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Pentagon plans 'flying submarine'

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posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 07:21 AM
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PHOTO:i.telegraph.co.uk...

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the US military science and technology department, has set about creating an aircraft that can fly low over the water until near its target before disappearing under the sea to avoid detection.
It would then creep closer in submarine form before attacking its target, probably a ship or coastal installation, and fly home.New Scientist reports that the project, which has been in development since 2008, has reached design proposal stage, and several outside developers have submitted designs. DARPA could start allocating funding to developers in as little as a year.
While the principles of hydrodynamic and aerodynamic flight are similar, the technological challenges are profound. Aircraft need to be as light as possible, so that they can use a minimum of power to get airborne, while submarines need to be dense and strong to withstand water pressure. Heavier-than-air aircraft get their lift from airflow over their wings - submarines simply pump water in and out to change their buoyancy.
One method of getting around the latter problem is to design a submarine that is lighter than water, but - like an upside-down aeroplane - uses lift generated by its wings to force it away from the surface. Then, after surfacing, the wings' "angle of attack" would be changed to generate upwards lift instead, allowing it to fly.
Graham Hawkes, a submarine designer, believes that modern lightweight carbon fibre composites could be used to build a craft that is both strong enough and light enough to fly above and below the water. He has already designed and built a submersible craft called the "Super Falcon" which uses stubby wings to "fly" down to 300 metres. He says that if it were given jet engines and larger wings, it could fly at up to 900kph (560mph) in the air, while still being capable of underwater travel at around 18kph (11mph). At these speeds, the behaviour of water and air over the control surfaces is similar. "Think about it as flying under water," says Mr Hawkes. "It can be done. It just needs a lot of work."
One problem could be overcome in a dramatic fashion - in order to get the wings to start generating downward lift, the craft would have to get underwater; but a lighter-than-water vessel would struggle to do so. Mr Hawkes suggests copying birds: "You might have to put the nose down and literally dive, smack, into the water. It would certainly be spectacular."
There are a variety of other design problems to overcome. Ordinary batteries capable of giving the craft a 44km (28 mile) range - as specified by DARPA - would weigh more than the rest of the vessel, but running it on ordinary fuel would require a supply of air, meaning a snorkel and a maximum depth of just a few meters.
Also, jet engines - which run at several hundred degrees celsius - would most likely explode from the sudden change in temperature if they were rapidly submerged after airborne use, but piston engines would not survive being immersed in water. Jim McKenna, an engineer at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, says: "You can't let cold seawater get at a hot engine because the thermal shock will blow it apart." The Pentagon's dream of a flying submarine is still some way away yet.

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[edit on 6-7-2010 by xspinx]




posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 07:39 AM
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[edit on 6-7-2010 by xspinx]



posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 07:59 AM
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Something tells me the $$/results ratio on this thing will make it DOA. If it's intent is to sink ships we've got missiles that can do the job just fine for far less. If it's job is to attack coastal cities (and presumably only coastal cities) then that limits it's functionality to the point where it's far too limited in scope to justify the expense.

Sure it's a cool idea, real science fiction stuff, but in reality it's kinda pointless.



posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 08:08 AM
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actually it's a ufo for the sea....so it could do things totally different from a missile


[edit on 6-7-2010 by GBP/JPY]



posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 08:19 AM
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Didn't the 60's or 70's TV show "Voyage to the bottom of the Sea" sport such a flying/sub vehicle?





Interesting that the dynamics of airfoil and fluid mechanics could be reconciled for two different mediums...

[edit on 6-7-2010 by Maxmars]



posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 08:24 AM
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Okay so imagine they overcome the many problems that will be associated designing this 'craft', would it be really beneficial and practical.

Maybe we're just seeing an excuse to explain where all the future 'black' budget money will (supposedly) go.



posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 08:39 AM
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Originally posted by Catch_a_Fire
Okay so imagine they overcome the many problems that will be associated designing this 'craft', would it be really beneficial and practical.

Maybe we're just seeing an excuse to explain where all the future 'black' budget money will (supposedly) go.


It its DARPA then assume they already have "overcome the many problems"



posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 08:42 AM
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Here's a similar animation of what this will look like:

www.youtube.com...



posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 09:21 AM
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Fascinating, it reminds me of those flying submarines in "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow". Angelina Jolie's gang had those things, its about time we had a sub that could fly.



posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by ethancoop
 


I still don't understand... why is it pointless to build it?



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 05:55 AM
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I was reading an article on this recently which grabbed my attention as i had just been researching about USO's.

So, if the military are plannin on makin these "flying submarines" are they copying these so called USO's or have they infact already created them 50+ years ago and are only releasing this information now.

Makes you think, if USO sightings 50 years back were ours and their only tellin us now then what kind of technology are they workin with now!!!??




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