Named for the Celtic god of thunder, the U.K.'s Taranis drone is one of the most advanced aircraft ever designed. Its creators, BAE Systems have kept it so secret that, even though its maiden voyage took place last August, details are only now being released concerning that flight. By all reports, the Taranis surpassed expectations, officially entering the books as one of the most impressive military drones on the planet.
Much of the details concerning Taranis remain classified, but we can tell you that the drone is 41-feet long, boasts a 33-foot wingspan and is the combined work of 250 corporate partners, which include such names as Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation Systems. It is at once a spy plane and a stealth attack drone, designed to be capable of striking enemy targets deep in hostile territory without being detected. It is capable of carrying out pre-programmed missions as well as take direction from a remote pilot.
Even the location of last August's test flight remains secret, with BAE Systems stating that it took place somewhere outside the U.K. The Taranis is an impressive testament to the technologies at work within modern military drones and a frightening reminder of what might be lurking in the skies above us all. If, and when, the time arrives that drones like these become ubiquitous parts of militaries worldwide, we just might find ourselves startling at the hum of every engine amongst the clouds.