Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Pentagon Flying Submersible Project in the Works

telegraph - 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.

NOTE: This project has 'Skunk Works' written all over it. Below is an article from 2006 referencing plans by the U.S. Navy to build the 'Cormorant' system, a flying submarine. There have been other designs from what I can gather but the 'Cormorant' design seems close to what is envisioned. The whole concept sounds like reverse engineering of alien technology, if that's what you choose to believe...Lon


Navy Plans Flying Submarine

livescience - Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, famed for the U-2 and Blackbird spy planes that flew higher than anything else in the world in their day, is trying for a different altitude record: an airplane that starts and ends its mission 150 feet underwater.

The Cormorant, a stealthy, jet-powered, autonomous aircraft that could be outfitted with either short-range weapons or surveillance equipment, is designed to launch out of the Trident missile tubes in some of the U.S. Navy’s gigantic Cold War–era Ohio-class submarines. These formerly nuke-toting subs have become less useful in a military climate evolved to favor surgical strikes over nuclear stalemates, but the Cormorant could use their now-vacant tubes to provide another unmanned option for spying on or destroying targets near the coast.

This is no easy task. The tubes are as long as a semi trailer but about seven feet wide—not exactly airplane-shaped. The Cormorant has to be strong enough to withstand the pressure 150 feet underwater—enough to cave in hatches on a normal aircraft—but light enough to fly. Another challenge: Subs survive by stealth, and an airplane flying back to the boat could give its position away.

The Skunk Works’s answer is a four-ton airplane with gull wings that hinge around its body to fit inside the missile tube. The craft is made of titanium to resist corrosion, and any empty spaces are filled with plastic foam to resist crushing. The rest of the body is pressurized with inert gas. Inflatable seals keep the weapon-bay doors, engine inlet and exhaust covers watertight.

The Cormorant does not shoot out of its tube like a missile. Instead an arm-like docking “saddle” guides the craft out, sending it floating to the surface while the sub slips away. As the drone pops out of the water, the rocket boosters fire and the Cormorant takes off. After completing its mission, the plane flies to the rendezvous coordinates it receives from the sub and lands in the sea. The sub then launches a robotic underwater vehicle to fetch the floating drone.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is funding tests of some of the Cormorant’s unique systems, including a splashdown model and an underwater-recovery vehicle. The tests should be completed by September, after which Darpa will decide whether it will fund a flying prototype.

Pentagon Flying Submersible Project in the Works


tillshalligans said...

One has to smile when the military announces something "in development."

Way back in 1967 the Shag Harbor, Nova Scotia incident detailed an unknown flying craft of some kind falling into or entering the water about a half-mile from shore. Afterward its four lights floated on the surface for awhile then disappeared below the water with a loud whooshing sound. When fishermen went out to rescue occupants of what they thought must be some type of airplane they found nothing but a curious yellow foam on the water's surface.

Surely it was one of the earlier models of this submersible aircraft the article speaks of. However, if they were already in action in 1967 then how long before that had the military already "set about creating" them? My guess is over fifty years ago.

carlee333 said...

Ya see to me when the military brings it to the public's attention that they are 'in the works' and 'will start testing'...they already have it completed, they have already done the testing. If someone did a little digging around i'm sure they would find the funds the military requested to 'test' this craft over the last few years, really went to fund another project the military was working on. lol. Like so many have said...sometimes the best way to keep a secret is to hide it out in the open...

tillshalligans said...

The following was meant to be attached to my earlier post regarding the submersible craft at Shag Harbor.

After the craft lowered into the water at least one of the initial rescue people saw lights deep below the water. From there the story was that while the Navy monitored this USO over a matter of days or weeks, at some point another USO joined it underwater! When some of its vessels were suddenly called out to investigate a Russian sub which had entered Canadian waters, the two USO's headed, underwater, about 25 miles toward Government Point close to a submarine detection base. Eventually they broke the surface, and shot away. Witnesses were both civilian and military.

For decades now I've heard of sightings of USO's in the the fjords of Scandinavia, the Lake District of England, the Bristol Channel near Wales, as well as others. Some were actually seen underwater by submarine crews. There was even a collision with one reported.

All this is to say that while the military's announcement that there are USO's now "in development," my guess is that the Shag Harbor incident was maneuvers by their own submersible aircraft more than forty years ago.

carlee333 said...

a USO is an unidentified submersible object, so this isn't a USO they are testing. What you are talking about in Nova Scotia from what I have read on it a while back was a REAL USO. As i'm sure you know, they have been reverse engineering craft since the 40's, and i know some of the things people report are ours, some are theirs. If you are really interested in knowing a lot more detail about black ops and hearing it right from the horse's mouth so to speak i would suggest getting familiar with Aaron McCollum, Duncan O'Finnian, Dave Corso etc. Research Project Seagate, MK Ultra etc. They, along with many others coming out, were directly involved. The government already has craft they use that gets from point A in one hemisphere to point B in another in very few minutes. Believe it or not, not an issue to me. I'm from Canada so things that happen here I love to find all i can about them, and there have been guys that were witnesses to that event who have come forward and admitted that what was in those waters was not OURS.

J.Griffin said...

It all remains to be seen.

The world may be flat...
the world may be hollow...
but it can't very well be both,
can it?

If you read all the secret inside stories they
don't all agree much,
do they?

Which ones are which and with mind control and psyops,
who really knows or remembers...

The truth is out there...
WAY out there!

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