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An artist's impression of the Chinese flying saucer

A Beijing scientist has developed the country's first flying saucer, Chinese news agency Xinhau reports. The solar-powered nuisance (pictured right) will be ready to take to skies within two years.

Professor Yan Lei of Peking University described his creation: "Unlike conventional aerocraft, which rely on high-speed movement for lifting force and the fuel-powered engine for dynamics, the newly-developed model employs propellers activated by machinery without bearings."

Lovely. The team hopes the tent-esque unmanned craft will be able to take on tasks previously monopolised by high cost communications satellites.

Its "noiseless flight" in the stratosphere will undoubtedly interest the shadier echelons of authority in Beijing. ®

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