Boeing and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency ahave signed a $17 million agreement for the company to continue developing a prototype vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft for flying at speeds of up to 460 miles per hour.
The company is building the Phantom Swift with two lifts inside the fuselage in order to create vertical lift and provide both forward thrust and control, Boeing announced Wednesday.
“Designing an aircraft to perform a vertical takeoff, while maintaining adequate low-speed control, is challenging. Sustaining efficient hover is also difficult, and adding a high cruising speed is even more challenging,” said Dan Newman, Boeing Phantom Works Advanced Vertical Lift capture team lead.
Through the VTOL X-plane program, DARPA wants to create an aircraft configuration for hover and high-speed cruise.
“Proving these capabilities in a single aircraft has been the holy grail for tactical military aviation,” Newman added.