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Skyworks Global and Scaled Composites (Scaled) have announced a strategic partnership to collaborate on the design, build, and test of a prototype of the Skyworks VertiJet.
The VertiJet is a runway independent aircraft that can take-off and land vertically and hover like a helicopter. Leveraging technology from the British Rotodyne and the DARPA Heliplane program, VertiJet will incorporate technologies that were successfully designed and developed by Skyworks in the Heliplane program to achieve an estimated top speed of 400 miles per hour and a range of 1,000 nautical miles. Past DARPA-funded design and risk reduction experiments from the Heliplane program will be leveraged to reduce risk and to accelerate the VertiJet prototype design.
The VertiJet adapts Skyworks’ proprietary Heliplane technology for the civil aviation, defense, and homeland security markets. Skyworks envisions VertiJet to be a replacement for helicopter and tiltrotor aircraft configurations in markets where speed, range, and cost-efficiency are important. VertiJet’s unique, patented design elements reduce the complexity, as well as the high operating costs, normally associated with rotary wing aircraft while offering extraordinary performance with a safe platform. The specific size of the initial demonstrator is not yet fixed, but Skyworks and Scaled are considering a demonstrator that ranges in size from a light aircraft for four passengers to a utility aircraft that can carry eight to 12 passengers.