3D printers could be so advanced by 2040 they could create small unmanned aircraft, BAE Systems claim.

These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) could then potentially be used as a group of wide-winged aircraft for protracted or enduring surveillance or as rotary-winged UAVs to rescue single civilians or soldiers from dangerous situations, the defence firm’s scientists and engineers suggest.

The researchers, who have been working on futuristic aircraft technologies, have been looking at the idea that they could be created by super hi-tech onboard 3D printers, an additive layer and robotic assembly.

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