27 Feb '13, 5am

Darpa Takes Another Shot at High-Speed VTOL: Undeterred by past failures, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research P...

Darpa Takes Another Shot at High-Speed VTOL: Undeterred by past failures, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research P...

Undeterred by past failures, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is launching another attempt to develop a high-speed vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft with the hover capability of a helicopter. The VTOL X-Plane program is a 52-month, $130 million effort to fly an experimental aircraft capable of exceeding 300 kt., but with a hover efficiency of 75% or better and a cruise lift-to-drag ratio of 10 or more. By comparison, according to Darpa, today’s conventional helicopters are capable of 150–170 kt., with a hover efficiency of 60% and a cruise L/D of 4–5. High-speed compound helicopters such as Sikorsky’s X2 are capable of 240–260 kt., while the Bell Boeing V-22 tiltrotor can exceed 275 kt., but with low hover efficiency. “We have a simple objective: to fly much faster, with improved efficiency in hover and forward flight, without sacrifici...

Full article: http://defensetech.org/2013/02/27/darpa-takes-another-sho...

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