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The Navy's swimming spy plane

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posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 11:58 AM

Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works, famed for the U-2 and Blackbird spy planes that flew higher than anything else in the world in their day, is trying for a different altitude record: an airplane that starts and ends its mission 150 feet underwater.

well looks cool to me launching a plane under the nose of the enemy
from well under there radar systems

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 12:38 PM
very interesting concept. Now the question is will it get anywhere and why are they publishing the idea? its my openion that the information should stay secret and be declassfied afterwards not before use.

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 01:00 PM

Originally posted by Canada_EH
its my opinion that the information should stay secret and be declassfied afterwards not before use.

Its never been a secret...Lockheed has been talking about this project for a few years now. No many projects go from black to white...Usually there born in the white and stay there.

As for the concept...I like it but I would think it would be tough to build it, it would have to be very durable...since it lands back in the ocean with no chute.

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 01:40 PM

wow! 60 years after WW2 finished and look how things have progressed since then!!

it makes you think what its going to be like 60 years from now!!

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 02:35 PM
Well the Japanese had sub carriers in WWII, there is very little stuff that is completly new

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 03:00 PM
Well the japanese idea was concieved to attack the Panama canal...

The US Navy claims that the Ohio subs have never been detected nor tracked by an enemy force, if indeed this is true... The US could have an air raid from a sub, destroy radars and leave the field open for their bombers to attack

BTW. If the project becomes a reality, it will be the same as with Northtrop flying wing > B2

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 07:15 PM
I always liked this concept of launching a plane from a sub, its from the 70's British sci-fi series UFO.

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 07:37 PM
There have been some future concepts or Aircraft carriers that are submersible with fleets of UCAVs they dont even have to surface to launch. Carriers that could hide like Submarines could be a huge advantage in the future. Right now every major country always know where the US carriers are.

It makes sense to test this technolgy on already existing submarines before you commit to a designed carrier for this sole purpose.

[edit on 24-2-2006 by ShadowXIX]

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 08:02 PM

Originally posted by Nacnud
Well the Japanese had sub carriers in WWII, there is very little stuff that is completly new

Theres plenty of new ideas out there...its just that most of them have very little resemblence to modern concepts but still get labeled as an improved older idea.

But that Japanese Sub only had 3 Aircraft in it...normal aircraft (except for foldable tails and wings) but it had to surface to launch the aircraft...While this concept would exit the sub 150 feet under...and would use a missile launch tube...which would mean we could build carrier subs with dozens of these UCAVS...and judging by its looks, its stealthy...Talk about the ultimate strike aircraft.

Heres a painting of the Japanese I-400, the Submersible Carrier.

[edit on 24-2-2006 by Murcielago]

posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 08:18 PM
I agree, the LM proposal is far beyond what the Japanese were doing but I just though that I would point out that this isn't entirely without precident.

posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 09:51 AM
Yeah... I read about this a couple of days ago... It has two wings that it can sue as sails... I couln't find a pic...

It looked a bit lke murchis pic... but it was a bit different... or it might be the same too... the angle is so different...

[edit on 25-2-2006 by Figher Master FIN]

posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 11:04 AM

As for the concept...I like it but I would think it would be tough to build it, it would have to be very durable...since it lands back in the ocean with no chute.

That's largely what bothers me.

It's one thing to claim that the vehicle has to be light -and- strong. It's another to compare it with the X-45 which weighs half again as much and say that volume constraints are driving the vehicle config towards a flying-foam beastie with a titanium skeleton.

Mass is mass and even weightless that's an awful lot of bulk to be precision maneuvering around a sealed hull.

I also don't get the notion of putting a jet engine into salt water. no 'inflateable seal' is going to keep a 100-120 knot landing from pushing massive amounts of water down the inlet and that /will/ destroy most engines, even if the snow-plow effect doesn't shove the nose down and submarine the airframe.

As I recall, Cormorants are famous for 'tucking up' and doing a straight down nose dive to achieve exactly this kind of surface zone penetration as they hunt fish but they have perhaps a 1,000th the mass, a quarter the flight speed and thus orders of magnitude less impact energy. At the very least, I would want an inlet centerspike to form an extended seal footprint.

That said, about the easiest way I can see to make the system work is to in fact do a flyup maneuver somewhere between a stalled round out (again, I can only think 'Pogo') and a Flanker's cobra. Then rocket-deploy a parachute as your airspeed passes zero on the way down and hope you sustain ejection-seat levels of water impact at no more than 20-30fps.

Of course we all know how well timed pyro microswitches do when faced with a sustained salt water environment. But there are also suspension line concerns (tear away panels and LO) to consider.

And even should the rocket extractor work every time, you're still asking to seal the (turbine aft) engine off in seconds using airbag technology while splatting down on a hot exhaust without cracking it's liner Locking your aero controls so they knife-edge in without breaking off. And controlling your splashdown geometry on what is clearly going to be a weight biased airframe configuration.

Which does nothing really encouraging to maintain directional control in either the vertical or horizontal planes as when there is a running sea and you clip a couple wave tops (shear a main canopy line and rotate the vehicle to hit, HARD, in a load path not stressed for it) or if winds/currents catch the canopy before or after touch down, potentially going waterskiing.

The temptation is to say that this aircraft does a little gull-tips+centerkeel hydrofoiling before slamming down on a breastbone like weapons bay sponsons like a lot of waterfowl. But again, has _anyone_ looked at the seastate models they plan on doing this in and formed a notion of how they plan to dump lift into a trough as the jet wants to skip along the crests and then suddenly flattens itself into a wave face?

No. Don't put the boat in harms way, just looking to justify keeping a couple Ohio's around longer than their main mission requires. Especially not when the safest way to have truly deep-reach without triggering every missile launch warner on the planet is to go CBM with a depressed trajectory.

THAT is how you keep the Ohio's 'perfect record' from getting mired in the litorals.


[edit on 25-2-2006 by ch1466]

posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 11:36 AM
If I remember correctly, two models have been tested. A for aircraft and B for boat... After this the two models will be put toghether...

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