General Atomics to design DARPA’s experimental Liberty Lifter seaplane

David Axe explains the teaming up of  US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and General Atomics to create the Liberty Lifter

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – DARPA, the Pentagon’s lead agency for fringe science projects – has tapped California firm General Atomics to design DARPA’s experimental seaplane. The choice makes sense for DARPA, even if the project itself might not. The science agency is determined to design the new ‘Liberty Lifter’ seaplane – the first amphibious, fixed-wing aircraft for the US military in 60 years – around a particular aerodynamic phenomenon called ‘ground effect’, whereby an aircraft is buoyed by a sort of cushion of air while flying at an altitude no higher than its wingspan.

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