Submersible Aircraft

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by juiceclark, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. juiceclark

    juiceclark Previous Member

    It appears the military wants to hand-out money for the development of a submersible aircraft. If I were a naval architect, especially one that worked with light-weight carbon fiber and ceramics, I'd love to work on this project.

    http://www07.grants.gov/search/sear...04673657?oppId=42978&flag2006=false&mode=VIEW

    Seems to my untrained eye the easiest way to do that would be to take a winged hovercraft (hotlinked below) and make the craft submersible. The cockpit could be covered easy enough...but the engine is another thing I guess:
    http://www.hovercraft.com/content/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=34_53

    short video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FViP5izaj8E&feature=related
     
  2. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Now that's really wicked. It's obvous that it's not time of economic crisis for everyone. The military guys always have enough money for their sick ideas. :rolleyes:
     
  3. StianM
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    StianM Senior Member

    I would guess the hard part is to make sure the engine is sealed be four submerged.
    I guess for a gas turbine or a jet fresh water should be no problem.
    I also think the big glass surfaces in the cockpit would prove a challenge if going to deep.
    I'm sure it can be done, but not shure if it's worth the trouble.
    Did not the Germans have catapult's for aircrafts on some of there big submarines?
     
  4. clmanges
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    clmanges Senior Member

    How do you take an aircraft -- which must be lightweight to fly -- and make it submersible, which means being built heavily enough to withstand the pressure involved?

    Sounds like another oxymoron, kinda like "military intelligence."
     
  5. StianM
    Joined: May 2006
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    StianM Senior Member

    My lucky guess is small depths.

    Maybe flood the engine witch would not be a probleme for a jet if submerged in fresh water (did anyone see the testing of the rolls royce engines for airbus on discovery?)

    Carbon or titan hull has allot of strength and is light.

    I don't really see the point.

    It would be a much bether point to build submerged aircraft carriers. then you would not nead to compromise the aircrafts performance in the air.
     
  6. Jimbo1490
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member

    Keep a round tube architecture for the fuselage which doubles as pressure vessel. Use the wings for ballast and fuel and then their hollow and non-ideal cross-section (for pressure tolerance) is not a liability.

    Jimbo
     
  7. kenJ
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    kenJ Senior Member

    I've seen recovered turbojet engines from helicopters that had to ditch. A hot engine dunked in salt water is not a pretty sight. Perhaps the idea is to transport to the fight underwater then launch in surprise mode. Recover ashore or on a carrier.
     
  8. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    You flood it (wet cockpit), but as you pointed out near impossible to do.
     
  9. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    Home built hovercraft (like the UH shown) are typically fiberglass over foam (composite) construction, they float like crazy.

    Might want to use aluminum instead.
     
  10. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Seems to me I saw such a thing in Popular Mechanics or Popular Science back in the 60's. It wouldn't be cheap, but It can be done.
     
  11. yipster
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    yipster designer

  12. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

  13. kach22i
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    kach22i Architect

    This old post may be of interest:

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/open-discussion/sci-fi-boats-anyone-20047-5.html
     
  14. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    The first thoughts that occured to me were:

    Engine to be non-air breathing
    Thin wing profiles, maybe lifting fuselage
    Fuel tanks to be floodable (usual internal bag arrangement of course)
    Floodable fuselage with wet-suited pilot

    However, one caveat: the award ceiling is a little low, $0

    Have to wonder what for it's for though. Does it have to fight as well? What could this do that a sub that could launch a plane or a minisub that could launch a RPV couldn't? It's not gonna be either a good plane or a good boat.
     

  15. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Basically, in order to fulfill the requirements, that contraption will have to be a combination of a very bad airplane and a vary bad submarine.
     
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