DARPA high-speed X-plane to be designed by Aurora Flight SciencesNews
November 16, 2023
MANASSAS, Virginia. Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of Boeing, has commenced phase 1 of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) SPeed and Runway INdependent Technologies (SPRINT) X-Plane Demonstration Project, the company announced in a statement.
The project's goal is to conceptualize, construct, and test an X-Plane that showcases a blend of high-speed flight and runway independence, and the current phase includes funding for a conceptual design review, with an option to extend through the preliminary design review, the company says.
Aurora's design focuses on a fan-in-wing (FIW) demonstrator aircraft, which combines a blended wing body design with embedded engines and a moderate sweep, alongside a vertical flight system featuring embedded lift fans -- a design which aims to achieve speeds over 450 KTAS while maintaining vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities, according to the company.