Bell | Awards funding for phase 1B of DARPA SPRINT X-Plane Program
Defence Redefined
Published on 01/06/2024 at 14:55

Bell, a Textron company, has been selected for Phase 1B of the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Speed and Runway Independent Technologies (SPRINT) X-Plane program. 

The SPRINT program intends to design and build an X-Plane, an experimental aircraft to demonstrate enabling technologies and integrated concepts necessary for a transformational combination of aircraft speed and runway independence for the next generation of air mobility platforms. 

As announced, in Phase 1A, Bell executed conceptual design review and will move into preliminary design efforts for the SPRINT X-plane.

Bell has already completed risk reduction testing at Holloman Air Force Base in late 2023, showcasing folding rotor, integrated propulsion and flight control technologies. Bell is building on its investment in High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) technology and past X-plane project experience to enhance the X-plane development for this program.

Bell’s HSVTOL technology blends the hover capability of a helicopter with the speed (400+ kts), range and survivability of jet aircraft. 

Also read: BELL V-280 Valor | Bell’s proposal for the FLRAA program

Bell has developed high-speed vertical lift technology for more than 85 years, pioneering innovative VTOL configurations like the X-14, X-22, XV-3, and XV-15 for NASA, the US Army, and US Air Force and continues to build on its proven history of fast flight from the Bell X-1.

Also read: DARPA | Design of heavy cargo transport seaplane by Aurora




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