by Richard Scott

A render of a notional ANCILLARY design. (DARPA)

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is planning to apply innovation and technology from the commercial electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) sector to a next-generation VTOL unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

DARPA’s AdvaNced airCraft Infrastructure-Less Launch And RecoverY (ANCILLARY) X-Plane programme intends to develop and flight-demonstrate critical technologies required for a ‘leap ahead’ in low-weight, high-payload, long-endurance VTOL capabilities. The eventual objective is to build a tactical UAS that can operate from ship flight decks and small austere land locations in adverse weather without launch-and-recovery equipment.

Announcing the launch of the ANCILLARY research and development programme, DARPA’s Tactical…