I was at Farnborough yesterday (more on that soon) and let's say that in an age when unmanned aircrafts are poised to take over, the F-35's absence was the butt of the jokes.

The Scorpion might not have customers yet, but it's a pretty cool bird. And with defense sectors looking for cost efficiency (not to say low-cost), it's a bird that makes sense.

The Scorpion costs about $20m (£12m) a throw, is built from off-the-shelf components, and went from drawing board to first flight in 23 months.

The F-35, costing three times as much and conceived in the early 1990s is still in the US while engineers figure out what caused a fire that has grounded the entire fleet.

USD 20 million is low-cost. Yeah, I know. (image credit: Textron)