The Bird of Prey has a wing span of 7.0 metres and a length of 14.3 m (Image: Boeing)
A formerly top secret, bat-winged stealth jet has taken the aviation world by surprise, after a low key unveiling in St Louis, Missouri.
It may look like it flew straight off the screen of a sci-fi movie, but the Bird of Prey is no flight of fancy - it could translate into serious business for its makers, aerospace giant Boeing.
"Here we have an example of a classic 'black' programme: an aircraft which has been built and flight tested for a number of years - and no one outside the programme knew about it," says Nick Cook, aerospace consultant to Janes Defence Weekly. Other highly classified aircraft that have ultimately been revealed included the U-2 and Blackbird spy planes and the B-2 stealth bomber.
The Bird of Prey cost $67 million and is the product of Boeing's advanced research and development division, the Phantom Works. It first flew in 1996 and is said to have demonstrated a range of...