Scientists and engineers at BAE Systems have lifted the lid on some futuristic technologies that could be incorporated in military and civil aircraft of 2040 or even earlier.
The four technologies unveiled are: 3D printers so advanced they could print UAVs during a mission; aircraft parts that can heal themselves in minutes; a new type of long range aircraft which divides into a number of smaller aircraft when it reaches its destination, and a directed energy weapon that could engage missiles at the speed of light, destroy them and protect the people below.
Experts at BAE Systems’ Research and Development team at Warton are offering a unique insight into some ‘drawing board’ technologies that would normally be kept well under wraps. The team works with the UK’s leading aviation thinkers from universities, Government and a whole range of companies to predict and explore how aircraft engineering might evolve. Based on their thinking, the four futuristic concept aircraft technologies have been brought to life in short animations.
Nick Colosimo, a Futurist and Engineering Manager within the R&D team said: “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.”
Research and development has always played a key role in BAE Systems’ defence, aerospace and security business, with the Company investing £117M of its own capital in R&D in 2013.
Press Release, July 10, 2014; Image: BAE Systems