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
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
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
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
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]