DuPont’s V/STOL makes the headlines again

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of duPont Aerospace’s DP-2 V/STOL transport project, after US Congress finally cut off its funding, a new controversy has erupted over NASA’s decision to let the company keep the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535A engines powering the prototype. DuPont argues the engines were purchased with a NASA grant and are its to keep. Without them the project is history.

The DP-1C prototype managed two 45-second tethered, unmanned hovers at the end of September, the culmination of $63 million in funding earmarked for duPont over 19 years by congressman Duncan Hunter. Congress finally pulled the plug in June after a special hearing at which the DP-2 was portrayed as a monumental waste of money.

You can read duPont’s version of events in its testimony at the hearing. And if you want to see the “flying nostril” make its brief hovers, you can watch the videos here and here.

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