Shape-Shifting Bomber In Need Of Plowsharing

Shape-shifting supersonic bomber fans are feeling bereft this weekend, as the Pentagon officially nixed its Switchblade project.

The idea was that Switchblade would sail jauntily along well below the speed of sound in one configuration, and then morph into a supersonic configuration and ease through the sound barrier.

DARPA gave Northrup Grumman more than $10 million to come up with prototype designs; check out the Switchblade shape-shifting bomber video below.


(Switchblade shape-shifting bomber concept video)

Unfortunately, after at least a thousand different virtual test runs, DARPA decided that the plane just wouldn't fly.

There's nothing wrong with coming up with amazing designs for weapons and weapon delivery systems that don't work. In fact, you might just go ahead and plowshare them before building them, anyway.

In Philip K. Dick's marvelous 1965 novel The Zap Gun, military ideas were immediately plowshared, that is, they were turned to peaceful uses immediately. There must be some sort of peacetime use for this idea.

From Wired via our friends at frolix_8

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/5/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Vehicle ")

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...' - Daniel Suarez, 2009.

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1976.

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...' - James Blish, 1957.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.