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DARPA moves to next stage of fast cruise VTOL

28th November 2023 - 14:54 GMT | by Damian Kemp in London

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Bell plans to build on its previous X-plane work. (Image: Bell Textron)

DARPA and SOCOM's SPRINT programme, an effort to create an X-plane to demonstrate the key technologies to enable a combination of aircraft speed and runway independence, has moved to the next phase.

Two companies involved in DARPA's Speed and Runway Independent Technologies (SPRINT) project, largely an effort to investigate technologies around combining aircraft speed and runway independence, have released details of their offerings.

DARPA has described the programme as ‘a proof-of-concept technology demonstrator and its flight test programme seeks to validate enabling technologies and integrated concepts that can be scaled to different size military aircraft’.

The solicitation to bidders states that the aircraft should be able to cruise at more than 741kph and carry a load of 2,267kg. It needs to be able to operate at between 4,572m and 9,144m and hover in

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Damian Kemp

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Damian Kemp


Damian Kemp has worked in the defence media for 25 years covering military aircraft, defence …

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