Enlarge / Artist’s conception of Aurora’s eVTOL, a prototype of a plane Uber hopes to use to offer flying car service in Dallas and Dubai starting in 2020. (credit: Aurora Flight Sciences)
On Thursday, the aviation giant Boeing announced that it is acquiring Aurora Flight Sciences.

The lesser-known company specializes in cutting-edge aviation technologies, including electric airplanes, vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) airplanes, and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Buying the company will help Boeing to beef up its capabilities in these areas, which are expected to be big growth areas for the aviation industry in the coming years.
While Aurora is much smaller than Boeing, it’s not exactly a startup.

Founded in 1989, the company has headquarters in Virginia and manufacturing facilities in West Virginia and Mississippi.
It makes a few of its own airplanes, manufactures components like wings and doors, and also does cutting-edge design work.
The company does work for NASA, the US military, and private customers. One of its highest-profile private customers is Uber, which has tapped Aurora to build aircraft for Uber Elevate, the intra-city “flying car” Uber hopes to launch in Dallas and Dubai in 2020 (though we’re skeptical they’ll achieve that self-imposed deadline).
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