The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will start evaluating four proposed vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft designs by the end of next month, IHS Janes’s 360 reported Wednesday.
DARPA awarded the companies a total of $130 million in contracts to develop the prototypes under the program and is slated to conduct flight trials of the winning platform between 2017 and 2018.
Ritter told media that Boeing’s Phantom Swift demonstrator is built with body fans and tilt-wing fans and powered by a General Electric‘s CT7-8 engine.
“In the challenge of efficient hover and high-speed flight the answer is in ducted-fan technology, and this is something that Boeing is now investing heavily in,” he added, according to Jennings’ article.
Jennings reports the four participants in the X-Plane competition have opted to design unmanned platforms, but Ritter said Boeing’s VTOL aircraft can be redesigned to be a manned system.