Jan 4, 2024

DARPA and Aurora Flight Sciences Building Full Scale X-65 Plane With No Moving Control

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, military, space travel

Reminds me of how the space shuttle moved in orbit. Great idea though hopefully they’ll pass it on to us civilians too. That could be very useful. Though the military sometimes passes their tech to us like the CIA is responsible for some medical science amazingly. Yes I was surprised.

DARPA has selected Aurora Flight Sciences to build a full-scale X-plane to demonstrate the viability of using active flow control (AFC) actuators for primary flight control. The award is Phase 3 of the Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) program.

The X-65 flight is controlled by using jets of air from a pressurized source to shape the flow of air over the aircraft surface, with AFC effectors on several surfaces to control the plane’s roll, pitch, and yaw. Eliminating external moving parts is expected to reduce weight and complexity and to improve performance.

The X-65 will be built with two sets of control actuators – traditional flaps and rudders as well as AFC effectors embedded across all the lifting surfaces. This will both minimize risk and maximize the program’s insight into control effectiveness. The plane’s performance with traditional control surfaces will serve as a baseline; successive tests will selectively lock down moving surfaces, using AFC effectors instead.

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