I have always been fascinated with the concept of submarine a/c carriers..
And whether its economical feasible or not is another question..
Why the fascination? Because if something like that were actually to be built then it would definitely qualify as the most complex machine built by
And that's why I hope somebody does it oneday.
Other benefits would include invaluable know-how in storage/launch/retrival of reusable strike units in dissimilar(atmospheric/underwater)
environments; something that we humans would eventually need to delve into when we go about spacefaring.
I was really interested in the concept of launching/recovering the units underwater itself; this would completely bypass the issues faced with
pressurised launches/retrieval and negate the need for surface launches.
However it would require severe re-design and development of fighter units.
Hec what are we here for??!
I propose retractable propeller-based underwater propulsion that generates enough thrust to allow the unit to gain height for a short
conventional(rocket) thrust. This provides enough time for air-breathing engines to kick in.
So its like this:
1) Unit is launched underwater with a torpedo-style air pressurised momentum assist.
-Fuselage is shaped such that provides minimum resistance to the water environment(Wings for aerial flight may be swung back).
-At this time the air-breathing engines(intakes to exhaust) are sealed/airtight
and water-free. Same with the rocket assist packs.
-Retractable propeller-based propulsion systems kick-in building the speed of the unit. And by retractable, I mean something positioned where the
undercarriage would normally go for land-based fighters.
-Now you have a highly mobile manueverable underwater strike unit and you can use it any subsurface attack role as long as the fuel source for its
propeller-based propulsion lasts(I'm guessing this would be the normal aviation fuel source?) .
Weaponry for this type of role would be supercavitating projectiles would be explosive warheads?
Basically your underwater fighter...
2)Now you want to go above surface:
-You position yourself with enough momentum so you break the surface(the same way jet-skis/dolphins/flying fish).
-As soon as you are clear of the water(couple of meters min.?), you fire your
rocket packets to get you some extra altitude. Simultaneously the air-breathing engines are now exposed(sealing surface retracted) and they are fired
to provide assist thrust. Your retractable propellers slowly dry themselves out with the aerial momentum slowly retract as you would have
undercarriage being pulled up.
-When the rockets burn out detach them.
Your air-breathing engines(which have had sufficient time to air-breathe since exposure) are at full thrust and take over as primary propulsion.
-Slow down to sufficient speed, seal air-breathing surfaces.
-Gentle splashdown; lower propeller units.
-Lower nose cone(movable nosecone concorde-style?) and adjust propeller thrust vector to so the combined effect is to pull the craft under water.
-glide your way back into the open submerged-launchbay...
Gawd that was fun!! maybe unfeasible, uneconomical,unsafe, too complex..
but loads of fun!!
Now who's coming up with that 3D model for this?..
Im off to sketching with a pencil n paper!!
[edit on 19-4-2007 by Daedalus3]