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VIDEO: An aircraft whose parts are greater than its sum

Jul. 11, 2014
 
'The Transformer,' an aircraft that can divide into smaller craft when needed, is one of four futuristic technologies BAE is dramatizing in a new video.
'The Transformer,' an aircraft that can divide into smaller craft when needed, is one of four futuristic technologies BAE is dramatizing in a new video. (BAE)

BAE Systems has released a video showcasing four possible technologies of the future. Using animations to visualize the way the technologies could look in action, the company’s scientists and engineers say the capabilities could be incorporated into aircraft by 2040, or possibly even sooner.

The technologies dramatized are:

■ A 3D printer that can manufacture a UAV during a mission;

■ Self-healing aircraft parts;

■ A long-range aircraft that can divide into several smaller aircraft when needed, and;

■ A directed-energy weapon that can destroy missiles in flight.

“Of course we don’t know exactly what sorts of aircraft technologies will be used in 2040 with any certainty, but it’s great to be able to show the public some concepts that might be possible through projecting where today’s technology could get to,” said Nick Colosimo, a futurist and engineering manager at BAE. “BAE Systems has a rich heritage in research and development, and our team builds on literally decades of previous R&D work by thousands of scientists and engineers.”

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