September 17, 2006 It makes sense that an agency vested with the responsibility of investigating the feasibility of promising ideas such as the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) occasionally says “no, that mousetrap won’t fly” and that appears to be what’s happened with the canard rotor/wing (CRW) X-50A Dragonfly unmanned air vehicle (UAV) we reported on last December.
The aircraft combined the vertical takeoff/landing capabilities of a rotorcraft with the high-subsonic cruise speed and agility of a fixed-wing airplane. The versatility promised by having a rotor for vertical takeoffs and landings that can be stopped in flight to serve as a fixed wing for jet cruise will remain unfulfilled for now as the US$52 million program has been canned after another prototype crashed during transition.
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.
All articles by Mike Hanlon