No one expected the electrification of aircraft propulsion to be easy, but DARPA’s decision to cancel an ambitious hybrid-electric flight  demonstrator is a harsh dose of reality for the industry. Aurora Flight Sciences’ highly unconventional XV-24A LightningStrike had become a flagship for the much-vaunted new era in aviation. In pulling the plug on the hybrid-electric, distributed-propulsion vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) X-plane, the Pentagon’s advanced ...

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