The technologies, which could be incorporated in military and civilian aircraft by 2040, include: 3D printers could print unmanned aerial vehicles during a mission; aircraft parts that could rapidly heal/repair themselves; a long-range aircraft that could divide into a number of smaller aircraft at its target destination; and a directed energy weapon that could engage missiles at the speed of light.
"Of course we don't know exactly what sorts of aircraft technologies will be used in 2040 with any certainty, but it's great to be able to show the public some concepts that might be possible through projecting where today's technology could get to," said Nick Colosimo, a futurist and engineering manager within BAE's research and development team. "BAE Systems has a rich heritage in research and development, and our team builds on literally decades of previous R&D work by thousands of scientists and engineers."
BAE Systems said its team works with Britain's leading aviation thinkers from universities, government and others to predict and explore how aircraft engineering may evolve.
The company has produced short animations on the futuristic technologies. They can be seen on the company's YouTube page.