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Transformer jet is like the Optimus Prime of planes

BAE Systems unveils fascinating new concept aircraft that transform, self-heal, can 3D-print UAVs, and have concentrated laser beams to disable enemy missiles.

Transformer...more than meets the eye. Video screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

If Autobots were stealth jets, this is probably what they'd look like.

The aircraft concept straight out of our science fiction dreams comes from BAE Systems, a UK-based aerospace and defense contractor that builds defense aircraft for partners around the world. Earlier this month, the company unveiled several concept aircraft, which if they come to fruition, could make us feel like we're living in a Michael Bay film.

By far the most interesting aircraft is the Transformer, a stealth aircraft that turns into three smaller planes to destroy whatever villain dares to attack it. The Transformer is comprised of three aircraft: a main diamond shaped plane, and two smaller, triangular fighters that attach to the left and right sides. When the three planes combine, they conserve fuel and are capable of traveling longer distances without the need for mid-air refueling.

BAE Systems also unveiled the Survivor, an aircraft that uses advanced materials to automatically heal itself mid-flight. If the Survivor comes under attack during a battle, the craft uses lightweight adhesive fluids stored in carbon-fiber nanotubes to repair any damage.

As far as onboard technology goes, BAE gave us a look at 3D-printing technology that can use data from engineers to print out UAVs deployed from the aircraft to survey dangerous situations. And it showed how such aircraft might one day be equipped with a concentrated laser beam to destroy enemy missiles.

Of course, the company was careful to point out that it's merely demonstrating of the kinds of aircraft that could be possible by 2040 given current technological progress, but not necessarily a blueprint of what's to come. Still, we are ready to fully embrace our impending sci-fi world.

(Via Mashable)