DARPA Greenlights X-65: Revolutionary Aircraft Ditches Flaps for Airflow Actuators in a Bold Leap for Aviation

Buckle up folks, the future of flight is lookin’ wild! DARPA just greenlit an experimental aircraft called the X-65 that uses jets of air instead of flaps and rudders to steer itself. Crazy right? Let me break it down…

So the X-65 has these things called active flow control actuators. Basically, they’re nozzles that shoot compressed air to manipulate the airflow over the plane. By controlling the air pressure, the actuators can change the aircraft’s roll, pitch and yaw. Wild!

No more need for moving parts like ailerons. The X-65 will be the first plane ever to ditch old school control surfaces and fly by airflow alone. DARPA said it breaks over a century of aircraft design since the Wright bros. A true revolution in flight!

The demonstrator plane will start with normal controls before transitioning to just the airflow actuators. Sensors will compare the two methods. With the unique diamond wing shape, DARPA will learn a ton about this tech.

At 30 feet long and over 7,000 lbs, the X-65 will be similar to a military trainer jet. So the results will be applicable to real aircraft. The unmanned plane is set to start ground tests in 2025 before its first test flight that summer.

DARPA program manager Richard Wlezien said it’s thrilling to finally build an active flow control x-plane after developing the aerodynamics for decades.

The goal is planes that steer themselves with just airjets alone – reducing weight, costs and improving performance. Both military and commercial applications could benefit.

So strap in folks, aviation is entering a new era! DARPA’s X-65 will show the skies who’s boss without any flaps or rudders. Just cold hard airflow. The future of flight is about to get wild!