Whenever people ask me what are the downsides of traveling faster than the speed of sound, I always say drag. I tell them, "Drag is such a drag, man," then I start laughing. Then people leave. It's quite awkward, but this Switchblade shapeshifting plane being developed by Northrop Grumman proves me right. Designed to reduce the shockwaves that pile up and create drag once an aircraft breaks the sound barrier, the unmanned plane rotates its wings 60° as it approaches that speed, rotating them back to normal once it slows down again. By reducing drag at supersonic speeds and returning to a normal perpendicular-wing configuration when traveling slower, the Switchblade is fuel efficient in both modes. This is great for military missions, since it can chill for a while just outside enemy territory waiting for the time to be right, swoop in at Mach 2, and blow up whatever freedom-haters we tell it to. The plane is still in development, though, and working models aren't expected to fly 'til around 2020, but the science is all there. I know it's a long time to wait, but all those evildoers out there will just have to settle for being bombarded by regular ol' fighter jets in the meantime.
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