Aurora Flight Sciences announced today the award of a Phase I contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) X-Plane program.
Aurora’s innovative VTOL X-Plane, known as LightningStrike, is designed for efficient hover and high speed, meeting DARPA’s ambitious goals for performance and useful load capacity. LightningStrike leverages Aurora’s flight proven VTOL technology and achieves high overall efficiency by tightly integrating propulsion into the air vehicle’s aerodynamic design. Aurora has been a pioneer in ducted-fan and hybrid-propulsion aircraft. The GoldenEye 100 was developed under a DARPA SBIR award in 2001-2005. Aurora developed the GoldenEye 80 under the DARPA Organic Air Vehicle (OAV-2) program. Aurora developed the Excalibur UAV proof-of-concept for the US Army between 2005 and 2010. Excalibur combined hybrid-electric propulsion in a design providing vertical takeoff and landing with high-speed horizontal flight.
Aurora plans to design LightningStrike in Manassas, Virginia and build it in Columbus, Mississippi.
Source: Aurora Flight Sciences Corp.
Date: Feb 4, 2014