#2366: Divairsion

If you are an airforce tasked with enforcing a no-fly zone, or if you need to intercept a plane without destroying it, your options are currently limited.

Today’s invention is an unmanned aerial vehicle which might help.

lamprey

This is capable of flying at great speed and with none of the manoeuvring restrictions imposed by a flesh-and-blood crew.

The aircraft would approach and attach itself across one of the control surfaces of the target plane (probably using small harpoons and a number of high-tensile wire lassos).

It would then fire a retro rocket, causing both craft to slow significantly and allowing other such interceptors to catch up and latch on to flaps or ailerons.

Their coordinated activity would allow the target plane to be directed away from its current course and forced to make an emergency landing onto eg a nearby body of water (or a remote runway using the UAVs’ own wheels).

In this way, interesting military secrets could be obtained or terrorists thwarted, without loss of life.