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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2016, 08:41 

Joined: 03 Apr 2013, 18:00
Posts: 614

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DARPA has unveiled its new experimental vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) plane, which aims to overcome challenges associated with VTOL aircraft.

Increasing top speed without sacrificing range, efficiency, or the ability to do useful work is one of the main challenges.

DARPA’s VTOL Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) aims to overcome this by combining fixed-wing and rotary-wing technologies.

It is also developing and integrating subsystems to enable improvements in vertical and cruising flight capabilities.

VTOL X-Plane seeks to develop a technology that can:

Achieve a top sustained flight speed of 555km/h-740km/h.
Raise aircraft hover efficiency from 60% to at least 75%
Present a cruise lift-to-drag ratio of at least 10, up from 5-6
Carry a useful load of at least 40% of the vehicle’s projected gross weight of 4,500kg-5,400kg.
DARPA has awarded part of the programme for VTOL X-Plane to Aurora Flight Sciences.

Aurora’s design envisions an unmanned aircraft with two large rear wings and two smaller front canards – short winglets mounted near the nose of the aircraft.

A turboshaft engine mounted in the fuselage would provide 3MW (4,000 horsepower) of electrical power, the equivalent of an average commercial wind turbine.


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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2016, 20:12 

Joined: 07 Apr 2008, 11:50
Posts: 4239
Looks like it's based on Paul Moller's concepts.

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PostPosted: 05 Mar 2016, 10:22 

Joined: 12 Jan 2013, 00:04
Posts: 206
Roger the Dodger wrote:
Looks like it's based on Paul Moller's concepts.

Really, which one? All his concepts are simple ducted fan installations, even the M200X, none of which are particularly innovative (and most don't even work). In professional circles he has very low credibility, and he and his company have faced fraud charges more than once. The failure of his crowdfunding campaign will give you an idea of what even small-scale investors think of his work.

The Aurora Flight Sciences "LightningStrike", which won the DARPA VTOL X-Plane competition, has very little in common with anything Moller has ever done, except that it also incorporates ducted fans (but in a completely different way). Aurora Flight Sciences have a long history of developing innovative UAV's, many of which had set world records at the time. The company itself was established by John Langford, who got his PhD from MIT and who managed the MIT Daedalus project which set a series of human powered flight world records. Besides developing their own concepts, the company also does aerostructures production work for other companies, such as fuselages for Global Hawk.

Moller is not in the league of Langford, and neither is any of his failed concepts.

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