seeking to improve vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities have endured a substantial set of interrelated challenges. Dozens of attempts have been made to increase top speed without sacrificing range, efficiency or the ability to do useful work, with each effort struggling or failing in one way or another.

    DARPA’s VTOL Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) program aims to overcome these challenges through innovative cross-pollination between fixed-wing and rotary-wing technologies and by developing and integrating novel subsystems to enable radical improvements in vertical and cruising flight capabilities. In an important step toward that goal, DARPA has awarded the Phase 2 contract for VTOL X-Plane to Aurora Flight Sciences.
    VTOL X-Plane seeks to develop a technology demonstrator that could:

      • Achieve a top sustained flight speed of 300 kt to 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
    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2016-03-03

     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
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  2. Cybermat47

    Cybermat47 2nd Lieutenant

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    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    A Prototype of DARPA's Vertical Take-Off Aircraft Can Already Fly

    [​IMG]

    Earlier this year, DARPA unveiled its latest concept design for a new vertical take-off and landing craft. Now, a working scale prototype has already made its first successful flight.

    Aurora Flight Sciences has been working on the new vertical take-off aircraft—which is called LightningStrike according to The Verge—since it was awarded the second phase of the design contract. What you see in the gif above and video below is actually a one-fifth scale model, but it ably demonstrates that the new craft will be able to fly. Even if it does look rather... unusual.



    The full-size version is expected to use a 4,000 horsepower engine—actually the same one as is in the existing VTOL craft the V-22 Osprey—to create 3 megawatts of electricity. In turn, that will be used to power 24 fans dotted along the airframe to create thrust. That should push it through the skies at up to 400 knots, with the ability to carry payloads that make up 40 percent of its expected 10,000-pound total weight.

    Now Aurora just needs to build a bigger one.
     
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