Combining vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) with fast forward flight is challenging. Dozens of concepts have flown over the decades, but only a handful entered service. Now another call to deliver both hover and speed has prompted an unconventional answer.  The winner of Darpa’s VTOL X-Plane (VXP) competition, Aurora Flight Sciences’ LightningStrike marries tilting tandem wings with hybrid-electric distributed propulsion. The design won out over a ducted-fan concept from ...

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