Engineers at Aurora’s Research and Development Center have a cross-section of experience
and skills to allow the RDC to produce cutting edge research and development of
aerospace systems of all types, up to and including innovative concepts for entire
aircraft and spacecraft designs.
NASA Study for Subsonic Commercial Transports (N+3)
Aurora and MIT have collaborated to produce a NASA concept study for subsonic commercial
transports entering service in the 2030-35 time period. NASA is seeking to stimulate
innovation and foster the pursuit of revolutionary conceptual designs for future
aircraft. The demand for air travel will only increase but the numbers of airports
will not, fuel costs are growing, and concern about “going green” is real. The study
was an 18-month effort to develop a concept for a 737-class transport aircraft with
a 70% improvement in fuel efficiency, the ability to operate from 3,000-foot runways,
a significant reduction in noise and pollution emissions.
Aurora’s RDC has laboratory and shop capabilities to rapidly produce flying prototypes
of vehicles and subsystems, including both advanced composite airframes and autonomous
control systems. Past and current projects have ranged from handheld UAVs with a
five-inch wingspan up to a 15 foot wingspan flying prototype with articulating wing,
3 tails, and 9 motors. Customers who have relied on Aurora RDC to produce innovative
prototypes include both internal customers and major aerospace prime contractors.