CRANE Program For High Pressure Air Controlled Aircraft Now Into Prototype Phase

 Last year DARPA announced the CRANE Project (Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors) which seeks to replace the physical control surface on aircraft with a high pressure air system. After receiving various proposals, DARPA awarded a contract to Aurora Flight Sciences to build a prototype aircraft that would go by the name X-65.

Through CRANE, the X-65 will be built with a physical control system like conventional aircraft as well as control using high pressure air. This is to allow the differences in the performance of aircraft using these two systems to be distinguished in the various tests that will be conducted.

Air control systems with high air pressure are developed because they will reduce the need for physical control systems that need to be maintained and have the issue of not working when a hydraulic failure occurs. At the same time it can realize the dream of building an aircraft with thin wings which is proven to reduce fuel consumption by up to 50%.

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