Northrop Grumman Switchblade

Northrop Grumman Switchblade

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Northrop Grumman Switchblade

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The Switchblade is a proposed unmanned aerial vehicle being developed by Northrop Grumman for the United States. The United States Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Northrop Grumman a US$10.3 million contract for risk reduction and preliminary planning for an X-plane oblique flying wing demonstrator.G. Warwick - Flight International, Num 5029, Vol 169, Pg 20.

The program aims at producing a technology demonstrator aircraft to explore the various challenges which the radical design entails. The proposed aircraft would be a purely flying wing (an aircraft with no other auxiliary surfaces such as tails, canards or a fuselage) where the wing is swept with one side of the aircraft forward, and one backwards in an asymmetric fashion. The program entails two phases. Phase I will explore the theory and result in a conceptual design, while Phase II will result in the design, manufacture and flight test of an aircraft. The outcome of the program will result in a dataset that can then be used when considering future military aircraft designs.

Flight of the Switchblade is scheduled for 2020 and will cruise with its 61-meter long oblique wing perpendicular...
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