DARPA cancels LightningStrike eVTOL X-plane programme


The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) cancelled its LightningStrike XV-24A electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) X-plane programme.
DARPA Tactical Technology Office (TTO) Director Fred Kennedy said in a 25 April email that the agency recognised, during a recent programme review, that the major objectives of the VTOL X-plane were achieved with the subscale demonstrator. There appears to be strong interest in a civil or commercial transition for the VTOL X-plane or its technology, he said, however, there is no immediate transition partner.
Kennedy said the subscale demonstrator will allow DARPA the flexibility to pursue other priorities. The subscale demonstrator, he said, advanced many technologies such as 3D-printed plastics for flight structures and aerodynamic surfaces as well as embedded distributed electric propulsion.