Monday, November 24, 2008

More Flying Subs... with drawings and stuff!


Flying Submarine or Submerging Seaplane?

The answer is simple: Submarines cannot fly, but seaplanes can submerge -- if you build them properly.

That's what the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking to develop. A recent Request for Proposal (RFP) from DARPA calls for a submersible aircraft [that] would combine the key capabilities of three different platforms: (1) the speed and range of an aircraft; (2) the loiter capabilities of a boat; and (3) the stealth of a submarine. "By combining the beneficial characteristics the and operating modes of each platform, DARPA hopes to develop a craft that will significantly enhance the United States tactical advantage in coastal insertion missions," according to the RFP.
The irony of the RFP is that the U.S. Navy was developing such a craft some 45 years ago.

The objectives issued by DARPA are for a vehicle that would have an airborne tactical radius of 1,000 nautical miles, a low-level flight radius of 100 nautical miles (which may leverage surface effects), and a submerged tactical radius of 12 nautical miles. The sum of these must be achieved within eight hours. Endurance on the surface has to be 72 hours in sea states up to five between inserting and extracting personnel. The craft's payload objective is eight men and their equipment with a total cargo weight of 2,000 pounds.
DARPA has identified the major challenges to the project as (1) weight, (2) fluid flow regime, (3) structure, (4) lifting surface geometry, and (5) power and energy storage. These factors force the consideration of a seaplane that can submerge as opposed to a "submarine that can fly." The relatively light construction of an aircraft can be submerged to shallow depths, and to even great depths with internal pressurization. But submarine-like vehicles, built to withstand greater depths, are too heavy for consideration...

Read the rest here

Still no mention of the Seaview and her Flying Subs

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