Electric Vertical Take-Off Aircraft Successfully Tested By DARPA

Slashdot reader drunkdrone tipped us off to some big aviation news:
After several years of development DARPA has successfully completed flight-testing of one of the most novel, and odd-looking, aircraft designs we’ve seen in some time — the sub-scale electric X-Plane. After calling for an innovative new approach to an aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, DARPA awarded its Phase 2 contract to Aurora Flight Sciences in early 2016. Aurora’s design includes 24 electric ducted fans, 18 on the main wings and six on the smaller front canards. Both the main wings and the canards are designed to tilt upwards for vertical takeoff before rotating to the horizontal for regular flight… The prototype was also used to trial a number of other technologies DARPA has been developing, such as 3D-printed plastics for flight structures and aerodynamic surfaces.
The article includes video of the test flight, and reportedly the aircraft also successfully tested “sustained hovering.” DARPA will now begin officially developing a full-scale aircraft, which has been designated “the XV-24A.”


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