Excalibur UAV by McArdle Productions
Habitat: Future war zones, on land and at sea. If Aurora Flight Sciences can scale up the prototype, Excalibur could be deployed on the battlefield within five years.
Behavior: Unlike Air Force drones, which are flown by operators stateside and are in short supply, the Excalibur can be remotely operated from wherever it’s deployed—the mountains of Afghanistan or the helipad of a ship—providing immediate tactical support to Army, Navy and Marine troops. It can take off and land without a runway and flies at 30,000 feet. Fitted with 400 pounds of laser-guided munitions, including Hellfire missiles, the hybrid turbine-electric Excalibur strikes enemy targets up to 600 miles away from its handler. It can loiter and inspect the damage with a suite of infrared or electro-optical surveillance cameras and follow anyone who gets away.
Notable Feature: After takeoff, the jet engine pivots in-line with the fuselage, and the lift turbines retract inside the wing section for forward flight. It travels at a brisk 530 mph—twice as fast as a helicopter.