DARPA’s VTOL X-Plane Development Advances with Aurora

With $25 million in Pentagon funding, a Boeing subsidiary is starting development of its vertical take-off and landing X-plane.

According to Flight Global, Aurora Flight Services designed the VTOL X-plane for a DARPA competition seeking an aircraft that can take off like a helicopter and zoom like a rocket.

Initial contracts were awarded in November 2023 to Aurora, Bell, Piasecki Aircraft, and Northrop Grumman. Aurora’s design proposed a novel blended-wing-body aircraft with fan-in-wing rotors for vertical lift.

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