DARPA or the Defense Advanced Research Products Agency, otherwise known as the folks with all the futuristic weapons, are now tinkering with an idea that you might already be familiar with if you have seen the Avengers movie. The agency has put out a request for ideas on how to go about building a flying aircraft carrier. This platform will have to be used for both launching and recovering aircraft.
Now this won’t be as easy as strapping on a pair of wings to an existing aircraft carrier. The agency is starting out at a small scale to judge whether or not it would make sense. That’s obviously the smart thing to do, burning money on a full scale prototype without knowing its feasibility would be disastrous to say the least.
So DARPA wants ideas on how existing aircraft like the B-1, B-52 and C-130 can be transformed into airborne platforms that can be used for launching and recovering Unmanned Aerial Systems, a.k.a drones, close to their targets so that these drones can then go on their missions, which can include both surveillance and bombing.
This would enable drones to perform missions they currently can not due to limitations with range. DARPA wants ideas that keep costs low while still being realistic enough that it can be demonstrated within four years.
Companies that send in their ideas need not worry about rivals getting their hands on them. DARPA assures that all proposals will strictly remain within the Pentagon. Deadline for submission is November 26th, 2014.
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