TECH

BAE Develops 3-In-1 'Transformers' Plane

09/07/2014 11:12 BST | Updated 09/07/2014 11:59 BST

BAE has designed a plane which can 'transform' into three separate aircraft at a moment's notice, saving on fuel while allowing it to be more flexible in different situations.

BAE Systems have revealed their 'technologies of the future' ahead of the Farnborough Air Show where the company is expected to unveil even more advanced hardware including freight planes that can fly themselves and the next-generation of unmanned drones.

The 'transformer' project is -- needless to say -- just a 'drawing board' concept developed by BAE's own skunk works team. By combining three aircraft, the team have found a way to reduce drag and save on fuel - allowing the aircraft to travel further and for longer.

transformers plane

Once at the destination though the two wings break away to become two smaller support jets which can either move into a protective role or head off to their own objectives.

Researchers have the 'transformers' pegged for surveillance and supply transport however with the Taranis Drone project well underway there's every chance that BAE have considered it as a combat-ready aircraft as well.

This wasn't the only concept that BAE has announced with other technologies including a plane that can 3D print smaller drones whilst in the air and a flying energy weapon which can shoot missiles out of the sky.