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.
|"Many countries now routinely use computer attacks for intelligence and military purposes."|
|"Alone, without human oversight, the missile decided which of three ships to attack."|
|Film Industry Hires Cyber Hitmen To Take Down Internet Pirates|
|The Battle Over "Keep Calm and Carry On" Is Getting Vicious|
|“If you don’t remember any of these countries from geography class, you’re not alone.”|
|“The greatest economic crisis of our age: the one still awaiting us.”|
|"Cells have the capacity to process and respond to instructions and codes inputted into their main system."|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“Clicking on a Facebook advert may reveal things about yourself you don’t want anyone to know.”|
|“Any person, organization or government serious about web security should return to plain-text.”|
|“Instead of consuming fossil fuels, it would then feed surplus electricity into the grid.”|
|"They’ve managed to plant, tend, and harvest an acre and a half of barley using only autonomous vehicles."|