Home WORLD Aurora Flight Sciences X-65 Jet Diamond-Like Wing Shape

Aurora Flight Sciences X-65 Jet Diamond-Like Wing Shape


Aurora Flight Sciences is working on a new X-plane for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) program. X-65 is purpose-designed for testing and demonstrating the benefits of active flow control (AFC) at tactically relevant scale and flight conditions.

source.image: Aurora Flight Sciences

The 7,000+ pound, unmanned X-65 will have a 30-foot wingspan and be capable of speeds up to Mach 0.7. Its weight, size, and speed – similar to a military trainer aircraft – make the flight-test results immediately relevant to real world aircraft design.

“The X-65 is a technology demonstrator, and it’s distinctive, diamond-like wing shape is designed to help us maximize what we can learn about AFC in full-scale, real-world tests,” said Dr. Richard Wlezien, DARPA’s program manager for CRANE.


The X-65 will be built with two sets of control actuators – traditional flaps and rudders as well as AFC effectors embedded across all the lifting surfaces. This will both minimize risk and maximize the program’s insight into control effectiveness. The plane’s performance with traditional control surfaces will serve as a baseline; successive tests will selectively lock down moving surfaces, using AFC effectors instead.