Revolutionary Aircraft and an Electric future?

Aurora Flight Sciences’ Lightning Strike uses 24 ducted fans, 18 in its tilting wing and six in two tilting forward canards. DARPA

David C Isby covers some of the flight research programmes being undertaken by NASA and other American Government agencies on revolutionary aircraft and power systems

Mark Moore can see multiple revolutions coming from his office at the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration Langley Research Center at Hampton Virginia, where the NASA organisation has been pushing the frontiers of flight for over a century. He told a symposium in Arlington Virginia on December 6 that revolutions are going to transform flight in at least four technological ways: distributive electric power (DEP); additive manufacturing; advanced sensors; and autonomy incorporating increased computational power: “They are going to change fundamental capabilities in aerospace big time over the next 20 to 30 years. Embrace the wave, because there is no choice.”

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