Aurora XV-24A LightningStrike

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
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)
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 now that Boeing acquired AFS in November of 2017. The LightningStrike seems to be a conscientious effort to corner not just the civilian eVTOL/VTOL market, but also the future of military VTOL applications. The LightningStrike has already completed sub-scale proof of concept test flights, and the full-scale version is most likely being prepared to be built.