Tuesday, October 09, 2007

High-Tech Weapon of the Day

It's a two-fer: a cool weapon, and something to excite the Star Trek geeks. It's Boeing's Bird of Prey:

Regrettably, it's not new. In fact, it's a museum piece:

The airplane incorporated many new innovative concepts to reduce radar, infrared and visual signatures. Designed to represent a platform that would fly operationally during the daytime, it featured exterior markings that blended with the sky and reduced telltale shadows from components such as the engine inlet. Bird of Prey was among the first aircraft to incorporate large single-piece composite structures, low-cost disposable tooling, and three-dimensional virtual-reality design and assembly processes to ensure affordability and high performance...

After completion of the test program the Bird of Prey was placed in storage, and may have been destined for the scrap yard. Fortunately, however, it was saved for posterity. On July 16, 2003, the Bird of Prey and its cousin, the X-36, both were placed on permanent display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

If you're a Star Trek geek here because you googled 'Bird of Prey,' this is probably more up your alley.

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