posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 02:17 PM
During a recent scour of the US patent office website in search of new applications by Lockheed, Northrop or Boeing I found a few interesting entries
but the most fascinating and relevant was made on behalf of Lockheed Martin and is for the method of launch, recovery and re-launch of an immersible
UAV. It was accompanied by this image:
This of course piqued my attention as it features our favourite Skunkworks UAV, the morphing wing.
Morphing UAV thread.
The full patent makes interesting reading and details how this idea could be used by a submerged submarine or a surface ship. The UAV could be
equipped with recon or attack payloads.
The UAV is also described in detail or at least its operation is. Inflatable covers would seal large openings such as the jet inlet and exhaust in
conjunction with silicon seals on smaller joins and doors. The interior of the plane would also be pressurised with nitrogen to protect it from the
pressure exerted by the sea. The UAV could be launched from an ICBM tube on a Trident sub and it could then float partially to the surface, rocket
boosters would power it over the surface where the covers over the engine inlets would retract and the jet engine would start. The rocket boosters
would then be jettisoned. The UAV is also buoyant so it can make either an engine-off “whip-stall” landing in the sea or a parachute landing on
the water, the UAV does not require any pontoons or additional floatation devices.
It even goes into detail of how a lead recon UAV could be launched which would identify time sensitive targets for following armed UAVs which would
relay post-attack data back to the lead which would transmit back to the sub or ship.
Unfortunately the 14 diagrams which accompany the patent are not available except the one which I have posted here, so additional information is not
really available either but I will try and get them as soon as possible.
Interestingly the patent includes the phrase “the aircraft is preferably unmanned” perhaps leaving it open for using this procedure with a manned
Of course while reading this I couldn’t help but think of our favourite debunked video, perhaps this could become reality at some point!
Jet Taking Off From the Sea