Boeing Gets $9M More to Develop Phantom Swift X-Plane


Phantom SwiftBoeing received a $9 million contract from DARPA to continue developing its Phantom Swift X-Plane, an experimental future vertical lift platform.

 The Phantom Swift has two downward facing fans that allow for vertical take-offs and landings. The forward propulsion for the aircraft comes from wingtip thrusters that propel the Phantom Swift after the lift fans are shutdown.

The Phantom Swift is Boeing's submission for DARPA's VTOL X-Plane competition that also includes Aurora Flight Sciences, Karem and Sikorsky. The competition started last year. The four competitors received Phase 1 contracts. The contract Boeing received is a Phase 1B contract. It's unclear if the other three companies have also received Phase 1B contracts to continue developing their aircraft.

Boeing's Phantom Swift will measure 13 meters nose to tail and 15 meters from wingtip to wingtip.

The eventual aircraft will be powered by an all-electric drive, but it's demonstrator will be powered by a General Electric CT7-8 engine.

The goal of the VTOL X-Plane program is to develop an aircraft for the Defense Department that can both hover and still execute high-speed flight. What DARPA hopes to produce is an aircraft that can perform similar to an advanced Osprey.

Requirements for the program state that the X-Plane must achieve a top sustained flight speed of 300 kt to 400 kt.



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