posted on Jun, 20 2004 @ 07:42 PM
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
FUTURE WEAPONS PROPOSALS
Projects outlined briefly as part of the USAF's Air Force
2025 study. Known as the "Future Weapons", areas covered
include hypersonic attack aircraft, defensive satellite
systems and laser-based weaponry.
AIRSPIKE - ABILITY TO CREATE
SAUCER-SHAPED HYPERSONIC SPACECRAFT
The concept would offer designers the capability to actively
control the external aerodynamics and thermodynamics of
an advanced trans-atmospheric vehicle by substituting
directed energy for mass - typically in the form of a
sharp nosed structure.
PANELS TESTED AT AREA 51
The electrochromatic panels are comprised of thousands
of tiny sensors that function as video-cameras that take
images of background scenaries, transferring them to the
other panels on the other side of the aircraft. This gives
the illusion that the aircraft is almost transparent.
What the ground observer sees is whatever background images
behind (or above) the body of the aircraft that are transposed
to the "observer's" side of the body of the aircraft.
PULSE DETONATION WAVE ENGINES
One option for a hypersonic vehicle might be four or six
Pulse Detonation Wave Engines (PDWEs), fuelled with liquid
methane. As air breathers, these PDWEs could theoretically
propel a hypersonic aircraft towards Mach 10 at an altitude
in excess of 180,000 feet.
PULSEJET - EXOTIC PROPULSION
Pulsejets use the forward speed of the engine and the
inlet shape to compress the incoming air, then shutters
at the inlet close while fuel is ignited in the combustion
chamber and the pressure of the expanding gasses force
the jet forward. The shutters then open and the process
starts again at a high frequency.
The Stealth program aimed at designing high-performance
military aircraft incorporating, among other features,
a minimum of metal and with the exterior clad in highly
absorbent tiles. The aircraft would be almost invisible
to radar and could make most radar-controlled anti-aircraft