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VTOL Black Triangle UCAV Concept

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posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 02:58 PM
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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]




posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 03:12 PM
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Wow, this is very interesting stuff Intelgurl! I'll try my best to find more information about this.
I think I've seen the image before, but how could a hypersonic vehicle have an endurance of 30 hours? That's almost as much as the SUBsonic RQ-4 Global Hawk.

I was able to find this article about "SonicBlue" and a VTOL program: mae.pennnet.com...

I'll look into it tomorrow.

[edit on 3-3-2006 by Zion Mainframe]



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 03:21 PM
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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.


If they have a solution for that, its kewl as heck.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 03:22 PM
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I love ATS because of people like Intelgurl.

You got my vote for this post. many thanks for the piccie and links.

Seems a very advanced concept, and also an odd one in ways. Looking at the picture given, what would happen to all those fans if it starts to travl mach 6 + ?

gotta give the goverment credit for the sheer cheek of it though! (All we have been seeing over the years is finally creeping into the white world!)



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 03:45 PM
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British engineering again...

(just gotta beat Waynos to it)



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 03:54 PM
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What a interesting design 12 vertical lift fans, 2 fans for left and right movement and what apears to be a vectored thrust jet in the back. I could see that sparking many UFO reports. Imagine seeing this black triangle just hover in mid air and then take off



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 04:02 PM
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The VTOL concept is called the "Unmanned Combat Hybrid Armed Vehicle"


U-CHAV?



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 04:07 PM
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hahahaha Mike_A well spotted.

Its a strange old design though, and as it says it will be in use for 2012, where the hell is it being built? I for one would LOVE to see the test flights!

A thing that strikes me is that if this things is already acknowledged to resemble UFO's in flight, what type of panic would a low and slow pass from this baby armed with lasers do to enemy troops?? THE ALIENS ARE COMING WITH DEATH RAYS!!! RUN!!!! - lol


[edit on 3-3-2006 by MadGreebo]



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 04:09 PM
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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.




I was thinking the fans would be created with covers that slid into place when not in use. Like the VTOL F-35's lift fan it is covered and uncovered as needed. Once your in decent speed forward flight the lifting fans are pretty much useless so cover them up.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 04:39 PM
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Wow, a flying chav! Very interesting new concept intelgurl, it reminds me a lot of some very old designs that were formulated before the technology to realise them existed, maybe it now does?



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 05:37 PM
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posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:21 PM
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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]


Thanks for the information. It is interesting.

This vehicle shown and the claims allegedly made for it defy the laws of physics.

However, the info on the web-site doesnt make any reference to mach 7 speeds so i'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

As for the commercial vehicles mentioned on the website, the following information makes it seem like they did atleast a cursory analysis.


Seating --- Tandem, two seat -------------------- Six to Eight
GTOW ----- 15,500 lb. ------------------------------ 28,500 lbs.
Payload --- 500 lb.(equipment and cargo) ----- 2500 lb. (passengers & baggage)


Sounds somewhat realistic.

What this indicates is a very large fuel requirement for take-off and landing. In addition, the turbines only generate 2500KW each. Not very much when your trying to lift almost 30,000 lbs when with little electric fans. It only stands to reason that there is no real hover capability (note the automated VTOL) and the extra power needed to perform VTOL comes through a combination of diverted thrust and electrical power storage, probably in extremely expensive capacitors. In other words, it really is a "jump" jet. It jumps in the air and shoots off quickly before it runs out of stored energy.

The good thing about this design, where vertical lift relies on stored energy, is it minimizes the amount of time it relies on vertical lift, reducing the chance of something going horribly wrong as would happen with the Osprey, which might be expected to hover and maneuver in VTOL mode. The bad thing is that it has very limited VTOL capability and extremely poor payload.

I should add, the UCAV concept is suggested as a laser weapons platform on the website. Like the lift mechanism, this would require a heavy dependence on a high voltage energy storage such as on onboard capacitors.


[edit on 3-3-2006 by orca71]



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:37 PM
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@ Planeman.
You forgot the furry dice & the goldie looking chain though.



posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 12:44 AM
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This appears to be a very impressive craft...endurance like a Global Hawk, yet twice as fast as the Blackbird.

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...It would seem that that would make this craft be a better fighter then the Raptor.
and with its swivel thrust vectoring system, I would assume that it needs that extra "oomph" to get off the ground. Would all those ducted fans only be used for take offs and landings??? Since they would be covered in supersonic flight, and I doubt they would use them for hovering during the endurance portion of the flight, since then you wouldn't be using its lifting wing-like shape to its full advantage.

I'm sure Lockheed (likely skunkworks) is the prime contractor, since they would have the most knowledge in building it from all that they have learned with the F-35B.

I would think this would be pretty classified info, since would this not basically kill the F-35?


anywho...cant wait to see a real picture of this beast.

heres another angle



[edit on 4-3-2006 by Murcielago]



posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 01:03 AM
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thx intel,

was wondering where discovery channel got that cgi of a flying hoverring triangle for it's latest special. they showed that pic only in cg animation to illustrate the flying triangle. saw the show about a week ago.



posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 06:19 AM
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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]


1.21 gigawatts? 1.21 gigawatts? Great Scott!
- sorry I couldnt resist


Thats a aspect im really interested in. Is she really going to be able to generate and store the 2-5 MW claimed to power the directed/microwave energy weapons. Thats a huge amount of power for a aircraft to generate when you consider, 1 megawatt can power 750 homes at normal demand.

That would be very impressive



posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 09:27 AM
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Ok, Aviation Week has a mention on this concept in the following article - (subscription only)
Rolls-Royce Eyes New Military Engine Technologies
Highlights of the article include:

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.


Regarding Orca71's statement about the feasibility of super/hyper-sonic speeds defying the laws of physics the article states that the lift fan openings will close as the craft gets up to speed:

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.


The high speed aspects of the concept come from Lockheed Martin/Rolls-Royce's development of the Mach 3+ supersonic cruise missile under the Rattlrs (Revolutionary Approach to Time-Critical Long-Range Strike) program.

It goes on to state:

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.


Also the high speed ability is just for getting to the target area vicinity and punching through air defenses but while conducting ISR missions the aircraft will need to be subsonic and have the ability to loiter on-station for an extended period of time.

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.


Again this is just a concept and a long way from an actual ISR/Strike aircraft.



*Edited for spelling

[edit on 3-4-2006 by intelgurl]



posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 09:51 AM
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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!



posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by MadGreebo
! One thing I find odd is the oblique reference to black triangles of UFO lore....hmmmm very odd.



This is perhaps the most famous Triangle UFO picture




Came from Belgium in 1989 I believe they had a pretty big UFO flap at that time. It smoked some Belgian Air Force F-16s every time they got a radar lock on it.

The Mention of the direct energy weapons reminded by of a Gulf War story I heard but never gave much credence too. The story was about US troops that witnessed what they percieved as a UFO attacking the Iraqis with some type of laser weapon. Some people like to call this craft the TR-3A "Black Manta". I think.

If military Black world if really 50 years ahead of any thing made public could it be possible these early 90s triangle craft sightings were infact something like this VTOL craft in secret testing or use.



posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 03:41 PM
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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!


It's a "dream aircraft" but there's no law against wishful thinking.






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