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Electromagnetic railgun launches fighter jet for the first time

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Sam I Am, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    The funny thing is, this isn't a new technology. You wonder why they waited so long to use it. I mean there are roller coasters that have used this technology for many years. (Mr. Freeze at Six Flags over Texas)

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    For the first time ever, the US Navy has used a railgun to launch a fighter jet into the air. It may not be ready to launch spacecraft into orbit quite yet, but it's the first real step towards making that happen.

    The Navy developed its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System as a replacement for the steam catapults currently used on aircraft carriers. The EMALS is a linear induction motor that's capable of accelerating a 100,000 pound aircraft to 240 miles per hour in the space of 300 feet. Compared to a steam catapult, the railgun catapult is much smaller, more efficient, simpler to maintain, gentler on airframes, and can deliver up to 30% more power. It's also capable of being cranked down a whole bunch, meaning that it can also launch smaller (and more fragile) unmanned drones.

    [youtube]euLsg_viWW0[/youtube]

    Complete Story
  2. tomson75

    tomson75 Brain Dead Shill

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    :bow:

    That'd pin your head back.
  3. the kid 05

    the kid 05 Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds

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    more then likely stupid question time, out side of getting the planes up to elevatable speed faster what's the purpose of this or what could be used of this?
  4. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    This technology exists in several applications now. Train propulsion, actual railguns, and roller coasters. I'm sure there are hundreds of not thousands of applications for this type of technology.
  5. Aikmaniac

    Aikmaniac Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the video.

    That Super Hornet doesn't need a lot of help, but the acceleration is nasty.

    Tough to put it into perspective without it being on a carrier. You can see how easy the pilot is on the elevator at the end of the line. On a carrier, I'd imagine you would see more elevator deflection for sure.
  6. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Right, but in the context of a jet taking off it seems pretty pointless.
  7. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    How so? This kind of system is perfect for the limited take off space available on aircraft carriers. Seems like a good idea to improve the system on aircraft carries if it is possible. I think it would be difficult to convert the existing systems on carries to this, but new carries can be made with them.
  8. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Eh? Pointless? You've got to be kidding?!?! This technology blows away the steam powered catapult the Navy uses on aircraft carriers today! :laugh2:
  9. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    So, now we'll be able to do something we've already been able to do for decades? But do it cooler?

    In the OP you wondered why they're just now doing this when the tech has been around for years. The answer might be boredom.
  10. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    It isn't about doing it cooler. You must have skipped over this portion of the original post:

    Size, efficiency and easier maintenance seem like very good reasons to improve upon something.

    I don't necessarily agree that the technology has been around for a long time. While there has been railgun technology, the current format hasn't been around for that long. That is what they have been working on.

    The technology wasn't advanced enough to make something like this a viable option until now. As the technology has improved, they have figured out how to make it smaller, more efficient and easier to maintain. Sure they probably could have rigged up a system that would work, but it wouldn't be any more cost effective than the steam catapult systems. Now they may have finally developed a better system.
  11. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    I wonder if the efficiencies will ever account for the costs of development, testing, and refitting carriers.
  12. casmith07

    casmith07 I'm the best poster in the game!

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    You can use this to a huge advantage - smaller aircraft carriers, smaller airfields, etc.
  13. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Can you really make aircraft carrier smaller? You still need size for storage (of aircraft) and crew.
  14. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why they ever switched to jet planes. They had perfectly good prop planes before. Why did they ever bother trying to improve upon something?
  15. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Maybe not smaller overall, but configured differently since the takeoff space would be smaller.

    You could make an aircraft carrier that are used only to deploy drones. It would not need to be as large as the carriers used for fighters.
  16. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    That seems a profoundly ineffectual analogy.

    Do you need these things to launch drones? I really have no idea how large drones are, though presumably they're smaller than your typical fighter jet.
  17. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    It would be really cool if you could use this for commercial aircraft. You could fit many more runways in the place of a single runway which would drastically reduce the wait time on commercial flights.

    However, you still need long runways for landings.
  18. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Not if they started using tailhooks and trap wires during landings for commercial flights. :laugh2:
  19. Aggie87

    Aggie87 Member

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    I would think so - with the very limited/cramped space on aircraft carriers for anything - freeing up space for other uses/applications has to be a worthy cause.
  20. Temo

    Temo Active Member

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    Magnets... how do they work?

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