Military drones may soon be able to do more than just carry weapons or aid spying missions. Last week at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International trade show, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division showed off design renderings of the Transformer TX drone. Said to cost nearly $20.3 million, the Transformer TX drone will be capable of transporting cars and large storage containers. Eventually, it may even be able to transport pods full of soldiers.
It is said that the Transformer TX is currently in “Phase 3,” of the development process. This means that Lockheed Martin is now finalizing the design before manufacturing a working prototype. DARPA will then evaluate the prototype to see if it meets requirements, if it does, Lockheed Martin may receive a contract to produce Transformer TX drones for flight in 2015. Lockheed will start testing a one-third sized model in wind tunnels soon. According to the manufacturer, the drone will be able to travel 250 miles on a full tank of gas. DARPA was actually looking for a military ready flying car in the beginning, but Lockheed found that using unmanned drones to transport cars, soldiers or supplies made more sense than making a flying car which would require a pilot.
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