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The VTOL concept is called the "Unmanned Combat Hybrid Armed Vehicle"
Originally posted by skippytjc
Im a little lost here. How could a plane like that with so many "holes" in it be areodynamic enough to fly that fast? The friction generated by smooth surfaces is a hurdle at those speeds, I cant imagine one like that can get past the firction.
Originally posted by intelgurl
A new UCAV concept being developed may very well visually resemble and have similar flight characteristics of the "black triangles" so prevalent in UFO-lore.
The VTOL concept is called the "Unmanned Combat Hybrid Armed Vehicle" and will utilize an oil-less Rolls Royce turbofan engine system that propels the craft horizontally and powers hybrid-electric VTOL lift fans as well as powering sensor arrays and directed-energy weapons (ie solid state lasers).
This particular vehicle concept could match the "best of both worlds" scenario so covetted by the DoD in it's 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review. Those two worlds being rapid strike and endurance over the target area.
According to aerospace giant Rolls Royce sources the "Unmanned Combat Hybrid Armed Vehicle's" flight speeds could reach upwards of Mach 6 or 7 should the turbofan be augmented by combined-cycle propulsion (ramjet cycling to scramjet for supersonic speeds and beyond). Technology for on-station endurance exceeds 30 hours for a persistent area denial presence or for ISR functions, but that time will eventually increase to 3 to 7 days.
Defense industry companies associated with this concept include Rolls-Royce's Libertyworks, Northrop-Grumman, Lockheed and SonicBlue Aerospace.
Very little information seems to be available on this concept beyond Sonic Blue's web site, various defense contractor email exchanges and one or two aerospace publications.
*Edited to correct Sonic Blue's link
[edit on 3-3-2006 by intelgurl]
Originally posted by Murcielago
It says its going to be armed...with normal weapons?, or is that regarding the laser. Lasers would make sense, since with all those fans theres plenty of juice to be gathered from them...
[edit on 4-3-2006 by Murcielago]
The Unmanned Combat Hybrid Armed Vehicle concept will use a hybrid electrical generation system to power VTOL flight and operate a solid-state laser weapon.
Lift-fan ducts open for vertical takeoff and landing operations and close for high-speed flight in this joint research program by Rolls-Royce and SonicBlue Aerospace.
Rattlrs' propulsion system is a turbojet engine that allows a low frontal area with a large amount of thrust. To go faster, "you then move into combined cycles where you modify the position of the doors or blockers to the airflow. You can have ramjets or scramjets that get activated and that's a fairly efficient way to get to high speed in one cycle," says Burkholder, vice president of LibertyWorks, Rolls-Royce's U.S.-based advanced-concepts organization.
However, he notes that while suitable for getting to time-critical targets quickly and through air defenses, high speed is not the answer for reconnaissance and collecting intelligence or surveillance data. That need leads company researchers to the requirement for persistence at subsonic speeds. Burkholder likens it to re-creating SR-71 surveillance and penetration capabilities with slower, unmanned, more cost-efficient systems.
Originally posted by MadGreebo
! One thing I find odd is the oblique reference to black triangles of UFO lore....hmmmm very odd.
Originally posted by MadGreebo
Will you all stand and give Intelgurl a round of applause here people!!
Now with this post we can see that this is far from a dream craft, because if RR and others have already started the tech work on this, you can bet a bottom dollar that its in design and test / evaluation phase. Why do I say that? well if it was in concept stage it would be black or deeper, and we would have no details. It seems to me like their crowing about a new toy to get funds for production craft ! One thing I find odd is the oblique reference to black triangles of UFO lore....hmmmm very odd.
Cannot wait to see this baby in use on the world stage!