Although the official star of the Farnborough Airshow never made it there due to a catastrophic engine fire, the Scorpion by Textron AirLand Enterprises has been getting plenty of attention. While not as stealthy as the F-35, the plane uses advanced composite materials and off-the-shelves components, significantly reducing its purchasing cost. The plane's operating costs are a meagre $3,000/hour, versus an F-16's $18,000/hour, making it an ideal candidate for border control, reconnaissance and maintaining no-fly zones.
The Scorpion costs about $20m (£12m) a throw, is built from off-the-shelf components, and went from drawing board to first flight in 23 months.
The F-35, costing three times as much and conceived in the early 1990s, is still in the US while engineers figure out what caused a fire that has grounded the entire fleet.
OK, making comparisons is unfair; the Scorpion and F-35 are lightyears apart in specification and functionality. But it is still slightly ironic.
|Film Industry Hires Cyber Hitmen To Take Down Internet Pirates|
|"The United States has opened the Pandora’s Box of mercenarianism."|
|Snipers of the Taliban|
|The Sounds of War in Gaza|
|World Peace is Closer Than You Think|
|"An unabashed love letter to the 1982 motion picture Blade Runner."|
|“What if energy generation was a consumer electronic you could order off Amazon?”|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|"A helpful guide created by an unqualified individual."|
|"A real-time surveillance machine that has been developed for online advertising is rapidly expanding into other fields."|
|Fast, Clean, Cost-Effective Metal 3D-Printing|
|“Robots should be fitted with an 'ethical black box' to keep track of their decisions.”|
|"You only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States."|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|