Landing gear will not be necessary. These will need to \'nest\' so that larger aircraft can deploy a lot of them at once. They need to be cheap (expendable) and deadly. Inflate the airframe into shape. Be creative.
re; TogetherinParis
You seemed to fail to understand the X-47 program is not it self a weapon, but a weapon carrier. In other words It is the plane not the missile.
Matt Rings
In 40 years, there may be few to none manned fighter aircraft: more maneuverable without a pilot experiencing G-lock, and no need for a cockpit structure resulting in increased fuel economy/range/carrying capacity.
Pilots will only be needed for transporting personnel to/fro, not in single fighter aircraft. I, for one, don\'t want to be a passenger in a robot plane (yet).
Why do we spend billions upon billions building new weapons and new weapons systems when we need cures to cancer, solutions to climate change, money to bail out shareholders and their banks.
Who is really stupid enough to start a war these days, I mean really. War became obsolete with the invention of the atom bomb; when we first held the power of complete annihilation in our own hands.
Waste of money, but at least the Chinese are still lending to us so we can build this crap lol. Or is the fed simply giving money to Lockheed and co? I wonder sometimes.
Cool plane though, despite my cynicism
Jeff Black
So is the manufacture of these fully automated yet?? Also how much longer before Skynet is fully functional and self aware? LOL!
Allen Lumley
the last paragraph in the article states that
\'\'The 3-year test program is set to end in sea-trials in 2013\'\'
BUT they will not have the Electric catapults without which they can not launch drones until the 1st new G.R.Ford class Carrier come online ! This is \'projected to be in 2015 ! . . Just sayin\' Big Al
Once anti-aircraft lasers are built then all warplanes will be obsolete. Except on really foggy days...
@Grunchy: Foggy day airstrikes would just turn into epic raves. I\'d send a uav just to see that.
I\'d like to see these with ram or scram jets. The big aircraft carriers already have slingshot things to rocket aircraft forward, why not beef them up to achieve the speeds for a ram jet ignition? It would be difficult but worth it logistics wise because they wouldn\'t have to pay for the full turbojet engines. Just the tube, fuel injectors, and spark plugs. The advantages for having ram jets over turbojets are nearly endless, among these are much less maintenance, higher speeds, fuel economy and thus range. Range is the key to why this bomber is autonomous in the first place.
@Grunchy: Did you notice the flying wing configuration? That\'s called stealth. If the laser operator doesn\'t know where the plane is or if there is one then it cannot shoot it.
@cm: War and conflict will never be obsolete, there will always be a Bin Laden, communist dictator or a Hitler in some form or another in the world. Fighting may not be the best option, but sometimes it is the only option.
@togetherinparis I like the way you think.. What is your back ground?