Friday, July 13, 2007

Switchblade: Shape Shifting Plane

Switchblade Supersonic Bomber
we might see (probably hear) a blueprint of the first unmanned plane that can attack its enemy at super sonic speeds. The Switchblade will be designed by Northrop Grumman and funded by a US government $10.3 mSwithbladehe Swithblade is named for it wings that ’swivel around 60 degrees’ transforming it from a normal looking plane to more of a missile. Repositioning the wings allows for greater stability by appropriately distributing the sonic waves that build up in front of the plane. A similar design was attempted back in ‘79, but proved too difficult to control by humans. The UAV’s computer will be able to make the necessary calculations and changes rapidly enough to manage the sonic speed. Darpa says we might see a working prototype by 2010.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is actually an oblique wing aircraft you have on your page and not a wing warping (shape shifting) aircraft. It onstensibly is a simplified variation of the same variable geometry designs of the late '60's found in the now defunct F-14, F-111, and still flying B-1B. One side is sweptforward and one side swept back thus presenting extremely low frontal area. The "Switchblade," as it were, was a design that had two variable geometry wings (e.g. F-14). It had the capability for extreme sweep angles from forward swept (hightened manuverability) to a rhomboidal lifting body (high speed cruise).