Rolls-Royce Working on 'Breakthrough' Technology

Posted: Updated:
("LightningStrike" Image Courtesy of Aurora Flight Sciences Corp.) ("LightningStrike" Image Courtesy of Aurora Flight Sciences Corp.)
INDIANAPOLIS -

Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis is collaborating on a high-profile unmanned aircraft project. Nearly one-third of the work involved in the second and third phases of an $89 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract for so-called X-Plane technology will be completed by Hoosiers.

Virginia-based Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. is leading the "LightningStrike" team, which also includes Honeywell and Rolls-Royce.

The craft, which is capable of vertical take-offs and landings, features a Rolls-Royce AE 1107C turbo shaft engine. Rolls-Royce's advanced aerospace technology unit, LibertyWorks, is handling the engine work. LibertyWorks Chief Operating Officer Mark Wilson says "the Aurora team's goal is to help redefine the future of vertical flight. Rolls-Royce Liberty Works is proud to contribute both proven components and innovative new technologies in turbo-electric distributed propulsion to this exciting program."

Aurora says DARPA's specifications for the project include:

  • Achieve a top sustained flight speed of 300 kt-400 kt
  • Raise aircraft hover efficiency from 60 percent to at least 75 percent
  • Present a more favorable cruise lift-to-drag ratio of at least 10, up from 5-6
  • Carry a useful load of at least 40 percent of the vehicle's projected gross weight of 10,000-12,000 pounds

The project is expected to be complete September 2018.

  • Perspectives

    • "Wood" You Consider Investing in Timber?

      Looking for an untraditional way to diversify your traditional stock and fixed-income portfolio? If so, try thinking outside the typical realm of investable assets. Don’t know where to start? How about going against the “grain” and investing in timber? Why Trees? Investing in timber can yield a number of benefits. The main draw of having timber in your portfolio is its low, long-term correlation to traditional investments such as stocks and bonds. Low correlation...

    More

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of Taylor University)

      Taylor University President to Resign

      The president of Taylor University is stepping down. The university's board of trustees says Paul Lowell Haines has resigned from the position and will leave the Upland campus August 15. A specific reason for Haines' resignation was not given, however the Board Chair Paige Cunningham noted the move was "neither solicited nor encouraged" by the board. Haines graduated from Taylor in 1975. He later held various positions at the university including vice president for...

    • 1SI executives Matt Hall and Wendy Dant Chesser talked about the project on Inside INdiana Business.

      Momentum Building at 'Hot Spot' River Ridge

      As economic development officials in southeast Indiana welcomed news last week of Louisville-based PharmaCord's plans to invest $52 million and add up to 850 jobs at the River Ridge Commerce Center, they were quick to add there is more development on the horizon. River Ridge is a sprawling, 6,000 acre park located between Jeffersonville and Charlestown that was once home to the massive Indiana Army Ammunition plant and thousands of jobs. Today more than 50 companies call River...

    • "Wood" You Consider Investing in Timber?

      Looking for an untraditional way to diversify your traditional stock and fixed-income portfolio? If so, try thinking outside the typical realm of investable assets. Don’t know where to start? How about going against the “grain” and investing in timber? Why Trees? Investing in timber can yield a number of benefits. The main draw of having timber in your portfolio is its low, long-term correlation to traditional investments such as stocks and bonds. Low correlation...

    • (photo courtesy of Governor Eric Holcomb's office)

      Governor Meets with Ag Leaders on Delayed Planting

      Governor Eric Holcomb recently met with leaders from the state's agriculture sector regarding the impact of unusual weather conditions on farms and other ag businesses. The USDA says 84 percent of Indiana's corn crop and 64 percent of soybeans have been planted. Typically, both crops are at 100 percent planted by this time of the year.

    • Fairbanks Foundation Grants Funding to Marian University

      Marian University's Klipsch Educators College is set to receive $900,000 over a three-year period from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. The funding will help with operating costs of Klipsch College's New Teacher Preparation Program, which will receive installments of $400,000, $300,000 and $200,000 through 2021. Fairbanks has awarded over $2.6M to the Klipsch College since 2016.