DARPA is building a plane that takes off like a helicopter and flies like a jet

DARPA just revealed an animation showing the conceptual design and functionality of its unmanned VTOL X-Plane, nicknamed “Lightningstrike.”

VTOL stands for “vertical takeoff and landing.” The aircraft takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like an aeroplane. With a top speed of 460 mph, he X-Plane will be 50 per cent faster than any previous VTOL aircraft in history. The first test flights are scheduled for 2018.

Produced by Graham Flanagan and Jessica Orwig

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