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September 2015

Glimpses of the Future – September 2015

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Boeing Patents Amphibious Drone

Boeing has been given a patent for a new kind of amphibious drone that’s like something straight out of a classic spy movie.

The aeronautics giant has a novel design for an unmanned flying drone that can spontaneously convert into an unmanned submarine and go for a dive.

Boeing’s take on this real world “transformer” begins with a drone that is launched aboard a large carrier aircraft and then separated near its target spot for entering the water. When the craft hits the water, a combination of its rear wings, stabilizer and one of its sets of propelling blades folds away to make it more manoeuvrable underwater.

A buoyancy tank controls the depth of the craft underwater, while a second set of propellers are used for it to manoeuvre, allowing it to function essentially as other robotic submersibles at use today making payload deliveries or for reconnaissance missions.

When the amphibious drone surfaces, it can then transmit data back to its mission control.

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