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Aurora to transition X-Plane programme to commercial applications

27th April 2018 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Aurora Flight Sciences is transitioning its X-Plane programme technology to commercial applications under an agreement with DARPA.

The company developed the XV-24 subscale vehicle demonstrator for DARPA's Vertical Takeoff and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) programme. Now, the company will apply the technology to new markets, including expanding its research into commercial electronic VTOL (eVTOL) systems.

Under the X-Plane programme, the aircraft demonstrated both tilt-wing- and tilt-canard-based propulsion for vertical take-off and landing, distributed electric propulsion ducted fans, an innovative synchronous electric-drive system, and high efficiency in both hover and high-speed forward flight.

These milestones advanced the concept of distributed electric propulsion applied to Aurora's eVTOL on-demand aircraft, which is being developed in partnership with Uber Elevate.

John Langford, founder and CEO, Aurora said: ‘When DARPA launched the idea of distributed electric propulsion in 2013, it was a novel concept. Today, it is widely accepted as the catalyst to a sophisticated electric air transportation ecosystem. Expanding on DARPA's vision, we now have an unprecedented opportunity to take this ground-breaking capability to completely new markets.’

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