Futuristic Designs for the DARPA X-Plane: Meet Aurora’s New Concept

How do you fly fast without a runway?

Aurora Flight Sciences thinks it has the answer with a new X-plane design concept featuring lift fans and a low-drag, blended-wing body.

The concept is designed to meet the requirements of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s SPRINT program.

SPRINT is short for Speed and Runway Independent Technologies, meaning the agency wants planes that can take off and land without the need of a runway, and cruise at speeds from 400 to 450 knots.

The program itself is sprinting, with the goal of a first flight in three short years.

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