High-speed X-Plane is as fast as jet and as agile as a VTOL

  • The X-Plane is being developed by Boeing through a subsidiary
  • It can fly just as fast as a 747 but land vertically like a helicopter
  • The first prototype will be unveiled in 2025

Published on May 24, 2024 at 6:01 PM (UTC+4)
by Alessandro Renesis

Last updated on May 25, 2024 at 11:47 AM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

This is the new X-Plane, designed by Boeing and capable of taking off vertically, like a helicopter, while also flying just as fast as a 747.

The idea is to fuse the practical benefits of a helicopter that takes off and lands vertically together with the speed and range of a jet.

It certainly looks promising so far.

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Boeing makes commercial airliners but, crucially, the company also has contracts with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army, as well as with several other agencies.

The American aerospace manufacturer builds the F/A-18 Super Hornets that the U.S. Navy Blue Angels use as well as the C-17 transport plane, just to name a couple.

This new project, the X-Plane, is being developed by Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of Boeing, for the U.S. DARPA SPRINT program.

Now, there’s nothing that government agencies and the United States Armed Forces love more than a good acronym and so, as you can imagine, both DARPA and SPRINT are actually short for something.

DARPA stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, while SPRINT stands for Speed and Runway Independent Technologies.

In plain English, SPRINT is a program to build fast planes.

But there’s a lot more to it than that.

The X-Plane can cruise at 500+ mph, roughly the same as the average commercial airliner.

But it has the huge advantage of also being able to take off and land vertically, like an eVTOL, which makes it every bit as agile as it is fast.

The images of the demonstrator shared by Aurora Flight Sciences show a blended-wing plane with embedded lift fans, which are also equipped with covers to seamlessly and quickly transition from vertical to horizontal flight.

According to Boeing, the first prototype should be ready by 2025, so stay tuned.

# Tags - Airplanes, Planes


Alessandro Renesis

Experienced content creator with a strong focus on cars and watches. Alessandro penned the first-ever post on the Supercar Blondie website and covers cars, watches, yachts, real estate and crypto. Former DriveTribe writer, fixed gear bike owner, obsessed with ducks for some reason.