b-21 artist impression

Star Trek Inspires The Next Generation Of US Stealth Bombers

The brightest engineers in the US hope to create an invisibility cloak inspired by the Klingons that can evade radar detection or present a...

b-21 artist impression

The Pentagon's plans for 'Star-Trek' stealth bombers boasting invisibility capabilities have been revealed.

The idea is to create an air force that’s undetectable to radar and comparable to the Klingon clocking system seen in the Star Trek films.

America’s top aviation engineers have been tasked with designing and building the new ‘cloaked’ bombers and refuelling aircraft.

However, unlike Star-Trek, the B-21 bombers won’t bend light and energy to render the aircraft invisible.

The bright engineers are instead hoping to develop absorbing materials for the frame and a cooling system that significantly reduces the aircraft’s heat signature.

The B-21 bombers are expected to have an element of radar invisibility, however, details of the programme to replace the B-52 and B1-B stealth bomber are classified.

What is known is that the bat-shaped B-21 bombers are being developed at the Plant 42, a Californian desert base that’s been described as a ‘hive of activity’ as employees work to ready the bomber for delivery by the mid-2020’s.

The new B-21s are costing an estimated $550 million and the Pentagon expects 100 of the bombers.

A key part of their longevity will be their ability to evade radar detection or appear in a false location. 

The jets are also set to have nuclear weapons capability two years after they become operational.

There are also loose plans for autonomous flight.

The Su-57 will be the first aircraft in Russian military service to use stealth technology

Colonel Carpenter, former chief of strategy during Operation Iraqi Freedom believes that by 2022 a quarter of US combat air force will employ stealth technology.

He also said that the radar would remain the greatest threat during warfare.

Currently, the Russians are the leaders in the ‘shadow’ aircraft field.

Their aircraft can vanish from radars completely, while their own hypersensitive radars have a huge range of up to 340 miles.

Earlier this year the first Russian stealth fighter jet the Sukhoi Su-57, or 'ghost', was revealed and is due to be operational in 2018.

Though the B-21 bomber’s level of invisibility isn’t really true to the Star-Trek technology, it could be a possibility in the future.

Star trek
Picture: Creative Commons // One step closer to a Trekky future

Earlier this year, Hao Xin, a professor of electrical and computer at the University of Arizona said to the Daily Mail that the invisibility capability be developed further and even stretch from military planes to humans.

His method of invisibility is slightly different and discovered through his US Air-Force funded research based on porous plastic bowling balls and tiny copper wire circuit boards.

When assembled in a precise geometrical pattern they can bend waves of energy in unnatural ways, particularly backwards.

This means that with this technology, an object above water would appear below and leaning in the opposite direction to an onlooker.

These ‘metamaterials’ have properties not yet found in nature and can bend electromagnetic radiation, though bending light has been unsuccessful to date, it seems the Star Trek future isn’t such a far-fetched thought.