'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

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. (More Transformer plane stories.)

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