CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Sunday, July 13, 2014

US Army's new 'superchopper'

 

 

 

 

 

 

It could become the US Army's new 'superchopper' - able to transport troops, carry heavy goods and be fitted out as a flying gunship.

This futuristic helicopter from Texas firm AVX is the frontrunner to win a $100bn contract from the Pentagon for the next generation of attack helicopter.

It uses two rotors to create lift, while fans propel it forward to reach 230 knots.

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The AVX chopper entry is what¿s called a compound coaxial helicopter. It has a pair of rotors spinning in opposite directions on top of the carbon-fiber fuselage to lift it, and two fans at its rear end to push it.

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The AVX chopper entry is what¿s called a compound coaxial helicopter. It has a pair of rotors spinning in opposite directions on top of the carbon-fiber fuselage to lift it, and two fans at its rear end to push it.

HOW IT WORKS

The AVX design is made up of counter rotating rotors on top and twin ducted-fans in the rear of the aircraft, which eliminates the necessity for a tail rotor.

The coaxial-rotors creates lift, while the fans provide forward thrust to reach the 230 knots require by the U.S. Army for the Blackhawk replacement.

The concept also has small wings in the front of the aircraft that create additional lift. 

'The AVX design offers the capabilities the Army wants for the future fleet of utility and attack aircraft at a very attractive price,' the firm, also called AVX, says.

'The AVX JMR aircraft has entry doors on both sides of the fuselage as well as a large rear ramp for easy cargo handling. 'Additionally it has retractable landing gear and the attack variant (see below) carries all armaments stored inside until needed which provides a “clean” aerodynamic design.

AVX has teamed with a number of experienced aerospace companies for development of the AVX JMR/FVL design.

'The teaming concept has allowed AVX to keep the cost of development and eventual production of the aircraft lower than those of other offerings while maintaining a high level of performance by the aircraft.'

The firm is among four vying for a $100bn contract for the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator, and the firms are expected to begin a 'flyoff' contest in 2017.

The AVX chopper will come in several configurations, carrying cargo, troops and the injured

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The AVX chopper will come in several configurations, carrying cargo, troops and the injured

The design will replace the Black Hawk, shown here

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The design will replace the Black Hawk, shown here

With this signing, the Army has taken a large step toward developing a new family of aircraft referred to as.

'This is a critical risk reducing effort for the Future Vertical Lift Family of Systems,' said Maj. Gen. William Crosby, Program Executive Officer for Aviation.

'The operational benefits and changes will depend on the capabilities we can deliver to the war fighter with FVL.

'Improved speed, range, reliability, and survivability are critical goals that we will target.'

The AVX, which could replace the Blackhawk, is what's known as a compact coaxial-rotor/ducted-fan concept.

It is made up of counter rotating rotors on top and twin ducted-fans in the rear of the aircraft, which eliminates the necessity of a tail rotor.

The coaxial-rotors creates lift, while the fans provide forward thrust to reach the 230 knots require by the U.S. Army for the Blackhawk replacement.

The concept also has small wings in the front of the aircraft that create additional lift. 

The aircraft will weight 27,000lb (12,000kg), lift 13,000lb (5.900kg), and carry 12 combat troops plus 4 crew members.

The superchopper can also be fitted with advanced weapons and missile systems

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The superchopper can also be fitted with advanced weapons and missile systems

According to DefenceTalk, the AVX design is the frontrunner for the contest.

'AVX’s coaxial-rotor/ducted-fan concept increases efficiency in all aspects of flight, while reducing vibration,' it said.

'Out of all JMR concepts presented by the competing parties, none look as complete, practical, futuristic, and ready as AVX’s aircraft.

'It is thrilling to see how new ideas broad by a startup aircraft company, few people ever heard before, will stack-up against the arrogance of the U.S. defense establishment.'

 

 

The research arm of the Pentagon announced a technological breakthrough  releasing footage that shows successful tests of self-guided .50 caliber bullets, claimed to be the first of its kind.

According to a news release by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program recently conducted it's first successful live test of the bullets.

The video released by the agency shows a live test-fire of the bullet, which was shot at a path pointed away from its intended target. In the more recent firing of the bullet, dated April 21, 2014, it is shown curving back towards its target, hitting the mark.

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The successful testing of EXACTO was announced by the Pentagon this week

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The successful testing of EXACTO was announced by the Pentagon this week

DARPA's prototype model of EXACTO, which will increased the distance away from a target snipers can successful shoot

DARPA's prototype model of EXACTO, which will increased the distance away from a target snipers can successful shoot

According to the video, EXACTO is being developed by Teledyne Scientific & Imaging, with funding from DARPA. Teledyne is a research and development firm based in Thousand Oaks, California.

Teledyne was awarded a contract worth $25 million in 2010 to develop EXACTO.

According to DARPA's release, 'EXACTO’s specially designed ammunition and real-time optical guidance system help track and direct projectiles to their targets by compensating for weather, wind, target movement and other factors that could impede successful hits.'

DARPA says that the bullet created by the project will improve the range of snipers, and improve troop safety as they will be able to shoot and neutralize a target from further away. Currently, US Snipers are expected to be able to hit a target 600 meters away, 90 per cent of the time. With the advent of EXACTO, an increased range to 2,000 meters is promised.

Despite DARPA's claim that EXACTO is the first bullet of it's kind, in 2012, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin named Sandia National Laboratories, which does research and development with the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, claimed to be developing their own self-guided bullet.

Snipers will now be able to hit their targets without interference from unfavorable weather conditions

Snipers will now be able to hit their targets without interference from unfavorable weather conditions

EXACTO is not the only kind of self-guiding bullet in development and funded by the US government. Another company in California is also working on a prototype for a bullet guided by lasers

EXACTO is not the only kind of self-guiding bullet in development and funded by the US government. Another company in California is also working on a prototype for a bullet guided by lasers

Sandia's bullet uses lasers for guidance, as opposed to EXACTO's onboard computer system (the specific working of EXACTO are classified.)

According to Sandia's website, additional development is needed before a full prototype or test can be performed. However, unlike EXACTO, Sandia plans to make their bullets available to law enforcement in addition to the military.

According to DARPA, the next phase of the development of EXACTO is to refine the accuracy and performance of the technology.

 

Bike to the future! Slick electric motorcycle cruises 125 miles on just one charge

  • Electric bike has an almost-silent motor integrated into the rear wheel
  • Tiny motor provides 14hp and a top speed of 74mph
  • Side mirrors have integrated displays showing bike’s speed and range

The uptake of electric vehicles is usually limited by how far they can travel on a single charge, with experts even coining a new term to describe the feeling of uncertainty over whether you have enough power to reach your destination; 'range anxiety'.

Now one Austrian company is hoping to tackle the problem with the introduction of the Johammer J1 - an electric bike that can travel 125 miles (200km) on a single charge.

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One Austrian company is hoping to tackle range anxiety with the introduction of the Johammer J1 - an electric bike that can travel 125 miles on a single charge

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One Austrian company is hoping to tackle range anxiety with the introduction of the Johammer J1 - an electric bike that can travel 125 miles on a single charge

Created by Bad Leonfelden-based group Johammer, the electric bike has an almost silent motor integrated into the rear wheel.

The 11 kilowatt hub-mounted motor provides 14 horsepower and a top speed of 74mph (119kph).

The stiff middle-frame of the electric bike is made from aluminium and has been designed to contain the battery pack

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The stiff middle-frame of the electric bike is made from aluminium and has been designed to contain the battery pack

Electric hub-mounted motors contain the electric motor within the wheel hub, or central part of the wheel.

To drive the wheel, the motor contains a coil which generates an electromagnetic field as power flows through it.

The field attracts the outer part of the motor, which attempts to follow its direction, and in doing so turns the connected wheel.

The hub motors eliminates the need for a heavy transmission, gear train, and axles which reduces the weight, making the electric bike far more efficient.

In place of traditional gauges, the side mirrors have high-resolution displays that show information on the bike’s speed and range.

Electric hub-mounted motors contain the electric motor within the wheel hub, or central part of the wheel. The motor is shown here on the rear wheel

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Electric hub-mounted motors contain the electric motor within the wheel hub, or central part of the wheel. The motor is shown here on the rear wheel

Created by Bad Leonfelden-based group Johammer, the electric bike has an almost-silent motor integrated into the rear wheel

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Created by Bad Leonfelden-based group Johammer, the electric bike has an almost-silent motor integrated into the rear wheel

A close-up of the front wheel on the bike. The company claims the design provides a safe driving experience. 'Steering and footpeg allow for individual adaptation,' it said

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A close-up of the front wheel on the bike. The company claims the design provides a safe driving experience. 'Steering and footpeg allow for individual adaptation,' it said

JOHAMMER J1 SPECIFICATIONS

J1.150 

Price: £19,000 ($31,600)

Range: 93 miles, speed: 75mph

Battery capacity: 8,3 kWh

Charge time: 80 per cent in 2.5 hours
J1.200

Price: £20,600 ($34,500)

Reach: 125 miles, speed: 75mph

Battery capacity: 12.7 kWh

Charging time: 80 per cent in 3.5 hours

‘The extreme torsion stiff middle-frame made from aluminium provides space for spring damper and battery pack,’ the group writes on their website.

‘Perfectly balanced (at 350mm mass centre height) the Johammer offers an unmatched and safe driving experience. Steering and footpeg allow for individual adaptation.’ The bike, which can be purchased from the Johammer, currently comes in silver, white, blue, yellow and green options.

The J1.150 will set you back £19,000 ($31,600) while the J1.200 will hit your wallet a bit harder at £20,600 ($34,500) in exchange for a bigger battery and longer range.

The bike, which can be purchased from the Johammer, currently comes in silver, white, blue, yellow and green options

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The bike, which can be purchased from the Johammer, currently comes in silver, white, blue, yellow and green options

To drive the wheel, the motor (shown on the rear wheel) contains a coil which generates an electromagnetic field as power flows through it. The field attracts the outer part of the motor, which attempts to follow its direction, and in doing so turns the connected wheel

To drive the wheel, the motor (shown on the rear wheel) contains a coil which generates an electromagnetic field as power flows through it. The field attracts the outer part of the motor, which attempts to follow its direction, and in doing so turns the connected wheel

In place of traditional gauges, the side mirrors have high-resolution displays that show information on the bike's speed and range

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In place of traditional gauges, the side mirrors have high-resolution displays that show information on the bike's speed and range

       

 

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