In the past couple of days, there's been much in the news concerning a possible laser defense against missile attacks on airliners. American Airlines has been tagged to do the airborne testing, though the airline seems to have some reservations about this “honor.”
AA has been done preliminary testing on a Boeing 767 aircraft since 2006, and operational test installations may be in place as early as next April. Testing will not be done on passenger-carrying flights for some time yet. See MSNBC link to an AP story for more information.
It makes for interesting conjecture - - -
Ah, ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Well, we've worried about this for some time now. If those on the left side of the cabin look forward and several thousand feet below us, you might see the smoke trail of a surface-to-air missile coming to intercept our flight path. In a couple of seconds, we'll just see if this laser gadget works as advertised . . . .