This wild DARPA CRANE X plane is a giant leap in aircraft design

This wild DARPA CRANE X plane is a giant leap in aircraft design

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says it’s time for some planes to ditch elevators, flaps and rudders for flight control.

DARPA’s new X-plane concept would remove these movable external control surfaces to reduce aerodynamic drag and increase fuel efficiency, contrary to a century of standard aviation design practice. But the Advanced Technology Division of the US Department of Defense says it has a viable option for maintaining control in the air at high speeds.

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