5-in-1 Modular Aircraft Uses Different Wings to Reshape Aviation

Despite minor differences between aircraft types, the basic design in aviation has been the same for a very long time: a center, long fuselage, with wings fitted to either side. It's a fixed kind of design, meaning that once out of the factory doors, the airplane remains in the same configuration for the duration of its life, and any change to it calls for major redesigns.
Aeralis aircraft rendering 12 photos
Photo: Aeralis
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That's not what will happen with an upcoming jet being put together by a British company called Aeralis. The initial details about the plane were spilled last week during the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) event in the country, and for any aviation buff they are enough to get the blood pumping.

We've known some general things about the plane, yet unnamed, for a couple of years already. Aeralis is talking about an aircraft built using a shared frame called Common Core Fuselage, but which can be fitted with five different wing configurations, depending on needs and uses: Advanced Jet Trainer, Aggressor, Companion, ISTAR, and Tanking. At least, those are the ones we know about now, as the company hints there may be others as well.

Taking advantage of DSEI, Aeralis showed the world the configurations we mentioned above, with an emphasis on the Advanced Jet Trainer, the plane that will make it into production first.

Not many details about it are known at the moment, aside from the fact it will have "a first-of-its-kind wing architecture" with an inner and outer wing helping it achieve high maneuverability regardless of speed.

It's unclear what engines will power it (they will definitely be of Rolls-Royce make, but it's unclear what type), but we do know it will be capable of transonic speeds, meaning close to the speed of sound.

The jet will be fully equipped for trainer duties, including with hardware for Electromagnetic Warfare, and a full combat radar in the nose of the plane. It'll have interchangeable cockpits, allowing for one or two pilots to fly it at a time, depending on needs.

The overall design of the Aeralis concept has also changed compared to the previous version shown a couple of years ago. It comes with an additional fuel supply, new electronics, and a commercial off-the-shelf landing gear that'll be common across all platforms. More details on any of these upgrades have not been provided.

The British company did not come forth with any info on when exactly it plans to release a plane (we know not of any prototype being around either), but the general consensus is that we should see something more tangible by the end of the current decade.

We will of course keep an eye out for developments, as this is certainly one of the most exciting aviation projects of modern times.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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