Aurora Flight Sciences to Develop New X-Plane Under DARPA Contract

Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company, aims to develop an experimental plane under a new Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract.

The X-plane seeks to demonstrate the advanced capabilities of Active Flow Control (AFC) as a primary design consideration.

Through DARPA’s Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) program, Aurora is under contract for Phase 0 in partnership with Boeing and the University of Arizona. The team will develop tools and technology for incorporating AFC in the early stages of aircraft design to later demonstrate in a custom X-plane.

During Phase 0, Aurora will study AFC-enabled designs across multiple mission domains for one year to identify an X-plane demonstrator concept. Phase 1 will follow with preliminary design of an X-plane demonstrator.

“This team builds upon decades of AFC research and prototyping, including flight tests of full-scale implementations,” said Per Beith, Aurora President and CEO. “Together with DARPA, we can enable fundamentally new approaches to aircraft design and look forward to exploring game-changing configurations.”



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