As we reported in july, the Air Force has been pondering a bomber version of the new F-22 Raptor fighter jet: a delta-wing variant called the FB-22. But budget cutbacks have grounded that plan. Top brass announced that the plane's name will be the F/A-22 Raptor-F/A, as in Fighter/Attack-but no new capabilities are being added. A decision by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to dramatically cut total plane orders, possibly to 200 from 400, is expected by year's end. Meanwhile, with his Raptor flock dwindling, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper is trying desperately to emphasize that "the Raptor will feed on prey both from the sky and from the (ground)."
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.