Active Flow Control tech by BAE Systems selected by DARPA for CRANE programNews
September 10, 2021
WASHINGTON. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded a contract to BAE Systems to design a full scale demonstrator concept with Active Flow Control at its core. The aircraft’s ability to maneuver in flight without conventional flight control surfaces could enable improved performance, maintainability, and survivability.
The contract award forms part of DARPA’s Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) project, which intends to inject Active Flow Control technology early into the aircraft design process to demonstrate efficiency benefits, improvements to aircraft cost, weight, performance, and reliability.
According to the company, BAE Systems’ role in Project CRANE builds on its innovation demonstrated through MAGMA in 2019, where a subscale aircraft was maneuvered in flight using supersonically blown air and Active Flow Control technologies for the first time.
Active Flow Control is designed to offer military benefits that could deliver operational advantage in the battlespace. Active Flow Control technologies are designed to supplement or replace conventional moveable control surfaces to improve the performance of an aircraft at various points in the flight regime, as well as reduce mass and volume.