The British determine the implementation of these projects in about 30 years. According to BAE Systems experts, the technologies they offer will make it possible in the future to perform any, even the most complex operations, while avoiding the loss of pilots. It should be noted that these projects are submitted to British law enforcement officials for consideration by futurologists from the BAE research and development department, which is based in Wharton, Lancashire.
The first of the ideas submitted for consideration is that right on board a combat aircraft it will be possible to 3D print small drones, which in the future can be used in various military missions, according to The Daily Mail. Small UAVs and more can be created using high-tech 3D printers, as well as advanced robotic assembly methods directly on board aircraft. In this case, the task can be issued to printers remotely. Based on the current situation, the operator will decide how many devices can be "printed". At the same time, the newly produced aircraft, leaving the belly of the parent aircraft, will be ready to solve the tasks facing it.
Apparently, the most popular device for printing on a 3D printer will be drones in a variety of configurations - quadcopters powerful enough to single-handedly carry out the evacuation of a person in trouble, or a group of UAVs with a large wingspan designed for long-term observation of the area. According to British futurologists from BAE Systems, after completing all the tasks, such drones could independently render themselves unusable in order to become useless in the hands of enemy troops, or they could land in a previously indicated place with the possibility of their reuse in the future.
According to BAE Systems experts, in the future, the availability of 3D printing on board the main aircraft would allow it to respond promptly and adequately to any of the possible scenarios, quickly producing the necessary, most efficient set of devices and components. At the same time, BAE Systems already has a successful experience with modern 3D printing technologies. At the end of 2013, this British company carried out successful trials of a fighter, which used parts created using the three-dimensional printing method.
Their second idea is directly related to the development of the use of nanotechnology. Nanotechnologies are going to be used for prompt repair of damaged areas of the aircraft. According to the idea of the engineers, the “wounds” on the body of the machine can be “healed” with the help of a special liquid that will be in the aircraft body. British engineers promise that if a drone or a plane of the future receives any damage in the sky - this will not be the end, the device will be able to repair itself right in the air.
In their opinion, nanotechnologies will have their say, and in the future unmanned vehicles will be developed on the basis of special carbon alloys. In the event that the elements of the body of the apparatus are damaged, the nanotubes located in it will spill a special substance onto the surface of the “wound” - a special sticky liquid, with the help of which it will be possible to quickly restore the structure of carbon plastic. According to BAE Systems experts, the development of such technologies will allow to create a very tenacious device that will be suitable for performing even the most dangerous missions.
The last third idea was transforming airplanes, which could be divided into several independent combat units, each of which would have its own role. BAE Systems describes the Transformer as a very maneuverable system consisting of small-sized jet fighters that can adapt very quickly to any development. In this case, these planes will be equipped with laser guns.
Prospective multifunctional UAV system will be able to transform into several small UAVs right in the sky. This solution has several advantages. For example, over long distances, drones fly as part of a single aircraft, and having reached their destination, they are separated. Such a solution allows one system to simultaneously solve various types of combat missions. For example, one unit will engage in reconnaissance, the second will drop troop reserves, and the third can be used for attack or defense.
This idea has already sounded earlier. Last November, American scientists from the Sandia National Laboratories research center presented a similar project. At the same time, the transforming drone presented by them should not only be able to fly, but also to drive - just like an ordinary car. Unlike the English project, the Americans offered to use not a completely autonomous modules, but a single system. In the process of transformation, such an apparatus could get rid of some components, for example, the shell of the case. And this in turn would mean the need to re-equip the device before each task.
BAE Systems specialists do not know what exactly aviation technologies will be in 2040, but using the example of a number of presented concepts, they tried to demonstrate the direction in which today's technologies are developing. Futurologist Nick Colosimo noted that BAE Systems has a lot of experience in such development and research. It is worth noting that the company invested 2013 million pounds sterling only in 117, according to the results of the year.