DARPA Vertical Take-Off and Landing concept art DARPA

 

DARPA Wants To Invent An Aircraft That Hovers Like A Helicopter But Flies Like A Plane

The government research agency says it will spend $150 million to develop a fast airplane that can take off and land like a helicopter.

By Kelsey D. Atherton
Posted 02.25.2013 at 5:00 pm

The most useful aircraft in the world would take off, hover, and land like a helicopter but fly as fast as a plane. Decades of research toward this goal have resulted in very few usable, effective designs. Of those, the V-22 Osprey is the most (in)famous: After early years marred by fatal crashes, costs rose to $36.5 billion and development dragged on from 1989 to 2007.

Today, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced it wants to go back to the drawing board for a new Vertical Take-Off and Landing project, called the VTOL X-Plane. The new program is DARPA’s plan to kick-start private industury into creating a completely new type of aircraft. Project head Ashish Bagai says he wants nothing less than to spark a paradigm shift.

DARPA, which plans to put $150 million toward development of the X-Plane, is leaving the particulars of the aircraft’s design wide open. Bagai says the new plane could be manned or unmanned and should have applications beyond just military. The agency expects to see a test flight in 42 months and hopes the chosen design will have demonstrated additional capabilities in 52 months.

Read more: DARPA Wants To Invent An Aircraft That Hovers Like A Helicopter But Flies Like A Plane | Popular Science.

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