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Brian Ritter: DARPA to Begin ‘X-Plane’ Demonstrator Reviews at End of July

Brian Ritter: DARPA to Begin 'X-Plane' Demonstrator Reviews at End of July - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Northrop landingThe 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.

Gareth Jennings writes that Brian Ritter, a program manager at Boeing, told reporters Tuesday that DARPA will review VTOL X-Plane prototypes from Boeing, Aurora Flight Sciences, Karem and Sikorsky.

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.

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Written by Mary-Louise Hoffman

is a writer of news summaries about executive-level business activity in the government contracting sector. Her reports for ExecutiveBiz are focused on trends and events that drive the GovCon industry to include commercial technologies that private companies are developing for federal government use. She contributes news content to ExecutiveBiz’s sister sites GovCon Wire and ExecutiveGov.

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