No, this aircraft most certainly isn’t as green as the Solar Impulse, but that doesn’t mean it’s not pretty amazing. It’s called, quite modestly, Taranis. It costs around $214 million, and it’s pretty much the pinnacle of stealth flight.
Taranis is the handiwork of BAE Systems, a British defense company, proving the old adage once and for all: it’s better if it’s British. It’s been in development since 2006. (The aircraft is currently in the eye of the UK Ministry of Defense.)
What makes the aircraft so special? For one, it’s unmanned. No having to risk pilots’ lives when patroling the skies. Should the flight system work as advertised, it would be the first such aircraft to do so.
While the aircraft can carry a weapons payload, its primary purpose is to carry out long-distance surveillance between the world’s continents. So if you think you can escape the long arm of the law, well, Rule Britannia. And so on.
The one thing I don’t know that I wish I did: how fast it goes. It’s said to fly at “jet speeds,” but an actual number would be much more impressive.
And, obviously, it looks great.