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DARPA Taps Rutan for 350-Kt VTOL

By Staff Writer | May 12, 2008

Defense researchers are turning to Scaled Composites to build the airframe for a high-speed, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) demonstrator. Mojave, Calif.-based Scaled Composites was founded by famed aircraft designer Burt Rutan. Salt Lake City-based autogiro maker Groen Brothers Aviation is leading the Heliplane project, funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The project team had been working on a concept based on Adam Aircraft’s A700, but that very light jet manufacturer went bankrupt in February. That coincided with program officials’ decision that they needed a new design rather than a modified aircraft to pursue their goal of VTOL aircraft capable of cruising at 350 kt with an unrefueled range of 1,000 nm and the capability to carry a 1,000-lb payload. For related news

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