The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is also known as DARPA, is working on an aircraft with wings that rotate to accommodate vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)as well as forward flight — a capability attributed to helicopters.
Helicopters have a limitation, which is their speed. At max, a heli can go out at 150 to 170 knots. On the other hand, a vertical plane could potentially reach speeds of 300 to 400 knots.
Aircraft that can take off the ground with out a runway are vital to military operations. Moreover, the ability to land on any flat surface, make them more versatile.
Recently, DARPA contracted with Aurora Flight Sciences on the initiative. The research is expected to conclude in 2018.