After several years of development, DARPA tested a scale model of one of the most unusual drones. The design, called the X-Plane, was invented by the Aurora Corporation and selected through a competition.
The unmanned aerial vehicle is equipped with 24 rotary rotors, 18 of which are on the main rear wing and 6 on the front. Both wings rotate 90 degrees during vertical take-off, after which they are transferred to the level flight position.
In addition, thanks to the swivel wing, the X-Plane can be moved sideways and rearward. During the development process, DARPA specialists have worked out a number of new technologies, including 3D printing of individual fragments of the airframe.
Project manager Ashish Bagai said the drone demonstrated exceptional flight performance in all flight modes without loss of altitude.
After the successful completion of the tests, development of the full-size XV-24A drone will begin with a hybrid turbo engine driving electric generators and rotors. DARPA experts hope that the new 5443 kg aircraft will be able to fly at a speed of 556 km / h with a payload of up to 40% of the total weight.