Subscale DARPA hybrid electric VTOL X-Plane finishes testing

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DARPA has completed flight testing of a subscale version of a novel aircraft design as part of its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) X-Plane program, and is proceeding with work to develop a full-scale version of the groundbreaking plane. Developed and fabricated by Aurora Flight Sciences, the revolutionary aircraft includes 24 electric ducted fans – 18 distributed within the main wings and six in the canard surfaces, with the wings and canards tilting upward for vertical flight and rotating to a horizontal position for wing-borne flight. canard surfaces, with the wings and canards tilting upward for vertical flight and rotating to a horizontal position for wing-borne flight.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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