Experimental Aircraft

Developing Revolutionary Capabilities for Flight

Aurora team members are experts in every phase of experimental aircraft design and development, from initial concept through detailed design, prototyping, and testing.

X-65 (CRANE)

DARPA’s Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) program aims to demonstrate the benefits of active flow control at tactically relevant scale and flight conditions. Following successful completion of preliminary and detailed design, wind tunnel testing, AFC system testing, and more, Aurora has begun manufacturing the X-plane. The program would culminate in flight tests of the X-65 aircraft at speeds up to Mach 0.7.

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Liberty Lifter

Aurora is working toward conceptual design review for DARPA’s Liberty Lifter program, which aims to design, build, float, and fly an affordable X-plane that demonstrates revolutionary heavy-air-lift capability from the sea. Aurora’s point of departure concept is a high-wing monohull seaplane designed for affordable full-scale production and extended maritime operations, including at high sea states and in high-traffic areas.

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Aurora has been selected for phase 1 of DARPA’s SPeed and Runway INdependent Technologies (SPRINT) X-Plane Demonstration Project. The initial award funds work to reach a conceptual design review, for which Aurora is designing a high lift, low drag fan-in-wing demonstrator aircraft that would deliver game-changing air mobility capability by combining cruise at over 450 KTAS with vertical takeoff and landing.

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Aurora is supporting GE Aerospace with airplane modification, system integration, and flight-testing services for NASA’s Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) project. The project aims to conduct ground and flight tests of electrified aircraft propulsion technologies to enable a new generation of electric-powered aircraft.

Read more about the program in IEEE Spectrum

X-66 (SFD)

NASA’s Sustainable Flight Demonstrator (SFD) project aims to design, build, and flight test a full-scale single-aisle X-plane, designated X-66, equipped with a transonic truss-braced wing (TTBW) to reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiency. Aurora, in its role on the Boeing team selected for the project, is focusing on the design, build, integration, and delivery of the TTBW system.

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