Aurora XV-24A LightningStrike (Archived)

Quick Summary

The Aurora LightningStrike is being developed by Aurora Flight Sciences in Manassas, Virginia. The LightningStrike is a military variant of Aurora's VTOL projects.

Aurora Flight Sciences, based in Manassas, VA, USA.

Stage of Development

Preliminary Design

Prototype Build

Flight Testing


Commercially Operating
Technical Details

Aircraft Type: Intercity VTOL

Powerplant: Undisclosed, hybrid electric

Range: Undisclosed

Top Speed: > 300 KCAS

Propeller Configuration: 24 ducted fans

Passenger/Payload Capacity: 0 (autonomous)

Autonomy Level: Autonomous

Wingspan/Dimensions: >60ft

Product Overview

LightningStrike is the first aircraft in history designed to demonstrate the following:

  • Distributed hybrid-electric propulsion ducted fans
  • Innovative synchronous electric-drive system
  • Both tilt wing and canard for vertical take-off and landing
  • High efficiency in both hover and high-speed forward flight
Program Background
  • Created by Aurora Flight Sciences and partners Rolls-Royce and Honeywell
  • Developed for the Vertical Take-Off and Landing Experimental Aircraft (VTOL X-Plane) program
  • Funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Additional Information:
Fuselage length > 38 ft 11.8 m
Overall height ~14 ft 4.3 m
Wingspan > 60 ft > 18.2 m
Tip-to-tip distance > 60 ft > 18.2 m
Empty weight ~ 11,375 lb ~ 5.16 t
Max gross takeoff wt <13,000 lb < 5.9 t
Useful load ~ 1,625 lb ~ 737 kg
Cruise speed > 300 kt >555 km/h
Propulsors 24 ducted fans
Motor output 18x 168 hp + 6x 121 hp 18x 125 kW + 6x 90 kW
Power type hybrid electric
Passenger capacity 0
First Flight 2018

Our Take on the LightningStrike

Aurora Flight Sciences has a large pool of resources at its disposal - even more so following Boeing's purchase of AFS in November of 2017. The LightningStrike concept was a conscientious effort to corner not just the civilian eVTOL/VTOL market, but also the future of military VTOL applications. The LightningStrike completed sub-scale proof of concept test flights before being officially discontinued by AFS.