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Aurora’s XV-24A LightningStrike Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) XPlane subscale vehicle demonstrator (SVD) aircraft has recently completed its planned flight test program at the Webster Field in Southern Maryland.

According to Aurora’s site, the DARPA-funded (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) project has successfully demonstrated key technical features which the full-scale model will perform, including outbound and inbound transition flight.

The aircraft was recently designated by DARPA and the U.S. Air Force. The XV-24A is being developed with the goal of achieving a top sustained flight speed of 300 – 400 knots, with 15% increase in hover efficiency and a two-fold increase in speed over helicopters. It will be the first aircraft in aviation history to demonstrate distributed hybrid-electric propulsion using an innovative synchronous electric-drive system.

The aircraft is a 325 pound, Lithium battery powered scale model of the 12,000 pound, 61-foot wingspan model. It will remain in flight status to supplement the full-scale XV-24A flight test program, currently scheduled to begin in late 2018.

“We’ve pursued, developed and flown an extraordinary aircraft and matured key and innovative technologies in support of the future of vertical flight,” said Aurora Founder and CEO John Langford. “This is clearly an achievement like no other, and will be surpassed only by the flight of the full-scale aircraft.”