'Transformer' Plane Splits Into 3 When Under Attack
It's still in the concept stages for now
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2014 2:15 PM CDT
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(Newser) – If Tom Cruise made a movie that somehow merged his roles in Top Gun, Mission Impossible, and Minority Report, this would be the aircraft he’d be flying. Defense and aerospace company BAE Systems has posted a YouTube video of the “Transformer,” a sophisticated concept plane that’s actually made up of three separate smaller planes, designed to “split apart to quickly adapt to any scenario,” reports Gizmodo. Those scenarios may include an offensive blitz by enemy units, surveillance missions, or a supply delivery to military on the ground. Until their planned breakup, the smaller “sub-aircraft” coast through the air together as one, which saves fuel by reducing drag, explains Mashable.

The Transformer is part of a slew of “technologies of the future” that BAE’s engineers have concocted ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow next week in England, according to the Huffington Post UK. Other recent BAE “imagination exercises” include an airborne 3-D printer that can spit out drones and an attachment weapon that can fire energy beams. The Huffington Post also notes the rumors that BAE will unveil self-flying freight planes and a new clan of unmanned drones at the airshow. BAE says it’s possible that technologies such as these may be in both civilian and military aircraft by the year 2040.

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Jul 12, 2014 8:36 AM CDT
Another useless waste of tax payer dollars. Have you figured out how to read your tax stub yet ? That's where all that money goes that you worked for. No taxation without representation. And the representation we get is really pathetic. Who authorized that expenditure. People living on the streets, crime is out of control, education in a shambles, social fabric is disintegrating, and this is the governments priority. Goofy jets.
Jul 11, 2014 12:50 AM CDT
Cute and probably doable but hardly practical. I guess as a UAV it might relieve two operators where they were flying as oneon a long mission getting to the target, but each segment would require it's own separate and autonomous engines, flight controls, sensors, fuel tanks, landing gear, etc.
Jul 10, 2014 10:49 AM CDT
Reminds me of this video http://vimeo.com/67768281