Aurora X-65 Prototype AircraftAurora

Aurora X-65 prototype aircraft has no moving parts on the exterior and uses holes in its wings to reach Mach speeds.

Traditional airplanes use flaps and rudders to steer by adjusting airflow. But Aurora‘s X-65 prototype, part of DARPA’s Crane program, does things differently. Instead of flaps and rudders, it uses 14 small holes called effectors on its surfaces.

These effectors blow pressurized air to control how the plane pitches, rolls, and yaws. This not only boosts performance but also simplifies things.

The design is modular, so engineers can easily swap out wings and effectors to try different setups.

By summer 2025, they plan to test an unmanned prototype, flying at speeds up to Mach 0.7.

Aurora X-65 Prototype AircraftAurora