posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 10:07 PM
I'm intrested in exploring People's ideas for advanced bomber concepts. I was wondering what people think the next step should be in terms of bomber
I'm NOT asking you to tell me what you think of the ideas the Air Force is Exploring. I WANT YOUR OWN IDEAS! bASICALLY I'm asking you to
design your own concepts from scratch and share them here. Be as creative as you want to, but try to be practial in these thing.
Two concepts. First a loitering 'show the flag, discretely' system to replace carrier airpower with similar capabilities for immediate deployment
from CONUS or local theater bases. AND the ability to both launch and recover drone aircraft.
Second, a two-tier space launcher in which a 'lighter' type platform can bring up enough fuel to maintain ELV quicksat emplaceable satellite systems
in orbit before 'gliding back' (probably fairly large and possibly TSTO rather than SSTO.
After which, a rapid tasking strike system which can _mimic_ 'air raid' equivalent capabilities (small turbine propulsion) comes across the slant
and possibly descends to target before climbing back on rockets ala the Spaceship 1 or CRV design.
If you have as few as 10 satellites in LEO 'over likely inclinations', each with the ability to carry a single small strike bomber (and 16 odd SDB
as rod-from-god boosted kinetic penetrators), almost any target should be both reachable and egressable from in under 20 minutes. Given the satellite
you recover to is not necessarily homeplate but itself a staged-return intermediate transit (refueling) station, said platform might need to be large
enough to accomodate two FOBS vehicles.
*Long Range- How do you plan to achieve it?
Either through 'unknown' advances in electrogravitics or via shaped-LTA technologies. If you can do as little as 250 knots, in 24hrs you can be in
the Middle East or across the Pacific from either coast. Which makes a /helluva/ lot more sense than a 'Centcom/RDF' style deployment which
doesn't have strikes going into Afghanistan until October 10th, 2001.
The question then being whether you can put enough rangepoint-as-mass into a Dominator type UCAV without making recovery difficult or airwing numbers
too low. I'm thinking that a 1,500-3,500lb air vehicle may be practical in terms of relative wingloading and mothership altitudes for a fully landed
recovery (spine as deck) rather than attempt a trapeze/parasite type rigup.
*Speed- Reasonable ( don't tell me the speed of light)
Orbital lasers by 2050 are quite reasonable as an expectation, the cost will be in providing 'global engagement' as a reliable targeting capability
and an 'acceptable' international solution to events like Desert Storm which would otherwise cost /billions/ to 'shall we return?' pay for a
prolonged conventional force buildup intervention.
In which case 'speed' becomes a function less of transit than persistence and vulnerability.
Well now, that's the kicker isn't it? I imagine my FOBS type skip bomber will have the ability to deliver a MIRV like spread of perhaps 4
micronukes in the 500-1,000lb/.25-10KT range. Or perhaps as many as 10-15 SDB like weapons. The latter can remain in orbit forever. But the nukes
would likely need special-consent release from the UN (knowing the way we're allowing ourselves to be nose ring 'steered'...) to literally
The Flying Aircraft Carrier is more problematic given that the smaller you go, the more you can carry but the less radiius+loiter and _transit speed_
in getting there you will have. This will partly be offset by hydrogen fuel cell technology which looks to be most affordable in microscales at this
time. But you will still pay a noteable payload/MEP penalty for which the notion of flying down to act as a lo-rez/direct-delivery system
(essentially a recoverable LOCAAS) which is abhorent to me.
This is why I would say that a minimum flight weight may not necessarily have to accomodate hardlandings at high speed. But must be at least able to
accomodate a turbine transit option of 300-400 knots vice 100-150. With 10hrs on station at a 1,000nm radius. Such an UCAV would likely number about
15-20 on the mother ship, more if they could be nested.
These being augmented by secondary, 'mission specialist' designs as both hypervelocity strike. And turbo-AAM interceptor. Given you have a large
enough electrical generation to allow for it, terminal defense would likely be by (diode vice chemical) laser as well.
KISS. There comes a time when hybrid designs (solar/fuel cell etc.) begin to overtake your engineering requirments with their own complexity and
compromises in terms of load paths and storage densities as well as other-system impacts (upper surface landing areas for instance).
The big issue is going to be development of a stable transfer and containment system for a hydrogen metaphase alternative to liquid fuels in the space
And for a replenishment/refueling/conversion ship WELL out to sea in the case of an LTA carrier.
Either way, you have to get past the notion of 20-30,000lbs per 'fighter', per mission. Fighters are designed to confront a threat which, by 2020,
will (DEW) likely not care how tight a turn they can make or how fast they can go.
Remove that single specification for maneuvering combat inherent to letting some mutant grab his joystick, under glass, and /everything/ else opens
up. Optical and RF LO plus micro standoff weapons in particular.
Never put on a platform that whose emission endangers it. In this, the big question will be how serious the ROW threat to our 'High Frontier'
dominance of space really is. If it looks like we are truly going to be challenged by Chinese Lasers and what not, we may need to also create a
system of extended range ISR and comms-node relays so that the 'carrier' can act solely as a spider-in-web BMC2 center node and logistics
See above. The best way to avoid dying is not to be shot at. And thus the best armor is the earth's horizon (to prevent detection) and _air_ (to
prevent trashfire access). Much of this will change when DEWS finally become realistic threats. But I think we are far enough along in optical LO to
be able to at least /challenge/ the dominance of 1st/2nd generation lasers. Until we can smash them in turn with under-horizon attack by swarming
tactics and aeroballistic rapid delivery.
The key is, again, to ditch the baby onboard sticker and _simplify_ the airframes to the extent that shadow zones of multiple contour shaping and COST
leave the design with equal rapidity.
Go to work and be creative! I'm courious what people think an advance bomber should be!
Right now, we could best use a simple 'one force, one spares pipe' replacement for the B-1B/B-52 (and, if we were honest, B-2) that did for the USAF
what ETOPS did for the airlines. Ideally, I would see this as a sonic cruiser/quiet aircraft design like a scaled SSBJ and with 'theater bomber'
(1,500-2,000nm @ Mach 1.5 for 4-6hrs far end loiter with 10,000-15,000lbs payload) performance. But I would settle, if I had to, for a simple
conversion of whatever 767/777 platform ends up replacing the E-10 and KC-X.
Unfortunately, I think by the time this monster program gets underway, we will be looking at 2020 and the economics as well as technology and
strategic posture will be so radically different as to make conventional approach to design solutions impractical. Beyond 2020, it's a whole new
world with sacrificial pointy end platforms offseting the massive reinvestment costs of basing mode COE.
Provided the political goals are limited and the overhead not interdicted, the best 'interim bomber solution' is apt to be an arsenal boat with a
lot of cheaper-by-the-thousand CMs aboard.