Boeing unit Aurora Flight Sciences has reached an agreement with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to transition its military XV-24 technology to commercial applications, including expanding its research into commercial eVTOL systems. The XV-24 subscale vehicle demonstrator featured distributed electric propulsion ducted fans, a synchronous electric-drive system, tilt wing and tilt-canard-based propulsion for vertical takeoff and landing, and high efficiency in hover and forward flight. These technologies will now be applied to Aurora’s eVTOL on-demand aircraft, which is being developed in partnership with Uber Elevate.
The transition is a result of DARPA's cancellation of the original XV-24 contract, but the technology will continue under research that is ongoing by Aurora's.
“When DARPA launched the idea of distributed electric propulsion in 2013, it was a novel concept. Today, it is widely accepted as the catalyst to a sophisticated electric air transportation ecosystem,” said Aurora founder and CEO John Langford. “Expanding on DARPA’s vision, we now have an unprecedented opportunity to take this groundbreaking capability to completely new markets.”