The US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects (DARPA) has officially announced the start of work on a very unusual experimental aircraft called the X-plane, the main feature of which is the complete absence of moving controls. The authors of the project are sure that modern aircraft are not efficient enough due to the many controls on the body of the aircraft, so they need to be removed to improve aerodynamics and flight range. Accordingly, experts propose to remove elevators and rudders, flaps, fender liner, as well as the usual horizontal and vertical tail from the aircraft structure.
The conceptual design of the X-plane aircraft from DARPA implies that absolutely all moving controls will be removed from the aircraft body structure – as a result, experts plan to significantly reduce the aerodynamic drag coefficient, which leads to an increase in the efficiency of aviation fuel use. The only problem is that this project is completely contrary to the centuries-old standards and rules of aviation design – all aircraft, from the very first to the latest fighters, are equipped with all of the above controls. However, the US Department of Defense believes that the new aircraft has the right to life.
Moreover, officials of the Ministry of Defense are confident that the new aircraft with an alternative hull design can maintain controllability even at a fairly high speed. The fact is that air currents and nothing more will be used to control the direction of the vehicle – it is due to this that the new generation aircraft will be able to maneuver in the air. So far, of course, it is difficult to imagine exactly how this will be implemented, but experts in this field are talking about creating artificial air jets that will allow you to change the direction of the aircraft in flight.
At the same time, you need to understand that DARPA is far from the first who guessed to work in this direction. In fact, such aircraft have existed since the 1910s – the most famous is the Concorde supersonic aircraft, which had an unusual “tailless aircraft” system. However, so far no one has dared to completely abandon all controls, because this creates a lot of dangers during takeoff and landing, and it may not be very convenient to transport an aircraft from the hangar to the runway in this case. However, such projects can be developed for decades, and during this time new technologies may appear that will eliminate all these problems.
Source: Trash Box
Charles Grill is a tech-savvy writer with over 3 years of experience in the field. He writes on a variety of technology-related topics and has a strong focus on the latest advancements in the industry. He is connected with several online news websites and is currently contributing to a technology-focused platform.