Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Robotic Aircraft To Supply Troops

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the battle-platform-soon-to-come dept.

Robotics 111

Cowards Anonymous writes "PC World reports on a prototype driverless aircraft designed to shuttle hundreds of pounds of supplies to soldiers in war zones. Dubbed a flying Humvee by Frontline Aerospace's CEO, the robotic vehicle can fly 600 to 1,000 miles carrying a full cargo of 400 pounds. It's about the size of a large SUV, weighing in at 2,400 pounds and measuring 21 feet long and up to 26 feet wide."

cancel ×

111 comments

My eyebrows are raised... (5, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851399)

While unmanned aerial vehicles are the future of the military [utah.edu] , there are some serious concerns in the defense industry about the company Frontline Aerospace that is making noise about this particular drone. Specifically, the CEO appears to be all over the place in terms of his interests and talents as well as some of his claims [wired.com] and there are some substantial criticisms of the packaging and design.

Additionally, UAVs are principally successful because one of the first companies, General Atomics (GA), that produced the successful Predator and Reaper aircraft, developed the Predator design to a functional platform on their own dime and then asked the DOD if they were interested (they obviously were). Frontline Aerospace only has a concept right now and many folks in the defense industry are expressing a healthy skepticism at some of Frontline Aerospace's claims. Admittedly, the fact that GA essentially owns the show with Predator and Reaper does lead to some problems and the pilots are not entirely happy with all of the solutions from GA, but at least GA came to the game with a working system before making substantial claims about performance and capabilities.

I'll be looking forward to what this design potentially has, but as of right now, my eyebrows are a bit raised.

Re:My eyebrows are raised... (5, Funny)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851499)

But, there's like, 12 cup holders in here...

Re:My eyebrows are raised... (1)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851879)

But, there's like, 12 cup holders in here...

Exactly - it's the ONLY way to ensure that the whole 12-pack makes it all the way back from the beer run.

Re:My eyebrows are raised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23852029)

But, there's like, 12 cup holders in here...
Exactly - it's the ONLY way to ensure that the whole 12-pack makes it all the way back from the beer run.
Never met any platoon acquisitions experts have you?

Including beer (and/or other alcoholic beverages) would be an excellent way to test for security and reliability of the delivery service, particularly if said beer etc. was restricted access. Ship it to the Air Force Officers Club and the Army might drink to the health of the Air Force.

On the other hand... (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851597)

On the other hand,

1. from the same Wired page:

Another issue, he warns, is that "V-STAR seems more like a packaging exercise than a true innovation and "none of the technologies is new."


Seems to me to be:

A) saying that it's reasonable possible to make it, since there are no big surprises to be expected from anything in it, and

B) kind of a lame complaint. Innovation by combining existing elements is really the norm. The train was equally just an exercise in packaging a steam engine (which technically wasn't new, since it had been done before to pump water out of mine shafts) and a cart. Guns appeared as a packaging exercise between a bell and some funny powder used in fireworks. Nobel's dynamite was an exercise in literally packaging nitroglycerin and diatomaceous earth. Etc.

Basically, I'm sorry, but the age of discovering something completely new and based on nothing that came before it ended, I dunno, in stone age or so. Ever since, all we make is built on stuff that came before it.

2. Picking on the guy's credentials, again, I have some problems with it:

A) I see no incredible claim in there. It just says that he was trained as an engineer and worked as a manager. Hardly "all over the place" or incredible. I see a dozen people every day when I go to work, which fit the exact same bill.

B) they don't say that any of his claims are false. Did he lie about it? Did he get fired for incompetence from any of those companies? Does he have some history of not achieving what he promises? Or WTF is the problem? It should be easy to prove whether he actually was a manager at Intel or Toshiba, no? So tell me if he lied, not some lame attempt at making it sound ridiculous by itself.

C) seems to me to be exactly what they need for the job, especially once they said that there are no obvious flaws with the idea. You need someone who can organize research, development and production, hence, a manager.

D) it's, at best, an ad-hominem and as per points 2.A to 2.C a pretty lame one.

Now I'm not saying they should necessarily give him money, but the Wired article is an exercise in journalistic stupidity at best.

Re:My eyebrows are raised... (0)

Macrat (638047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851709)

As it flies over the enemy, they toss a couple of timer based explosives on it so it will explode when it reaches the soldiers?

It's harder than it sounds (4, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852113)

As an ex-AA guy, I can tell you that even hitting something that moves fast and low with a gun is hard enough, and requires sophisticated radars and computer-controlled guns. I.e. noone does it by turning cranks any more.

Throwing some satchel by hand, on the top of something that moves at 288 miles per hour... well, if you can do that, you're Superman.

Sticky grenade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853503)

Doofus

Re:It's harder than it sounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23855651)

I wonder how much manuvering it can do without a pilot. If you see it coming you can send up a screen of AA fire in its path and let it fly into it. No need to try to aim at it.

Re:My eyebrows are raised... (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853001)

Admittedly, the fact that GA essentially owns the show with Predator and Reaper does lead to some problems and the pilots are not entirely happy with all of the solutions from GA, but at least GA came to the game with a working system before making substantial claims about performance and capabilities.
No-one seems entirely happy with the substantial claims made about ViSTAr's performance and capabilities.

A solution looking for a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853207)

Personally I reckon it's a solution looking for a problem.
It doesn't seem to be able to carry a particularly large payload.
It would also require a fair bit of fueling, and takes up a lot of physical space to even get into the theatre of operations, not to mention servicing costs/time.
It's probably far cheaper to use GPS guided airdrops such as this [mmist.ca] , or a single use GPS guided glider with retractable wings (something similar in style to a cruise missile, which would probably be faster and have a better glide ratio than a parafoil).
As the purpose is logistical support, it's probably far easier to chuck the supplies out the back of a Hercules on demand, than mess about with getting the supplies to within a short enough range for these contraptions and have to do all the loading and refueling.

GBU with HD devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853593)

How about cannisters that fall with guided units and when it figures it can manage it, deploys a chute.

One honkin' big aircraft doing a resupply run.

Rather like a kid in the US on a paper delivery round.

Re:My eyebrows are raised... (4, Interesting)

jdray (645332) | more than 6 years ago | (#23855097)

As a guy who used to airdrop cargo and troops in the Air Force, I'm skeptical about the utility of this vehicle. 400 pounds is about one fully-loaded CDS (container delivery system) bundle, which is about enough stuff for a handful of troops for a day if it includes any munitions at all. To be useful, I believe a ton of cargo is a better target capacity.

OTOH, 400 pounds is a nice package size for one clandestine operative and all his gear. Hmm...

Re:My eyebrows are raised... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23856267)

OTOH, 400 pounds is a nice package size for one clandestine operative and all his gear. Hmm...

Obviously, my knowledge of such stuff is less than yours, since I've never been in the military or done air drops ...

One guy with 400lbs of crap? How clandestine can you be? Give me 400 lbs of crap in the middle of nowhere, and the enemy is going to hear me grunting and cursing for miles. :-P

I guess it's enough that you could break it into smaller loads and move it. It just seems a lot of weight for one guy. Then again, I guess that's what you need to do your job.

Cheers

Re:My eyebrows are raised... (1)

scatters (864681) | more than 6 years ago | (#23863787)

For SAS missions in Gulf War 1, (taken from information about the much publicized bravo-two-zero mission), the standard load-out was about 200lbs of gear per man. Add a 170lb soldier and you start getting pretty close to the maximum payload. Ammo (particularly 7.62mm link) is pretty heavy, so is water (need lots in the desert, obviously). The regular British infantry soldier carries about 60lb in a ruck-sack, 30lb of web gear, a 10lb personal weapon, plus whatever other crap they're issuing these days. This is for a soldier that only expects to have to survive for about 2 days without resupply. Deep insertion missions can go for weeks.

Re:My eyebrows are raised... (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 6 years ago | (#23864839)

IIRC (twenty years between me and the USAF), a paratrooper with all his gear (chute, rifle, rucksack, etc.) came in at around 260#. Ramp that up a little for a guy with a extra specialized gear, and you're headed straight for the 400# limit of the aircraft. I'm just sayin', it seems like a better (or more likely) application of the technology, particularly because the plane is evidently quiet, small, and obviously expendable after delivering its cargo.

Re:My eyebrows are raised... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23858171)

One step at a time. Starship Troopers looks ever-more prescient...

Re:My eyebrows are raised... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23859423)

Let me get this straight, it's more than 100X the cost of the (already USMC tested) Sherpa system, carries less than 1/3 the payload, is lower and slower... will be years till it's fielded.

Much ado about nothing

Flying Humvee? Not very green (-1, Flamebait)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851425)

I'm sure Al Gore will want one to supplement his Gulfstream V.

I'm tired of this shit (2, Insightful)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851507)

Yea, its great that you can now drop bombs on unsuspecting "insurgents". Its great that you can level a city block in Iraq from your comfy seat in Nevada.

I really am tired of hearing about all these new "safer" ways of killing people. Your still fucking killing people. Stop it you sick fucks.

Re:I'm tired of this shit (2, Insightful)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851517)

Perhaps this same technology could be used to drop aid in Burma....

Re:I'm tired of this shit (3, Insightful)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851525)

I hardly think the US would be willing to replace their "Hellfire" missile hardpoints with aid-dropping hardpoints. The sad part about this is that they talk this up like its going to to be used for good, when really that is never going to happen,.

Re:I'm tired of this shit (4, Interesting)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851659)

Well back in WWII, US had numerous military jeeps that are leftovers from the war. Well they gave/sold it to us in the Philippines and look what we had done to it -> Jeepneys [wikipedia.org]

If you guys got a surplus of these things in the future, I'm sure someone would think of some non-military use of it...

Re:I'm tired of this shit (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852719)

Except that nowadays we don't donate military hardware to potential terrorists... that includes ball point pens they might draw "plans" with...

Re:I'm tired of this shit (-1, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851845)

I just dropped some payload inside my sex partner's vagina.

Re:I'm tired of this shit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23851915)

So he's post-op now? You must be happy. Did you keep her old penis to play with?

Re:I'm tired of this shit (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851595)

Nah dude... Nah... You can't see the forest from the the trees, its all about home delivery applications [gourmetretailer.com] now that the R&D has been fruitful.

Not much choice, I'm afraid (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851775)

Well, while I might even join in lamenting about using them for offensive purposes, I'm afraid you don't really have that much choice about developing new weapons. Simply put, those who don't live by the sword, get to be at the wrong end of the sword.

Or to put it otherwise, ask the USSR how they felt in 1941 about still having mostly old BT tanks and outdated aircraft. What saved them were the new and vastly superior T-34. Or ask Poland about how well their cavalry divisions did when attacked by tanks.

Seriously, it's a bit of a prisoner's dilemma. Being a pacifist with no (modern) weapons only works if everyone else around is. Otherwise, well, you have to have the deterrent of being the guy with the biggest stick.

And we all tried forcing everyone to be peaceful and put a limit to their military. Like, you know, between the two world wars. Turns out that, as the only result, a bunch of people just lied about how big their ship were, or about what they're researching. Germany for example called their tank research and prototypes agricultural tractors for a while. (I guess you can't blame a guy for having guns in his tractor too. Just ask any mid-west farmer.;)

Re:Not much choice, I'm afraid (0)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851807)

I'm not saying be a pacifist, just don't kill everyone and everything that moves. I'm saying use a little common sense.

Re:Not much choice, I'm afraid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23851865)

Because obviously, you have more common sense than everyone else, right? For example, in Iraq it's hard to avoid civilian casualties when the civilians are the ones blowing themselves up.

Re:Not much choice, I'm afraid (4, Insightful)

dave1791 (315728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851913)

In Iraq, the US military has had its greatest success when troops are out among the population and "get to know the locals". They have had their worst failures when everything is automated and remote. Unlike their political masters in the white house, they do learn. They also have to deal with a manpower shortage, so to them robotics is something they have a LOT of interest in.

Put two and two together and you get robts ferrying supplies and real live humans doing the shooting and dealing with people. That IS common sense. I'd rather see that than people ferrying supplies and robots doing the shooting.

Re:Not much choice, I'm afraid (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23855023)

I'm not saying be a pacifist, just don't kill everyone and everything that moves. I'm saying use a little common sense.
You are correct. With all the world wide WWII era carpet bombing that is happening around the world, common sense is needed.

What we need is a bomb so accurate that it can take out a target without damaging the buildings around it. The bomb would need some kind of self guidance that would allow it maneuver itself. You could even say that such a bomb would be "smart".

Re:Not much choice, I'm afraid (2, Informative)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851843)

What saved them were the new and vastly superior T-34
Nope. What saved them was their ability to relocate the whole factories from behind enemy lines.
Its true that Germans did not have T-34/76 equivalent during 1941. But there were not enough T-34 for the Germans to kill either.
By 1943, The german Tiger and Panther were more than a match for T-34/76. And as the Battle of Kursk proved, the T-34 was inadequate to save the soviet butts.
The Tiger's 88mm gun coupled with 88mm Flak battery was more than a match for the T-34.
By 1944 the battle had swung in Soviet favor largely due to Fuhrers Standing Orders which enabled Stalin to capture millions of Wehrmacht POWs and thus essentially render Wehmarcht as a useless force.

Re:Not much choice, I'm afraid (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852077)

The phenomenon was more complex indeed, but I'm just pointing at the weapon development aspect alone, not trying to write a whole analysis of WW2 in one message.

And even that ends up pointing at weapons largely.

E.g., yes, they relocated the industry. What did they end up producing with it? Thousands of T-34's, millions of SMGs, increasingly competitive aircraft which (combined with the Luftwaffe losses in the west and having half of it tied to defend against stragegic bombing) helped turn air superiority the other way around, etc.

E.g., yes, the Panther was competitive with the T-34. Because it was a shameless copy of the T-34 with some minor improvements. But again, it comes back to my point that you have to make better weapons.

E.g., yes, the Tiger was a mighty fine tank, and the 88mm FLAK was great in the early stages. And eventually it had to deal with such things as the IS-2 heavy tank, and the 100mm Soviet AT guns, and the SU-152 (nicknamed Zveroboy, "beast killer", for what it did to a Panther or Tiger even with the HE round.) I'll skip over the whole analysis, but, again, you need to have modern weapons.

Really, that's my whole point. That you can't just stop and say, "OMG, it's obscene and immoral to develop more stuff that can drop a bomb on some guys. We'll stop researching those right now."

Re:Not much choice, I'm afraid (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 6 years ago | (#23866677)

i wouldn't call panther a shameless t-34 copy. the tanks are vastly different. you'll see the difference at once if you have both standing before you. panther is huge, it is about twice the size and almost twice as heavy as a t-34, the main gun is bigger, the armour is superiour, there is internal radio and an infrared light on it. the suspension is totally different and allows panther to hit the targets sometimes while moving at slow speeds (ww2 tank guns were not stabilised so firing while moving would normally be waste of ammo).
all in all panther was a typical german ww2 tank, except of sloping armour. it was a heavy tank, bigger even than a t-72.
t-34 is a small and uncomfortable medium tank, very cheap and simple to produce, with bad sights, no internal radio, a crippled christie suspension, a weak gun but a good engine and low silouette. t-44 was a much better tank, but unfortunatelly it came too late.

Re:Not much choice, I'm afraid (1)

rxmd (205533) | more than 6 years ago | (#23857307)

By 1943, The german Tiger and Panther were more than a match for T-34/76. And as the Battle of Kursk proved, the T-34 was inadequate to save the soviet butts.
Well the Soviets actually won the Battle of Kursk. That was firstly because they had large numbers of Ilyushin Il-2 ground attack aircraft, which did save the Soviet butts to use your vocabulary, secondly because they deployed far larger numbers of tanks that made their individual inferiority negligible, and thirdly because the newly-introduced Panthers sucked and had huge quality problems - more Panthers were lost to mechanical failure than to enemy action at Kursk.

There were about 55,000 T-34s produced during the war, compared to about 1800 Tigers and 6000 Panthers (which the Germans then had to divide up between their various fronts and find fuel for). The Soviets were also relatively quick to refit the T-34 with an 85mm gun that made them more effective against the Panther in early 1944, and this T-34/85 variant alone was produced in far larger numbers than the Panther (about 22,000).

German WWII tanks weren't all that great. They had good specs, but were complex and very expensive to produce and relatively difficult to maintain. Also the Germans diversified their tank production too much for effective production under wartime conditions (a bit like what happened to them with aircraft). It took the Germans something like four years to find out how to produce things during a war. The Soviets in comparison kept to a Keep It Simple Stupid strategy, while showing considerable flexibility in shifting the complete production to newly-developed models. By 1943 or so every individual Soviet tank was inferior to the newest enemy models, but this was negated by numbers.

Hitler's standing orders were stupid, but under overall 1944 conditions the Eastern Front was not winnable anymore, with or without them.

(Disclaimer: I'm German, and a historian.)

Re:Not much choice, I'm afraid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23855731)

as opposed to the yanks that have always been truthful about their covert actions.. cough cough.

Re:Not much choice, I'm afraid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23862409)

Deterrent? How much of detterent has anything the US has or had proved against Bin laden? Not just the 9/11 attacks, but the Stark and the embassies. Come on! The US could functionally nuke every square inch of the planet and what damned good does it do.

Give peace a chance.

Nukes alone don't do much (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23864333)

Nukes are such an overkill weapon, that nobody wants to use it. It's a bit like showing up with a grenade at bar brawl in a small bar. There's no real way to use it without (A) hurting yourself too, and (B) ending up looking like a bigger arsehole than goatse.cx if you even wave it around.

You could bring a gun to that fight. That has some deterrent value. You can have a gun _and_ a grenade. That gets you a bit of a crazy arsehole reputation, but it's taken seriously. But if only option is to kill yourself together with everyone around, it works more against you than for you.

Ditto for nukes. If your only defense option is, basically, "I'll wipe out my whole population in a nuclear war to show you I mean business", it's not much of a defense. I can see most of that population prefer to be conquered than die a fiery radioactive death. You have to have a credible way to escalate the threat, basically.

Not just the Armageddon or nothing. The overkill option is there as just a little extra threat. You might use it, or maybe not, but it's a possibility. It's worth something as an extra little bit of threat, on top of the threat of playing conventional Baghdad Bingo (you know, "F16"... "M1"... "B2"...;), not just by itself.

I mean, think a USA whose _only_ option are the nukes. Now think that, say, an even worse hard-liner than Putin wins the Russian elections, and they decide to take Alaska back. What do you do? Do you think the people in Alaska would rather die in global thermonuclear war than learn Russian and lose their government subsidies? What about, say, the guys in the rest of the USA? Do you think most of them care _that_ much about Alaska to want a nuke on their own home, rather than leave Alaska to the Russians? Seriously?

Look, I'm not American and I'm not a fan of Bush's aggressive stance, to say the least. Trust me, that's putting it very mildly. Yes, give peace a chance. Please.

But I think it's stupid to blame weapons for it. Even if you're the most peaceful and passive nation on Earth, you still need weapons. You need a big stick to keep those off your lawn, who'd rather not give peace a chance. Sad but true.

And as a final parting thought: look at the Bushmen. Peaceful buggers, and never killed anyone. You know what the effect was? They got pushed into a desert, by being slaughtered wholesale by the Bantu _and_ Europeans who wanted their land. Their only saving was that nobody wanted that desert, so they were still allowed to live there. Otherwise, they might have become extinct long before we even got to them. We're not talking just killing a couple of people in a terrorist attack (which is about how much it would work out as, if you scale it to their population.) We're talking all out genocide against them.

Just something to think about.

Back in real life... (2, Insightful)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852087)

The verb phrase most likely to be applied by the US military to a particular city block in Iraq is "restoring power to". But you can pretend they're vicious indiscriminate killers if it makes you feel better. 'course, they'd be pretty darned incompetent vicious indiscriminate killers since they were able to level cities 60 years ago and, look, plenty of unleveled cities all over the place.

Its almost like they were TRYING to not hit any of the civilians this time...

Let me see if I understand you (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23852145)

China is producing 2-4 new nuclear subs EACH YEAR. They admited to one/year (1 ssbn every other year). It appears that they are ramping up to 4-6 subs/years.
THey have fired a laser at American Sats in an attempt to blind it or destroy it.
They have knocked out a weather sat, and never explained it
They are putting in place OFFENSIVE weapons, and trying hard to steal ideas/knowledge of offensive weapons.
When asked about being open about what they are doing, they do not want it.

Those are the actions of a country gearing up. These are similar to Germany's NAZI pre-WWII actions. IOW, Germany quietly geared up.

Re:Let me see if I understand you (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854023)

You forgot about the sub that surfaced within attack range of that carrier battlegroup, and the shenanigans with refusing our ships harbor access.

All that aside, however, I don't blame them one bit. This economy is about to fail. Everyone can see the writing on the wall. When it does, there is a strong possibility of the US using another 'war' as a stimulus. If I were China, I would want to make sure those hairy barbarians pick someone else to bully...

Re:Let me see if I understand you (1)

waldo2020 (592242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23855877)

yep. when America falls, they'll owe a shedload of money to China. Enough to make "war or terrah" expeditures look like pocket change. What happens in the US when you lapse you car payments? Repo man! And trust me, yanks don't want the Chinese repo man on their soil, or taking over Wal-marts.

Re:I'm tired of this shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23861061)

Shut the fuck up, pussy.

Usual high flying business cruft (5, Funny)

inflex (123318) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851555)

Anyone bothered to look at the massive composite photo they created with a few soldiers running out to the CG generated drone? You'd think for $4 million a pop they'd at least spend another $1000 to make the photos -look- realistic.

I see quite a lot of these sorts of getups happening, someone gets some specs, waves their hands about, generates some crappy CG and utters a price of a few million. Couple of years later there's nothing really to show for it except some rudimentary framework and an empty office.

Only wish I had gotten in there first ;)

Re:Usual high flying business cruft (1)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851833)

Seriously? It wouldn't even take $1000 to up the quality of that image by at least an order of magnitude. We're talking $10 bucks and I bet they could've gotten some nice drop-shadow, and maybe a lens flare. Someone care to submit this image to the Something Awful forums? :P

As epic as that image is, I'm guessing one of the C*O's kids found an old copy of, say, Specular Infini-D in a bargain bin somewhere. "Yeah, my kid can do CG!"

Not to rag on Infini-D, of course. I used to enjoy it quite a bit. In 8th grade. Early '90s. Sweeeeeet.

-G

Re:Usual high flying business cruft (4, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851853)

Holy crap, the picture rocks:

http://www.frontlineaerospace.com/images/stories/press_images/VSTAR_Resupply_1.jpg [frontlineaerospace.com]

I can't even tell if it's supposed to be in the air or not. If it is, those two dudes are about to get crushed/pixelated to death.

This is my new desktop background.

Re:Usual high flying business cruft (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 6 years ago | (#23862185)

http://www.frontlineaerospace.com/images/stories/press_images/VSTAR_Resupply_1.jpg [frontlineaerospace.com]

I can't even tell if it's supposed to be in the air or not. If it is, those two dudes are about to get crushed/pixelated to death.

I think I saw this screenshot in Limbo of the Lost!

Re:Usual high flying business cruft (1)

dave1791 (315728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851965)

Unfortunately, it appears that the pic has been slashdotted.

So just how impractical and silly does it look?

Re:Usual high flying business cruft (1)

CmdrSammo (1086973) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852651)

Coral Cache seems to be loading it for me...albeit very slowly! slow cached image [nyud.net]

Re:Usual high flying business cruft (1)

CmdrSammo (1086973) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852677)

Bad form replying to myself I know...but jesus that image is a shocker! Even the texturing on the 3D model is ridiculously bad, looks like something a 12 year old knocked up in a "My First Spaceship" tutorial!

Carryall (2, Insightful)

Tripman (88428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851561)

Reminds me of a Carryall from Dune.

Re:Carryall (3, Funny)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851633)

Melange [wikipedia.org] = Oil [wikipedia.org] , Interstellar travel [wikipedia.org] = grocery runs to Wal-Mart [wikipedia.org] ...

Hence why Iraq was important.. or something, where am I?

Re:Carryall (1)

OneLeggedNinja (1298023) | more than 6 years ago | (#23855301)

Reminds me of a Carryall from Dune.
Worm sign! What's the ETA for the carryall?

Zomg.... VTOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23851631)

"It's like a flying truck," said Wood.

The Governator (2, Insightful)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851739)

Now all we need is to replace the soldiers themselves with robots that look like Arnold Schwartzenegger and we've got it made.

Poor Design (5, Interesting)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851779)

The entire design of this craft baffles me.

First, ducted fans are inefficient compared to rotors. You get a lot more force out of a large diameter and small exit velocity. Its why props are more efficient than turbofans, which are in turn more efficient than turbojets. The ONLY advantage is that the fan is out of the airstream, so high velocities are achievable.

Second, it has very low wing area, meaning you have very high wing loading (bad for fuel economy). Alternatively, they could be using a lifting body (also bad for fuel economy). Considering they have the big fan duct running through the center of the body, the body cannot provide much lift anyway, leaving the fan (even worse fuel economy).

Third, they chose a joined box wing. Box wings can considerably reduce losses from the tip vorticity, but there is so little lift coming off those wings, there's no purpose. The only purpose to joined wings is that they provide structural rigidity to large, light, high aspect ratio wings for high altitude, long endurance craft. This is obviously not the case here.

Re:Poor Design (2, Insightful)

dave1791 (315728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851977)

>The entire design of this craft baffles me.

If it scores DARPA funding, it will have served its purpose ;) It does not have to be practical and it does not have to work

Re:Poor Design (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#23855705)

I look forward to DARPA funding robotic civilians too.

Re:Poor Design (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852649)

It looks like an artists impression of a ground effect vehicle. The louvers in the fuselage look like a moller air car ducted hovercraft kind of thing.

The ducted fan might be safe to operate from a dirt road because it is mounted high and somewhat unable to suck stones into the works.

The idea seems to be to set up camp along a country road or remote strip. Call in the UAV, load/unload and relaunch it for a fast low altitude sprint to the next camp.

Landing and takeoff would happen stalled at low speed with the downward pointing fan keeping it airborne. The wheels they have drawn are ridiculously small. Probably just clip art.

Re:Poor Design (4, Insightful)

Serpentine (204075) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852705)

First, ducted fans are inefficient compared to rotors. You get a lot more force out of a large diameter and small exit velocity. Its why props are more efficient than turbofans, which are in turn more efficient than turbojets. The ONLY advantage is that the fan is out of the airstream, so high velocities are achievable.
It's designed to ferry cargo to troops under fire: with ducted fans you don't have to worry about clonkin' yer rotors on the sides of buildings and the blades can given some protection from small arms. Besides, I doubt a military that sticks jet engines in its tanks cares much for fuel efficiency =P

Re:Poor Design (1)

Big_Breaker (190457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854999)

The thin aluminum shrouds they are using would not stop any small arms. HUMVEEs need extra armor just to stop AK rounds and they are made of steel and designed to roll, not fly. The article suggests that the vehicle is quieter than one with exposed rotors which is helpful. I imagine it also has to do with safety. No one wants a programming error to turn a UAV into a troop blender.

It seems to me like a GPS steerable parachute drop from a C-130 would be a better use of resources. The C-130 can carry a lot more cargo and is more efficent with fuel per pound. The plane itself could be used as a flying warehouse. I believe those rectangular paragliding chutes have a glide ratio of 5 to 1, so a C-130 flying at 10km could deliver a payload from 50km away.

Re:Poor Design **for cargo hauling** (2, Interesting)

ImWithBrilliant (741796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853141)

"HUMVEE of the air" http://www.defense-update.com/products/v/vstar.htm [defense-update.com]

A humvee hauling military cargo wouldn't put 400 lbs in the trunk per trip, it'd put 1500 lbs on a trailer.

These are the beginnings toward a good concept since cargo hauling is dull, dirty & dangerous. But VSTAR needs to scale up considerably instead of racking up expensive flight hours with 4 round trips when comparing to a Humvee's operating cost. The key is not the round trip speed but its servicing to keep it flying.

"Scaling up" to the reality tends to be a gotcha for many novel concepts.

Re:Poor Design (4, Informative)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854581)

I worked on a UAV program in the 1980s (back when they were called RPVs.) We went through several iterations of wing configurations. Joined wings, of almost any configuration, had absolutely bizarre aerodynamic interactions near the intersections. It's very complicated to get right, and usually doesn't provide an overall benefit - one particular aspect, like max cruise speed, may be improved, but at the expense of *everything* else.

The wings on this aircraft don't seem designed for the mission profile described. Supporting forward infantry is a short-range low-speed mission profile. I expect the wings to have a low rake angle, and to be fairly chunky across the airfoil section. Low-speed wings are blunt and fat; high-speed wings are angled and skinny.

At best, this is an "artist's misconception" drawing. Avionics, engine and fuel are going in the fuselage, as there's no room internal to those wings for anything but structure. Where did the payload go? Oh, "inside" ... with everything else. (The main site is slashdotted, so I'm working off an article from an Australian site.)

Re:Poor Design (1)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 6 years ago | (#23856465)

First, ducted fans are inefficient compared to rotors. You get a lot more force out of a large diameter and small exit velocity. Its why props are more efficient than turbofans, which are in turn more efficient than turbojets. The ONLY advantage is that the fan is out of the airstream, so high velocities are achievable.

That isn't the only advantage. You're completely ignoring the interaction between the inflow and the shroud, which can provide additional thrust. That combined with tip loss reductions and less problems with high velocity mean shrouded fans can typically be smaller for the same thrust. Depending on the shroud design it may save weight (when rotors start getting really big they get HEAVY) or the advantage may just be you get something more compact. Heck, reducing the tip vortices reduces noise, maybe that's their goal. The picture seems to be slashdotted so I can't really make a more informed comment.

Second, it has very low wing area, meaning you have very high wing loading (bad for fuel economy)

That's a pretty big oversimplification. Many factors will affect max range, and shifting around the span, aspect ratio and wing area will change just about all of them. Higher wing loadings can sometimes help shift up the velocity at which maximum range is achieved. So do you want to move the cargo as far as possible or get it there quickly. High wing loadings are also useful at low altitudes over urban areas, where strong ground winds hitting buildings can do all sorts of nasty things. High wing loadings perform better in the turbulence you can expect in that sort of situation.

Box wings can considerably reduce losses from the tip vorticity, but there is so little lift coming off those wings, there's no purpose. The only purpose to joined wings is that they provide structural rigidity to large, light, high aspect ratio wings for high altitude, long endurance craft. This is obviously not the case here.

Here I can completely agree with you. Back when I graduated, one of the teams of students looked pretty extensively into box wings. The conclusions was pretty clear that they aren't worth it. You may get good control of the tip vortices but the interactions between the front and rear wings are somewhat unpredictable and largely performance robbing. There's a lot less structural advantage than you would think as well. They were a neat thought, but unfortunately in practice just don't perform. Besides, there are plenty of other ways to control tip vortices: winglets, endplates, raked tip, etc.

Re:Poor Design (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23858431)

I think the design suits the purpose...

1) Get Taxpayer $$s to design a vulnerable piece of shit
2) Charge more $$s to manufacture said VPOS
3) VPOS gets shot down --> more orders
4) Profit (more)...

Don't forget to patent blindingly obvious things too - like "container for transporting items", just to make it hard for anyone to invent anything worthwhile.

Apparently... (0, Flamebait)

ulash (1266140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851797)

... the US is winning the war in Iraq (from TFA):

Logistics is what's winning the war in many ways in Afghanistan and Iraq
If this is the whole justification for the project I am afraid someone missed a memo somewhere.

Re:Apparently... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851869)

Some people just redefine "win" as keeping a problem from being a complete disaster. It's currently a loss for the troops and the taxpayer but a huge win for no bid contractors and poppy growers.

Re:Apparently... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23851883)

I'm making billions out of Logistics Supply and associated contracts in Iraq. To me, that counts as 'winning'!

DC,
Halliburton

Sounds familiar (3, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23851873)

I seem to recall that they had something like this before. Quite a bit faster. Very good at getting its cargo to the waiting soldiers. A bit rougher on the payload, perhaps (and the soldiers).

I believe it was called a Cruise Something-or-other.

Re:Sounds familiar (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853881)

I believe it was called a Cruise Something-or-other.

A Tom Cruise Something-or-other? Uh oh, there's a group of religious whackjobs at my door...

Woefully inefficient... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852117)

cargo of 400 pounds [...] weighing in at 2,400 pounds

So it can carry 1/6th of its weight in cargo? Damn that's lousy...

With aircraft, weight is huge. Every pound of weight you have to lift dramatically increases the amount of fuel you're going to burn. And when you're starting off with a heavier than hell plane, which can only haul a tiny amount, you're just throwing away fuel. And guess what? Bringing in fuel for equipment is just as much a logistical problem as getting supplies to troops in the field.

And with such a tiny capacity, they'll need to send tons of these out on a regular basis to keep even a few troops supplied. Let's see... If they load it with nothing else but WATER, this can carry enough to keep 12 marching soldiers going for just 1 day...

No doubt they'd be far better served by one of the autonomous vehicles coming out of the DARPA Grand Challenge. Fuel costs won't be nearly so astronomical, and cargo capacity for even the smallest truck will easily put this aircraft's capacity to shame.

Re:Woefully inefficient... (1)

byennie (1126011) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852229)

A marching soldier needs 4 gallons of water per day?
(4 gallons =~ 33 lbs)

I think your point may be valid, but your math a little off. If marching soldiers needed 4 gallons a day each, they'd all be dead pretty quick.

Re:Woefully inefficient... (3, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852325)

A marching soldier needs 4 gallons of water per day?

Well, actually, that's a fairly conservative estimate...

"a person performing hard work in the sun at 43 degrees C requires 19 liters of water daily." http://www.aircav.com/survival/asch13/asch13p02.html [aircav.com]

"A general guide for planning to meet the water requirements in an arid zone is 3-6 gallons per individual per day" http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/dphs/EQB/doc/Instructor%20Manual/L004LP%20Water%20Supply%20LP.doc [army.mil]

If marching soldiers needed 4 gallons a day each, they'd all be dead pretty quick.

Interesting... Because most of them appear to be quite alive...

Re:Woefully inefficient... (2, Insightful)

byennie (1126011) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852647)

What I should have said - if every soldier needed 4 gallons of water *airlifted* in every day, they'd all be dead. Yes, the water needs to come from somewhere - and you certainly can't assume that all missions are in 110 degree mean temperatures (= 43 celsius). Yes, it happens. So really, we're talking about a variety of factors, and not every mission is going to be in Iraq in July.

Laugh all you want at 400 lbs of cargo space, but if that can deliver even 30+ lbs of critical equipment to 12 soldiers who wouldn't otherwise receive it, that could make a huge difference. What if every soldier got new boots, clean socks, extra iodine tablets, fresh hygiene products, etc, that wouldn't otherwise reach them? And heck, an extra gallon of water to supplement a shortage.

The point isn't that 400 lbs is that much per se, the point is that 400 lbs of ADDITIONAL cargo could be a big deal if it requires zero man power to get it there and arrives quickly.

Re:Woefully inefficient... (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23855475)

I used to work on a missile project, where it was proposed we remove the warhead and replace it with an empty canister where we could put in consumables. We're talking tens of pounds here. Then fire it near a stranded group of soldiers in need of specific gear, food, etc. "Beans and Meds" to people who were not easily accessible in a timely manner.

This is an order of magnitude more capability. I can see why they'd want this.

Patton would've walloped you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23856243)

if you've got your arse hanging so far away from supplies that 30lbs of materiel is a big deal, you're over-extended. Even Patton (who never cared about his flanks) would've drawn the line well before then.

Re:Woefully inefficient... (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#23856563)

The point isn't that 400 lbs is that much per se, the point is that 400 lbs of ADDITIONAL cargo could be a big deal if it requires zero man power to get it there and arrives quickly.

Your zero manpower is like the zero pollution vehicle. It's not counting the pilot (this is a remotely controlled vehicle, not an autonomous robot), the maintenance guy, the fuel handler, the cargo loaders, the guards at the air field that's set up for it etc. I'd be surprised if a unit handling these would have less than 10 man per flying vehicle.

Re:Woefully inefficient... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23864709)

if every soldier needed 4 gallons of water *airlifted* in every day, they'd all be dead.

That's some impressive backpedaling there...

you certainly can't assume that all missions are in 110 degree mean temperatures (= 43 celsius).

"Mean" temperatures don't matter much. Soldiers are either marching in the heat (during the day) in which case they'll be on the high end of that water consumption regime, or they're not.

not every mission is going to be in Iraq in July.

Iraq averages triple-digit (F) temperatures throughout summer. Pretty much half the year soldiers will need that much water.

You're really arguing about a whole lot of nothing, anyhow. Even in the winter, when it isn't nearly so hot, water requirements are still quite similar. You don't even double the time they can survive on that amount of water.

The point isn't that 400 lbs is that much per se, the point is that 400 lbs of ADDITIONAL cargo could be a big deal if it requires zero man power to get it there and arrives quickly.

You need to go read my original comment again, because you clearly didn't get the idea the first time around.

That 400 lbs of cargo isn't flown in by magical faeries. It's carried through the air on a dense cloud of jet fuel exhaust. Moving truck loads of fuel into a forward position gets LOTS of soldiers killed, every week, in Iraq. Convoy duty is a very dangerous job.

Hauling in a truck-load of fuel, to move 400 lbs of water, to supply a few soldiers for a day or two, is going to kill FAR more people than just having someone transport supplies to those soldiers by traditional means, or avoiding putting those soldiers so far out there in the first place that they get cut off.

And besides lives, you have all kinds of questions of COST, MAINTENANCE, RELIABILITY, etc. If one of these ridiculously low-capacity supply planes means that a dozen Humvees don't get armor because of cost or lack of manpower, then you're making an incredibly stupid mistake.

In addition, I specifically pointed out that there are alternatives which could do the job INFINITELY better than this far-fetched creation.

Re:Woefully inefficient... (1)

byennie (1126011) | more than 6 years ago | (#23865055)

That 400 lbs of cargo isn't flown in by magical faeries.


Really?

Hauling in a truck-load of fuel, to move 400 lbs of water, to supply a few soldiers for a day or two, is going to kill FAR more people than just having someone transport supplies to those soldiers by traditional means, or avoiding putting those soldiers so far out there in the first place that they get cut off.


1) Your truck load of fuel can be up to 1000 miles away from your soldiers. Kind of a big deal when you are worried about the danger of "forward positions".

2) You're the only one saying this is just going to carry water. It's not.

3) If you're afraid of risking more soldiers, why are you willing to send them on manned delivery runs, but afraid of the risk of them trucking in fuel 1000 miles away?

And besides lives, you have all kinds of questions of COST, MAINTENANCE, RELIABILITY, etc. If one of these ridiculously low-capacity supply planes means that a dozen Humvees don't get armor because of cost or lack of manpower, then you're making an incredibly stupid mistake.


Well no shit maintenance is an issue. And it's not with Humvees? And who said we were going to make dumb ass judgements on when to use these and when to spend on something else? That's just an assumption based on the idea that they are useless. A bit of a self-fulfilling argument.

In addition, I specifically pointed out that there are alternatives which could do the job INFINITELY better than this far-fetched creation.


This creation doesn't exist yet, so that remains to be seen. You said use one of the vehicles from DARPA. Right. Show me the DARPA vehicle that is going to navigate 1000 miles of a war zone and deliver a 400 lb + payload right now.

Yet another military money sink (1, Flamebait)

Wolf von Niflheim (945658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852243)

Yet another way to shell out money on military projects. Sure, they may have some other uses later, but at the moment it's still purely military. And yes, I know military technology has the ability to drive technological progress

Every time I read stories like this I get an uncomfortable feeling. Currently the US is spending an estimated 2 billion dollars a week on weapons and warfare. Money that serves no durable purpose. Oil prices even went up and terrorism is at an all time high (or it just gets more media attention).

At the same time there are numerous projects and initiatives that don't see even half of that money, either social or scientific. Take ITER http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER [wikipedia.org] for example, the goal is to make fusion reactions a reality, their working budget for 30 years is a mere 9.3 billion dollars and this is a multinational project! If you think about it there are a lot more examples where a 2 billion weekly investment would tremendously benefit society.

But no, let's spend our money on yet another over funded electronic warfare gadget "for our troops". As a scientist, I find that waste of money repulsive. Feel free to mod me down as deep as you can.

Well, I for one... (3, Funny)

Agent__Smith (168715) | more than 6 years ago | (#23852289)

Well, I for one would like to welcome our new automated remote controlled food toting flying overloards...

Finally ... (1)

yelvington (8169) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853199)

Finally a legitimate use for my neighbor's Hummer! Glue wings on it and throw it out the back of a C17. And think of the great mileage it'll get on the way down.

seen it before (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853379)

The damn image won't load but I've already seen a delivery vehicle demonstrated. It's based off of the current batch of chopper-style UAV's. I think the pure navy version is called the Firebat, already demonstrated unassisted self-controlled landing on a ship. It's in the very advanced prototype stages, getting real-world trials. The original purpose is surveillance but a secondary use proposed was cargo delivery. It can fly to a designated GPS coordinate and land. Soldiers would then run up, offload the several hundred pounds of cargo and then enter return commands on a very simplified control panel. Really, all the unit needs is a "return to base" button.

This sort of thing could be quite useful for resupplying people in the field. Air crews are bloody expensive and it would be nice to be able to free them of the mundane cargo runs so they can concentrate on the difficult stuff. You've seen the same development in the air force, recon being the very first thing handed over to UAV's. Highly critical runs still required manned aircraft but simple observation has been handled by drones in some air foces for years.

Large SUV ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853413)

It's about the size of a large SUV ... measuring 21 feet long and up to 26 feet wide.

Yes, that's exactly the size of my Jeep.

Re:Large SUV ? (1)

egandalf (1051424) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853573)

Glad I checked to see if anyone else commented on this before I posted. That's one helluva SUV.

Re:Large SUV ? (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854889)

My house is 26-feet wide. I'd expect more than 400 lbs of payload capacity out of a vehicle that size.

For comparison, a Cessna 152 [wikipedia.org] is generally the same size, and has a 500+ lb payload capacity. I'd rather see a fleet of autopilot 152s doing forward support.

Re:Large SUV ? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#23861163)

Most 24-28 foot wide homes (aka "doublewides"), in my experience, hold payloads of quite a bit more than 400lbs. (I live in southwest Virginia; we've got a lot of them)

Then again, most doublewides won't lift of with their payloads, unless of course you live in the midwest. In that case, they take off quite frequently in tornado season.

Progress. (1)

flacco (324089) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853979)

Just think, soon the ruling elite won't have to worry at all about the fickle consciences of the troops that carry out its wishes.

Super-size my SUV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23855395)

21' x 26' == 'about the size of a large SUV'?

I guess we're lucky to only have small and medium SUVs here in the States. Are the large ones common in Canada?

RTS comes to USA (1)

Number6.2 (71553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23855487)

When it starts to deliver war factories and power plants to the front lines, then we have a problem.

Just remember to build a barracks first, and watch the tank rush...

Can it fly 20 or 30 miles? (0)

number6x (626555) | more than 6 years ago | (#23855495)

From the Intro:

"the robotic vehicle can fly 600 to 1,000 miles carrying a full cargo of 400 pounds"

What if the troops are less than 600 miles away? Does it circle above O'Hare for an hour or two until it reaches its magic 600 mile threshold?

you Fail I7? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23855685)

This is stupid crap (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 6 years ago | (#23856413)

The logistics for combat forces are key...and transportation is the most important component of logistics. Flying the freight is extremely expensive and can never be sustained for long...even for a country as wealthy as the US used to be. If you cannot control the ground (and air) sufficiently to transport your supplies by truck, rail, ship, and pipeline, you are not winning...and the flying vehicles would be good only to give you enough supplies to beat a retreat. Unmanned flying vehicles might reduce the need for pilots and they might provide a method of transporting freight above the ground but they will never be a significant transportation component...although their builders will certainly insist otherwise...as long as those federal contract dollars are flowing.

Re:This is stupid crap (1)

Hackerlish (1308763) | more than 6 years ago | (#23867461)

Not to mention flying these things would suck up even more fuel, which would have to be shipped in addition to whatever is already being used. Take a look at their web site: This smacks of cheap and nasty. http://www.frontlineaerospace.com/ [frontlineaerospace.com]

reminds me of Terminator two, a few years late... (1)

AppahMan (992506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23858907)

All Stealth Bombers were upgraded with Cyberdyne Systems computers, becoming fully unmanned. Afterward, the Stealth Bombers flew with perfect operational records, and eventually the Skynet Funding Bill was passed. The system originally went online on August 4th 1997. Human decisions were removed from strategic defense. Skynet began to learn at a geometric rate. It originally became self aware on August 29th 1997 2:14 am Eastern Time

The aerospace career path (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#23859865)

Having met many former aerospace engineers, we have uncovered the standard aerospace career path 4 U.

Aerospace -> unemployment -> Web 1.0 startup -> unemployment -> special effects -> poverty -> computer games -> more poverty -> Web 2.0 startup

They certainly don't give out pictures of their concept vehicles.

Photo is Fake - not even built (1)

Hackerlish (1308763) | more than 6 years ago | (#23867443)

They haven't built the thing! Look at this photo - it cracked me up! http://www.frontlineaerospace.com/images/stories/press_images/VSTAR_Resupply_1.jpg [frontlineaerospace.com] Someone has copypasted a 3DSMAX model, at that textured by someone who clearly doesn't know how to use the UVW Wrap function. Look at the sides.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...