Could DARPA’s enigmatic X-65 plane revolutionise aircraft design?


Artist’s rendition of the X-65 experimental plane from DARPA


The US military is developing an aircraft that can fly without mechanical control surfaces such as ailerons, elevators and rudders, which most current planes use to manoeuvre. Experts say the technology could improve stealth aircraft, but it is unlikely to break into the risk-averse world of commercial aviation.

The one-off, experimental X-65 aircraft will replace moving control surfaces with jets of compressed air, a technology called active flow control…


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