Futurists technologies could allow aircraft to heal itself, divide into smaller ones or knock out missiles with direct energy.
3D printers could be so advanced by 2040 they could create small unmanned aircraft, BAE Systems claim.
These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) could then potentially be used as a group of wide-winged aircraft for protracted or enduring surveillance or as rotary-winged UAVs to rescue single civilians or soldiers from dangerous situations, the defence firm’s scientists and engineers suggest.
The researchers, who have been working on futuristic aircraft technologies, have been looking at the idea that they could be created by super hi-tech onboard 3D printers, an additive layer and robotic assembly.
The UAVs that could render themselves useless with the installation of dissolving circuit boards if they fall into enemy territory, or they might be able to land in a recoverable position if they are needed for further use.
BAE believes this could create
the ultimate adaptable taskforce, with a lead aircraft able to enter any unknown scenario and quickly manufacture an effective tool set for any task”.
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