Aurora Flight Services receives DARPA funding

MANASSAS, Va., Oct. 2 (UPI) —

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has given Aurora Flight Sciences Phase 1B funding for continued participation in the VTOL X-Plane project.

The funding is intended to carry Aurora’s participation in the project through a Preliminary Design Review scheduled for next October.

Aurora’s Vertical Take Off and Landing Experiment Plane design features innovative distributed electric propulsion technology for enhanced performance in aerodynamics and propulsion.

Aurora Flight Sciences says the design envisions no components used exclusively for vertical or horizontal flight; all components would be used throughout full flight.

The company’s flight control systems would enable seamless transitions through the phases of powered flight.

"Aurora’s innovative VTOL X-Plane design builds on our extensive heritage working for DARPA and the U.S. Army, including our GoldenEye ducted fan and our Excalibur turbine-electric hybrid aircraft," said Aurora’s chief executive officer, John Langford. "Excalibur made its first flight in 2009, and provided the technical foundation for Aurora’s design for the DARPA VTOL X-Plane program."

The amount of funding was not disclosed.

Aurora’s team for the project includes Rolls-Royce LibertyWorks, Honeywell, and ThinGap.