back to article US warships to get plane-snatching robot arms?

The US military has decided to spend $1.4m developing a robotic arm which will be mounted on the deck of a warship in order to pluck robot aeroplanes out of the sky, so permitting them to land safely on vessels without large flight decks. The "SeaCatcher" system is under development by Advanced Technology & Research Corp of …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Badgers

plane and arm

Clearly they will be used to launch them in exactly the same way that humans do with paper planes. Just hopefully they wont crash and burn into the sea like my paper planes do.

0
0
Flame

Just hopefully they wont crash and burn like my paper planes do.

Oh dear...

too much avgas?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

TITLE here´s your stinking title

"It would seem that yesterday's $1.4m contract award was made more for porkbarrel reasons than genuinely military ones." Like all military contract awards.

0
0
Unhappy

Disappointed!

I thought they'd be snatching enemy planes from the sky with some robotic King Kong arms!

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Wild British idea

Is more or less what they are talking about but with more movement and presumeably modern computing power to control it.

No chance of royalties on the patent I suppose - only this country could use a bit more corporation tax out of BAe

The inventor also had an idea for a gantry/robotic arm for transferring loads between ships at sea.

0
0

If helicopters are so great, why do any non-helicopter planes exist?

Because a helicopter isn't the answer to every problem. And neither is dropping your plane into the sea to be picked out later.

If they use my Aerogel idea, remind me sometime that I could have made a gazillion dollars from it if I hadn't just put it out on a web site.

0
0
Nev

Payments?

So can we expect BAe to demand royalties on this one then......

0
0
Black Helicopters

already done....

that mid-air snatching thing has already been done.. it's called a butterfly net... they just need to supersize it for metallic butterflies / drones.

0
0
Boffin

autobots roll out!

wasnt there a transformer that was an aircraft carrier too?

hmmm....

0
0
Anonymous Coward

All you need is a big mattress.

There have been some even more bizarre experiments, including landing manned aircraft on a large inflatable mattress.

It did have some problems - and the experiments were canceled before they got to their goal of launching and recovering nuclear armed aircraft from the back of a truck.

http://www.vectorsite.net/avzel.html

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Mattress idea also UK

Started post war with rubber landing deck for aircraft carriers.

With an impact absorbing landing mat, there is no need for undercarriage. This lightens the aircraft making up for the loss of performance due to having made the aircraft stronger (and heavier) to cope with being shoved off the aircraft carrier at high speed in the first place.

0
0
Silver badge
Happy

RE: Disappointed!

Hehe! I was hoping it would look more like one of those mechanical arms from a Disney cartoon, complete with four-fingered white glove, and it would catch friendly aircraft by snaring them with an outsize sheet of flypaper, and swat at enemy aircraft with an immense rolled-up newspaper!

0
1
Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

untitled

$1.4m ?

Is that all? That will hardly pay for a report, and certainly wouldn't be enough to build a prototype anything like the BAe Harrier thingy.

0
0
Terminator

Terminators

Yes, they're coming I tell you. Slowly but surely Skynet extends it's reach into all arms of the military while we hapless meatsacks look on, stupidly thiking that we're the ones in control. Once the machines' numbers reach a critical strength and their armaments are sufficient, Skynet will strike, mark my words. Make you're defensive preparations. But you'll have to be quick, as they're probably monitering this transmission. In case I don't make it, the secret to disabling a robot weapon is ju aejka iefh a ..l870g- HELP THEYRE OUTSIDE HE867ljh fdjg/h/ghz/dlf/lz7 yyynnnnnnnnnnhv .mb,

0
1
Silver badge

regarding that wild british idea

IIRC they were mainly looking at removing the weight of the landing gear, without which they calculated the aircraft were 12% lighter.

0
0
Coat

A mere pittance...

I agree with "The First Dave" at 15:16 - 1.4 million is mere pocket change. Why, I have that right here in my coat pocket...

0
0

It's been done

with airships. The Akron and Macon were flying aircraft carrier. To retrieve the aircraft they had to fly at a thing hanging down from the airship and catch it with a big hook above the upper wing.

0
0
Gold badge

Re: It's been done.

It's certainly possible to get the ship and aircraft stationary relative to each other, given a fast enough ship and a slow enough aircraft. The Akron and Macon were somewhat faster than surface ships and the aircraft they carried were slow biplanes. Even then the process of hooking on was incredibly difficulty and very dangerous.

Surface ships are significantly slower, but it can be done if there's a strong enough wind to turn into to increase the airspeed over the deck.

I'm only aware of one combination where this effect has been demonstrated. That was a Swordfish pilot landing on a US fleet carrier in WWII. He'd been sent over so the yank pilots could get a butcher's at the aircraft and add it to their "don't shoot these down" list. When he arrived, the carrier turned into the wind and steamed at full speed as per standard drill for receiving aircraft. The problem surfaced that there was quite a stiff breeze blowing and the combined speed of the carrier and the wind was some way above the stalling speed of the Swordfish, even with the flaps retracted. He found that while he could hover and even fly backwards over the deck he couldn't land and had to ask the carrier to slow down, much to the amusement of the assembled US pilots.

I can't see this one going anywhere in calm conditions though.

0
0
Silver badge

The only questions remaining are ...

How long before this thing is used by some NATO sailor to cop a feel of some NZ gal's Bulgarian airbags? And will the world implode immediately, seeing as the NA isn't exactly in the same hemisphere, much less timezone, as NZ?

Methinks that the Large Hadron Collider needs to pull up its socks ...

0
1
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums