Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Technology and Aesthetics

The best technology finds a balance between functionality and aesthetics. Last week I wrote about the Concorde, the iconic supersonic aircraft that could cross the Atlantic Ocean in just over 3 hours. Well put on your seat belts because the U.S. military industrial complex has designed a plane that can reach Mach 6, or six times the speed of sound. Not only will it be capable of flying from New York to London in less than an hour, it will look good doing it.

Descendant of the SR-71 Blackbird and arriving apparently in 2030, the SR-72 is a hypersonic aircraft with hypersonic missiles that can reach an adversary so quickly it will render radar detection obsolete. Designed by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works the SR-72 will be an unmanned reconnaissance and assault aircraft, twice as fast as its predecessor with a mission range that spans continents.

Speed is the defining difference in the Age of Now. The military and amazon.com are aligned on this. Instant delivery of parcels and payloads. Are aesthetics important beyond getting the business done? Ask every owner of a sleek iPhone or an exotic Ferrari.

My bet is that Congressmen will line up to finance the SR-72 because it looks terrifyingly effective. One look and you know what side of this machine you want to be on.

1 comment:

Sam said...

All I could do was repeatedly exclaim, "Oh My God" as you read off detail after terrifying detail of this war machine.

Supersonic missiles you can't detect before they go boom? Check.

Unmanned so that the pilot can kill you without fear of his own death? Check.

A missile you can shoot while hovering in NY to hit Venezuela? Oh hell yes check!

Amount of time before the plans are stolen and put into production in Russia? Before you can even say check...