from the release-the-drones dept.
Carl Bialik from the WSJ writes "Lockheed Martin's secretive Skunk Works unit--which previously developed U-2 spy plane, the SR-71 supersonic spy plane and the radar-evading F-117 stealth fighter--has big plans for its latest project: drones. Among the concepts under development, according to the Wall Street Journal: 'One drone would be launched from, and retrieved by, submarines; another would fly at nine times the speed of sound. A third, which is off the drawing board but not quite airborne, has wings designed to fold in flight so that it could rapidly turn from slow-speed spy plane to quick-strike bomber.' The WSJ's reporter also is allowed a rare visit to the Skunk Works complex: 'A factory hall was filled with the prototype of a massive helium-filled airship that one day might ferry troops and heavy equipment to distant battlefields faster and more efficiently than ships--no port or airbase needed. The blimp would float just above the ground on four hover pads, meaning that "you could literally pick a farmer's field" to set down in, says program manager Robert Boyd.'"
"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish
it wasn't this one."
-- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN