Boeing Working on Real-Life Colonial Marines Dropship

The US Air Force wants a new cargo aircraft, a pressurized airplane capable of carrying 65,000 pounds for 1,500 nautical miles without refueling. They call it the Speed Agile Concept Demonstrator—it's supposed to travel at a minimum Mach .8 at 30,000-feet—but they may as well have called it the UD-4L Dropship, because it looks like the Colonial Marines' Cheyenne in Aliens. Boeing is going to get a mere $7.5M to work on it to get the technology ready for 2010—which doesn't mean having the airplane by then, just the pretty drawings for us to post about. [Defense Tech]