Author Topic: DARPA WANTS A SPEC OPS PLANE WITH A SET OF INSANE CHARACTERISTICS – AND IT WANTS IT FAST  (Read 96 times)

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DARPA WANTS A SPEC OPS PLANE WITH A SET OF INSANE CHARACTERISTICS – AND IT WANTS IT FAST
Hope Seck | March 30, 2023

It can take off vertically with a lead-up (defined as the length of runway needed for take-off) of less than 300 feet, hover in austere environments, and fly forward at more than 450 miles per hour. And, by the way, it’s probably a fixed-wing plane.

That, at least, is the idea behind DARPA’s SPRINT X-plane, a project in the beginning stages of development for use by the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently called for proposals for a plane with a mind-bending set of capabilities. According to the March solicitation, DARPA wants a scaled demonstrator ready to fly within the next three-and-a-half years.


SPRINT, naturally, stands for “SPeed and Runway INdependent Technologies.”

“The SPRINT Demonstrator Project aims to design, build, certify, and fly an X-Plane to demonstrate the key technologies and integrated concepts that enable a transformational combination of aircraft speed and runway independence for future air mobility platforms,” the solicitation states, adding that the project aims to validate technologies that can be adapted to military aircraft of different sizes.


SPRINT Concept Art. Source (DARPA slide via DefenseOne)
The joint SOCOM-DARPA effort aims to develop an aircraft with the following set of science-bending abilities:

https://www.sandboxx.us/blog/darpa-wants-a-spec-ops-plane-with-a-set-of-insane-characteristics-and-it-wants-it-fast/
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