The aircraft technology of the future

July 15, 2014
We’ve mentioned Star Wars and our appreciation for the cosmic technology in the epic blockbusters on several occasions here at EDGAR. But if this future tech ever goes into production, it’s going to make the X-Wing Starfighter look like the Wright brothers’ first blueprint. BAE Systems – a British defence company – has lifted the lid on several concept ideas that they say could come into production for both military and civil aircraft by 2040. And while it all looks incredible, we can't help but think they've been watching too many comic book films. 3D printing has been one of the buzzwords in the tech sector over the last 12 months, and BAE Systems believes it could be used to print unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during an on-going mission – see the video above. 196 SCIENTISTS UNVEIL AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGIES OF THE FUTURE 2 We like the idea, but it also reminds us of alien tactics from both Transformers and The Avengers films. Which, really, is a little alarming. Taking a leaf out of X-Men’s Wolverine character, the company says there could be technology that will enable an aircraft to repair itself during an on-going mission. Lost a wing to an enemy missile? Just grow a new one. Actually, they could have soured this inspiration from the evolution of the starfish. Either way, if it ever goes into production it will be pretty sensational, as you can see below. Further drawing board technology includes a ‘directed energy weapon’ that could “engage missiles at the speed of light, destroy them and protect the people below” – this sounds suspiciously close to what the bad guys had in Independence Day. (Really, we hope Hollywood gets a decent cut for these ideas.) But the concept that really interests us is a long-range aircraft that could divide into smaller parts at it’s choosing. Small, sub-aircrafts would combine to save fuel and increase range on long journeys before splitting when they arrive at their destination, and carrying out complimentary objectives. Yes, this concept also has the feel of silver screen influence, as it’s aptly named The Transformer. “Hello, BAE Systems? This is the Hollywood Picture Association of America. We’d like to talk to you about your ideas…”