Aurora Wins DARPA VTOL X-Plane Program Contract

By Caroline Rees / 04 Mar 2014

Aurora Flight SciencesAurora Flight Sciences has been awarded 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.

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact