The movies “Stealth” and “I Spy” both have one thing in common, do you know what it is? Of course there’s more than one thing, but the one that concerns us is – they both feature a military airplane very close to one called the “Switchblade”. As a matter of fact, the plane is even called the Switchblade in “I Spy”.
As we continue looking at the fascinating things I found in researching the book, we are nearly to the number one futuristic storyline in “South Pole Vendetta”.
I promise, I didn’t get the idea for South Pole Vendetta from either one, at least not directly! The idea is much more sinister, or exciting, depending on your point of view.
I was doing research for the book when I came across a very interesting idea.
Of course the newest, greatest thing I had run across that fits under the category of next generation aircraft for the US military is the F-35. But what about the NEXT generation? For that, I went looking for the unusual, unsubstantiated, and “under-wraps”.
This quote, from Pakistan Defence gives us an interesting concept to pursue: “F/A-37 unique switch-wing design closely resembles patent #5,984,231 for “Aircraft with variable forward-sweep wing”, issued to Northrop Grumman Corporation in 1999. This patent caused a wave of rumors about actual aircraft build with that design, with fictional name “Switchblade”, that was publicized in November 2000 issue of Popular Science magazine. Moreover, according to aerospace journalist Steve Douglass, Northrop Grumman was one of the technical advisors for the Stealth film. Yet another plane sharing design characteristics with the Talon is the VF-19 Excalibur.”
The articles itself is quite interesting: “On moonless nights, a secret aircraft taxies out of a remote hanger complex at an Air Force base in Nevada. The security lights at the base are dimmed as the aircraft rolls out onto the active runway. Under cover of darkness, the fighter-size aircraft takes off on a training mission over the sprawling Nellis Bombing Range.
“Sources tell us that this mysterious plane, officially called the Bird of Prey, will soon be declassified…”
I didn’t know at the time, and still don’t know, what the word “soon” means, but it sure gives a delicious taste of something new – doesn’t it?