The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to develop a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft minus the associated launch and recovery equipment.
The agency specified that the lightweight plane should have a high payload capacity and long endurance, adding that it should launch from “ship flight decks and small austere land locations in adverse weather.”
DARPA wants to tap recent technological breakthroughs through the “non-traditional commercial industry base” in plane development under the Advanced Aircraft Infrastructure-less Launch And Recovery X-Plane (ANCILLARY) program.
To Overcome Challenging Design Objectives
“The ability for the warfighter to deploy and retrieve such systems in challenging conditions without reliance on infrastructure would minimize personnel, costs, and vulnerability during sensitive operations,” DARPA program manager for ANCILLARY Steve Komadina said.
“ANCILLARY plans to use a multi-disciplinary approach that will bring together developments in advanced control theory, aerodynamic modeling, and advanced propulsion to solve a combination of challenging design objectives.”
The agency has invited traditional and non-traditional aircraft manufacturers, academic technologists, and researchers to discuss the program on September 22 at the Executive Conference Center in Arlington, Virginia.