US Marines want laser armed version of VTOL Xplane

LightningStrike is the first aircraft in history designed to demonstrate the following:

  • Distributed hybrid-electric propulsion ducted fans
  • Innovative synchronous electric-drive system
  • Both tilt wing and canard for vertical take-off and landing
  • High efficiency in both hover and high-speed forward flight

Aurora Flight Sciences was recently awarded a six-month $2.9M contract from NASA for continued development of the company’s D8 aircraft, an ultraefficient subsonic commercial airliner. The contract is provided to begin the process of defining X-Plane requirements and associated research needed to enable the D8 aircraft.

The D8 is a commercial aircraft concept that enables substantial efficiency improvements within the next decade; by entry into service the D8 will be over 50% more fuel efficient than current best-in-class aircraft while simultaneously reducing airline operating costs.

The US Marines are interested in a laser armed version of an Aurora drone. The LightningStrike uses a hybrid electric distributed propulsion system. A Rolls-Royce AE 1107C turboshaft engine drives three Honeywell generators, which produce a total of three megawatts of electrical power.

It has excess power for other uses while the aircraft is in cruise mode the lift fans only use one megawatt.

SOURCES- Aurora Systems, Defense One

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