skip to Main Content

DARPA seeks leap-ahead capabilities for VTOL X-Plane

The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will hold a Proposer’s Day Expo on September 20th, 2022, to enable potential participants to show off their capabilities and to familiarise themselves with its requirements for the next generation of Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft and UASs.

DARPA’s AdvaNced airCraft Infrastructure-Less Launch And RecoverY X-Plane program, nicknamed ANCILLARY, aims to develop and flight demonstrate critical technologies required for a leap ahead in VTOL, low-weight, high-payload, and long-endurance capabilities. The goal is to build a plane that can launch from ship flight decks and small austere land locations in adverse weather without launch and recovery equipment typically needed for these systems.

“The ability for the warfighter to deploy and retrieve such systems in challenging conditions without reliance on infrastructure would minimize personnel, costs, and vulnerability during sensitive operations,” said Steve Komadina, the DARPA program manager for ANCILLARY.

A large non-traditional commercial industry base has fuelled recent VTOL research investments and advanced controls leading to innovative vehicle configurations spanning size, weight, power, and cost. Advancements in small propulsion systems, high-capacity low weight batteries, fuel cells, materials, electronics, and low-cost additive manufacturing can now enable new architectures and designs to be explored in this trade space.

“ANCILLARY plans to use a multi-disciplinary approach that will bring together developments in advanced control theory, aerodynamic modelling, and advanced propulsion to solve a combination of challenging design objectives,” said Komadina. “The upcoming Proposers Day and Expo on September 20, 2022, will not only bring together traditional aircraft manufactures, but also non-traditional military contractors that have been investigating commercial VTOL solutions.”

Industry and academic technologists and researchers who could supply needed component and manufacturing techniques are encouraged to attend. For more information, see the ANCILLARY Proposers Day Special Notice at:

Back To Top