Beta
×

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!

Pentagon Selects Companies To Build Flying Humvees

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the yes-really dept.

The Military 302

longacre sends in a quote from Popular Mechanics: "The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected two companies to proceed with the next stage of its Transformer, known as TX — a fully automated four-person vehicle that can drive like a car and then take off and fly like an aircraft to avoid roadside bombs. Lockheed Martin and AAI Corp., a unit of Textron Systems, are currently in negotiations with DARPA for the first stage of the Transformer project, several industry sources told Popular Mechanics at a robotics conference here in Denver." The picture included with the linked article says it all, really.

cancel ×

302 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

How long... (3, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397216)

... until hollywood actors, then rappers, then any jackass with money wants to buy one?

Re:How long... (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397294)

Probably about as long until *I* want to buy one. Almost 1 second.

So in essence... (2, Informative)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397542)

This design looks like a militarized gyrocopter [microlight.in] .

Ruggedness, anyone? Now we have big flying targets well over the horizon to be seen by snipers and guys with RPGs.

Mod parent up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397770)

Yep, looks like a gyroplane to me.

Re:How long... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397310)

... until hollywood actors, then rappers, then any jackass with money wants to buy one?

If this finally gets us flying cars ... who cares? What could possibly go wrong?? :-P

(And, yes, I am aware that we may not actually want most people navigating in three dimensions)

Re:How long... (3, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397756)

Navigating 3D space just requires its own sort of "Drivers test".

I nominate Descent [wikipedia.org] as the best candidate to virtually test if a person is capable of navigating 3D space.

If they Die - they fail.
3 Bumps - they fail.
If they don't make it out before the level blows up - hmmm 1 demerit.

Why so long? (0)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397254)

Why did it take them so long to realize that the best way to avoid roadside bombs might involve getting off the road?
On the other hand, FLYING CARS!

Re:Why so long? (2, Insightful)

theheff (894014) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397348)

"Why did it take them so long to realize that the best way to avoid roadside bombs might involve getting off the road?"

Even safer- get our young men and women out of the country. It's pretty clear that the picture is suggesting Afghanistan.

Re:Why so long? (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397374)

We Canadians had this problem licked ages ago with the hugely successful AvroCar!

Ok, so not so successful, BUT STILL!!

Re:Why so long? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397600)

We Canadians had this problem licked ages ago with the hugely successful AvroCar!

Ok, so not so successful, BUT STILL!!

We would have been better off with the Avro Arrow [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Why so long? (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397678)

Agreed, mind you the decision making powers at the time were too busy buying missiles with sand warheads... I love my country.

I maintain to this day that had we continued AvroCar and giant cannon development we'd rule this earth, with lasers, robots and polite letters of fury!

Re:Why so long? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397776)

I maintain to this day that had we continued AvroCar and giant cannon development we'd rule this earth, with lasers, robots and polite letters of fury!

Hmmmm ... I think without some stabilizing technology, the giant cannon would send the AvroCar whooshing backwards -- which, would of course be hilarious.

And, we wouldn't start with polite letters of fury -- we'd start with polite letters suggesting that it might merely be a misunderstand and we'd be happy to try to resolve it, but that we're not fully sure, so please disregard the letter if you feel it's in error. :-P

Re:Why so long? (2, Insightful)

squidfood (149212) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397606)

On the other hand, FLYING CARS!

Isn't Popular Mechanics art what started the whole flying car thing in the first place?

Airborn, huh? (4, Funny)

Essequemodeia (1030028) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397260)

I'm pretty sure existing humvees upon discovering an exploding IED at close range fly through the air already.

That's not a Transformer (5, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397262)

That is clearly a M.A.S.K. vehicle.

Re:That's not a Transformer (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397406)

Autobots! Transform and, uh, fly away?

close, but wrong meme. (2, Informative)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397548)

Turn into a jet (like a boss)
Bomb the Russians (like a boss)
Crash into the sun (like a boss)
Now I'm dead (like a boss)

Uh huh. So that's an average day for you then?
No doubt
You chop your balls off and die?
Hell yeah.

Weird... (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397266)


At this rate we'll have flying school buses before flying cars.

Well I'm glad (4, Funny)

sean_nestor (781844) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397280)

that we've clearly got out budget priorities straight in this country.

Re:Well I'm glad (0, Flamebait)

fyoder (857358) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397364)

that we've clearly got out budget priorities straight in this country.

Hey, it's only 40 million, drop in the bucket by defense industry standards. From the article:

The two companies are still a ways away from building flying Humvees; the first stage of the DARPA project is merely working on conceptual designs. The total funding available for Transformer is about $40 million.

Defense Industry: DARPA, can we have some money for nothing?

DARPA: No, we can only give money for something. How about you tell us a nice story about flying jeeps?

Re:Well I'm glad (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397414)

$40 million for conceptual design phase.

Now how much do you suppose the pricetag would be if the military were to actually purchase 10,000 units?

Re:Well I'm glad (1)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397538)

The design phase of any project will have a large price tag which is why the first couple of units produced have such an inherently high cost associated with them. Then once a project is picked up, assembly lines are fully operational, the cost of units go down. Simple engineering economics.

Re:Well I'm glad (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397696)

On the other hand, recorded history [wikipedia.org] .

Didn't get killed by a roadside bomb (1)

jewishbaconzombies (1861376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397282)

But fell out of the car after forgetting to belt-in. Splat instead of kaboom - still not a pretty way to go.

they already have this ... helicopters (5, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397288)

Military spending is out of control, this program should be killed.

Re:they already have this ... helicopters (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397396)

Helicopters can not be driven on the ground and can not be flown by 18 year old combat infantry.

Re:they already have this ... helicopters (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397526)

Helicopters don't need to be driven on the ground - BECAUSE THEY CAN FLY - and nor could any flying vehicle be operated by 18 year old combat infantry.

So really, is the cost in fuel savings for being able to temporarily drive on the ground, or temporarily lift off, really worth the money being dumped into the engineering, design and production of this vehicle, not to mention the increased target profile...
Is it really worth it when we have vehicles that already fit this niche pretty well? You need to avoid the ground, go by air. We have air. You're going to need a qualified flight operator whether you only need to fly 50m or 5000m, so its not like you're saving on personel training by implementing this.

Re:they already have this ... helicopters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397556)

Helicopters can not be driven on the ground and can not be flown by 18 year old combat infantry.

I'd bet very good money neither will be true of this project. There's no way it will ever work in the real world.

If they're not qualified to fly a regular heli, why do you think they'll be able to fly this? Add in the strict weight requirements that will be involved, the extra weight of having to have both driving and flying systems, and that means very little armor.

The entire idea is a deathtrap.

Re:they already have this ... helicopters (2, Insightful)

trentblase (717954) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397560)

Seriously though, what is easier to design? (1) A helicopter modified to include wheels and automated flight or (2) a Humvee modified to fly with automated flight

I'd vote for modified helicopters.

Re:they already have this ... helicopters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397580)

True. Neither will this thing. Why the heck do they want to turn an armored vehicle that can be driven by 18-year-old combat infantry into something that has to be light enough to fly (i.e. lightly armored) and that obviously can't be flown (safely) by an average soldier unless they are already a pilot?

This thing is a stupid idea. It's on par with a hover-tank.

Re:they already have this ... helicopters (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397496)

Humvee + Huey = Hummy? It's the spork of military vehicles. Meant to do both, but incapable of either.

Re:they already have this ... helicopters (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397532)

Helicopters are very expensive, and it's enormously expensive to train the pilots to fly them (about $600 per hour for flight training in a turbine helicopter, just for operating/fuel/maintenance costs, instructor costs and overhead are extra). Helicopters are not very fuel efficient. And that's for a trainer helicopter; something armored like an Apache costs way more per flight-hour.

This "flying jeep" is just ridiculous. It's basically a form of helicopter with wings for better fuel efficiency once under-way. But with wings on the side (plus big long rotor blades on top), there's no way it can drive on normal roads. The current Humvee is already almost too wide for standard roads. Plus, helicopters are already vulnerable to small-arms fire, unless they have tons of armor (like the Apache, which is big, expensive, and a fuel hog); this thing obviously doesn't have much armor.

This project just looks like a way to give someone a bunch of taxpayer money for some stupid drawings and pointless meetings.

Re:they already have this ... helicopters (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397698)

I think the idea is that driving 95 miles and flying 5 is cheaper than flying 100 miles.

ROBOTECH its about time! (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397300)

Yeah! I can't wait to see a VT flying/walking around town!

... what. (4, Insightful)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397308)

a fully automated four-person vehicle that can drive like a car and then take off and fly like an aircraft to avoid roadside bombs

What. To avoid roadside bombs, we're making Humvees that can fly automatically.

Tomorrow's news: in order to prevent heat stroke in our soldiers, the Pentagon has begun selecting companies to build a satellite that will block out the sun.

Belt and Suspenders. . . (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397320)

Is it just me, or does it seem kind of redundant to have a rotary wing (helicopter style rotor), and fixed wing with rear-thrust device (can't tell if it's a jet or what it is, but the picture seems to have something at the rear of the car which looks like it's to produce thrust). I suppose sometimes redundancy is good, but in this case, wouldn't those two different types of flight systems interfere with each other (that is, either one is making you fly and the other is creating unnecessary drag/weight, or vice versa?)

Re:Belt and Suspenders. . . (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397394)

Gyrocopter style lift?

Re:Belt and Suspenders. . . (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397462)

From the article, yes it sounds like it uses powered rotation for takeoff, then autorotation once it's moving. But the whole idea seems silly to me. By definition, a flying vehicle must have less armor than a ground-based one. Either build a flying vehicle or build a truck. Try to build something that does both, and it will inevitably suck at both.

Re:Belt and Suspenders. . . (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397584)

By definition, a flying vehicle must have less armor than a ground-based one.

Not necessarily. The Apache is well-armored, and uses depleted uranium for armor I believe. However, it's big, really expensive, and a serious fuel-guzzler.

But you're right, there's no way this thing won't suck balls. There's no way it can even drive on normal roads with the wings.

Re:Belt and Suspenders. . . (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397434)

but the picture seems to have something at the rear of the car which looks like it's to produce thrust

The artist's rendering is a picture of a flying car with a guy shooting out the door with a kind of "pchew, pchew" visual effect.

I wouldn't read anything about any actual technology from this. It's popular mechanics filling in a visual, I doubt very much that it's rooted in anything meaningful.

Heck, I doubt they'll be able to build a flying HMMV. Nobody has managed to create a flying car yet -- at least, not a viable one. This is DARPA asking for a pony -- who knows though, this time might be it.

Re:Belt and Suspenders. . . (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397456)

Some measure of VTOL is probably necessary if they don't want to make a runway.

Re:Belt and Suspenders. . . (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397602)

In other words, they should just take an Osprey and add a ground engine.

Re:Belt and Suspenders. . . (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397674)

I'm not sure either a rotary wing or fixed wing is going to react/get you airborne fast enough to avoid the IED. I'd almost think you'd need something like rockets pointed toward the ground that you could fire almost instantly and 'launch' the vehicle some height in the air. . . then you need to figure out how to get it safely down again.

Where am I? (5, Insightful)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397322)

Did I accidentally get redirected to The Onion?

Re:Where am I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397778)

Where are you? Well, according to your signature, you are on a horse. Don't ask.

One word: (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397326)

Armor.

What kind of armor can a flying Humvee really have? Military-spec Humvees are already heavier than a fat chick at an all you can eat buffet with a bag of holding...how do they expect to make them take off quickly at any given time?

Re:One word: (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397624)

You put a couple of fuel-hungry jet engines on them, driving rotor blades on top. They already have such a vehicle, called the "Apache helicopter".

Re:One word: (2, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397656)

They can't, and therein lies the big problem. Things that work well on the ground don't tend to work well in the air, and vice versa.

The military already had a vehicle that worked fairly well in VTOL and could still fly at acceptable speeds, while not being a jet-based fuel gobbler. It was called the "Osprey". And that was eventually grounded because even a vehicle built to do those two jobs (slow flight and efficiency) turned out to be not particularly great at either and complex enough to be a tad on the crashy side.

Now take that same basic concept, add a few tons of armor, and put it in a direct combat situation.

I honestly wish the military luck in developing a practical solution to what is obviously a severe problem, but I don't think this will be it.

Re:One word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397702)

Hovercraft?

Anyone remember hovercraft?

Re:One word: (5, Funny)

Toze (1668155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397726)

Bags of holding are not as heavy as their contents; ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bag_of_holding [wikipedia.org] ) depending on the edition and type of bag, she's only going to be about another 15-60 pounds on top of her regular 300. While Humvees are indeed heavier than this (5200-5900 pounds, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humvee [wikipedia.org] ), fat chicks with bags of holding are not an appropriate standard of weight class for military vehicles. I suggest using Huge ( http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Huge_Animated_Object [dandwiki.com] ) or Gargantuan ( http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Gargantuan_Animated_Object [dandwiki.com] ) animated objects.

/pedant

Re:One word: (4, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397818)

I thought the F-4 pretty much proved you can make bricks fly if you put big enough engines on them.

Re:One word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397822)

They originally thought of using JATO, but now they will probably use IEDATO.

They have too much money... (4, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397332)

I can tell you right now this will fail and I can tell you why - it will cost less to run a heavily armoured vehicle than it would to fly even a lightly armoured one. It would also cost less to produce and be easier to maintain. Oh plus safer from ground fire and rockets.

But apart from all of those blindly obvious holes, this is a grant plan.

Re:They have too much money... (1)

kenrblan (1388237) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397454)

But apart from all of those blindly obvious holes, this is a grant plan.

I don't know if that was intentional or a typo. But that is dead on. It is a grant plan just like almost every project that gets funded by DARPA.

Re:They have too much money... (1)

clintonmonk (1411953) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397686)

this is a grant plan.

Freudian slip?

Re:They have too much money... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397722)

Right you are. The secret to surviving IEDs is to build an inverted-cone shaped vehicle where the passengers sit high up away from the road and the shape deflects blasts outwards. Which is exactly what they already do in existing MRAPs [wikipedia.org]

Re:They have too much money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397790)

Since when has cost ever been a factor in American military spending?

Logic Fail.... (4, Insightful)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397366)

The point of a Humvee is that it's cheaper/easier/safer to drive than fly. If they can "take off" to avoid a road-side bomb then that implies they know where it is so they could also, you know....stop? Or turn around? I'm sure insurgents would love it if not only does the convoy stop when they encounter a roadside bomb, but instead of getting out and clearing the area/shooting insurgents they instead start spinning up giant rotors of death in close proximity to each other and then slowly become airborne targets to which even small arms fire can now cause catastrophic failure.

Re:Logic Fail.... (2, Interesting)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397736)

Trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps you know an *area*/stretch of road, is likely to have IEDs, but you don't know exactly where they are? But, in that case, wouldn't a simpler solution to be a chopper that can pickup a humvee, fly over the dangerous area, deliver it to a known safe drop point, and drop the hummer? Then, when it's time to go, pick up the hummer again and carry it out?

Re:Logic Fail.... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397740)

If they can "take off" to avoid a road-side bomb then that implies they know where it is so they could also, you know....stop? Or turn around?

My thoughts exactly.. or they could stop taking the frickin roads..

Paul Moller has been working on this FOREVER (1)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397370)

Maybe a little bit of government funding would get his Skycar [wikipedia.org] up in the air?

Of course, when you say you want an armor-plated flying humvee, he might just drop dead of a heart attack, so break it to him gently, please?

Re:Paul Moller has been working on this FOREVER (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397588)

In 40 years of development, it has never flown with a passenger. Moller has been convicted of securities fraud. I suspect it would be faster and easier to start from scratch with a workable design than to pump more money into the failed Moller Skycar. That being said, the Skycar was way ahead of it's time in the same way the Apple Newton was, in that we have only recently come up with engines with the necessary power/weight ratio and control systems necessary to make something like this work. Sounds like the reason they gave up on the specification for use of ducted rotors for this project was that nobody could actually get it to work. I have a friend that is also trying to develop a flying vehicle similar to the sky car -- let's just say that he is much better at coming up with ideas then he is at actually bringing something to market.

Dukes of Hazard(The Afghan special) (2, Funny)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397372)

Them Duke boys will now be asked to make those supply runs for the military. I just hope that there are enough dirt ramps in the middle east for them to succeed!

Re:Dukes of Hazard(The Afghan special) (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397474)

Well in this case after the freeze frame at the apex of the jump they just keep going (can a "yeeee haaaaaaaaw" be sustained for longer than a few minutes?? When does it become awkward or correct to stop?? So many questions!)

Re:Dukes of Hazard(The Afghan special) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397476)

Them Duke boys will now be asked to make those supply runs for the military. I just hope that there are enough dirt ramps in the middle east for them to succeed!

Sounds like something Waylon Jennings would say before cutting to commercial.

Re:Dukes of Hazard(The Afghan special) (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397638)

thank you for ruining everything the GP said. captain obvious.

I am so glad (3, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397376)

a fully automated four-person vehicle that can drive like a car and then take off and fly like an aircraft to avoid roadside bombs

That those smart military people have decided that bomb blasts are only 2 dimensional.

Why would you want to make an armored vehicle that flies? There already is such a thing - it's called a HELICOPTER. But I guess when you have access to virtually infinite defense funding, I guess you're allowed to re-invent the wheel.

Re:I am so glad (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397590)

A helicopter can't land and be driven dumbass.

Re:I am so glad (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397642)

But I guess when you have access to virtually infinite defense funding, I guess you're allowed to re-invent the wheel.

Or, in this case, the rotary wing. :-P

Re:I am so glad (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397742)

If this could be done, and I'm not saying it could, the argument would probably be as follows:

If you're crossing large distances with personnel or cargo, there are vast tracts of land that you control and can declare "safe". Transporting stuff and people on the ground is cheaper and safer.

If you have to cover 400 miles, 350 of which are "safe" and 50 of which are "dangerous", a single vehicle that can do both at the maximum efficiency for each circumstance (ground for 350 miles, air for 50) would obviously seem like a great idea.

Except it isn't, because to make it light enough to fly, especially if you want to talk about STOL or VTOL, you'd have to make its armor useless, and to have all the crap you'd need to get it airborne you'd have to make it less efficient as a ground vehicle. Plus, to armor it at all, you'd need to make it about as maneuverable as a drunk cow and as agile as a slug, thus making it an easy target for anyone carrying more than a 9mm.

I'm sure the military could build this, but it would have an effective range of about 50 miles, the armor wouldn't stand up to thrown rocks, and if you ever needed the air capacity you'd be vulnerable to passing flyswatters.

Re:I am so glad (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397784)

To be fair to the dimensional explosion point Explosively Formed Penetrators [wikipedia.org] have become fairly common as they can be set up next to the road and penetrate even the thick side armor of the Humvees. Cars are moving only in one dimension really (along the road) so it's they'd be much easier to hit with these than a flying vehicle. That in no way saves this from being a terrible idea on all counts though.

Yeah, OK... (3, Informative)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397412)

Coming from a guy that designs military combat vehicles for a living, this is another disaster in the works. If you need some reference material look at the Osprey program or the AAAV program. Both are massive failures with colossal budget overruns and they are similar in scope to this flying humvee idea.

Re:Yeah, OK... (2, Interesting)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397516)

To add to my earlier comment: "The V-22's development process has been long and controversial, partly due to its large cost increases.[40] The V-22's development budget was first planned for $2.5 billion in 1986, then increased to a projected $30 billion in 1988.[24] As of 2008, $27 billion have been spent on the Osprey program and another $27.2 billion will be required to complete planned production numbers by the end of the program." ...from wikipedia. This humvee project will be more complicated in terms of engineering than the V-22. Dumb idea.

Re:Yeah, OK... (3, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397522)

This is still a DARPA project. DARPA funds all sorts of wacky far-future development work in the off chance that some of it actually becomes feasible, and at the very least they try to learn a bit more about how to make a successful flying car, or why it won't work without unobtanium.

$40 million bucks is not a lot for a military project. That's more "do some research and build a proof of concept and maybe we'll consider funding you to build them for real" money.

Also, that was one of the most obnoxious webpages I've seen in awhile for having popups appear all over the article.

But.... (3, Funny)

daemonenwind (178848) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397440)

Autobots can't transform into flying things. Only Decepticons do.

This can't be allowed. We can't let the US Military get infiltrated by Decepticons!

Re:But.... (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397676)

Jetfire, Strafe, Stratos, Sky Lynx, Devcon, Blades, Springer, Sandstorm, Quickswitch, Cloudraker, Superion, and the Aerialbots would all like to have a word with you.

Re:But.... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397780)

What about the Aerialbots [wikipedia.org] ??

Re:But.... (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397802)

Autobots can't transform into flying things. Only Decepticons do.

Omega Supreme would like a word with you.

DARPA (5, Insightful)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397444)

DARPA is out there to look at the strategic techonologies that might be required in the future battlescape. Just because it starts out as a design concept that doesn't necessarily seem the best of ideas it's there to further flesh out and seek out innovation from industry/private sector. So many are quick to chastise DOD research, yet there is so much out there that wouldn't be possible without DARPA and other Military/Goverment funded research. Healthcare (ie Trauma response) is always a huge beneficiary to this research. Across the board it pushes technology and innovation in fields which may not have had the funding to be researching such.

Re:DARPA (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397758)

Very true. One good example: DARPANET. :)

Re:DARPA (1)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397760)

I understand this but there are enough defense projects currently in production that cover EVERY technical issue that this project will run up against.

America Fuck Yeah! (1)

ohiovr (1859814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397448)

Valmorification compete

ROI (1)

Fuseboy (414663) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397450)

Flying Humvee, $1,800,000.00 IED, $3.50.

Re:ROI (1)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397764)

getting the fuck out of Afghanistan - priceless

Prior Art! (1)

arcsimm (1084173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397468)

Looking at the concept image in TFA, I can say quite confidently that I drew that on the back of a notebook in third grade.

I'm totally suing.

CYBERPUNK FTW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397478)

Cyberpunk 2020 : See Aerodyne Vectored Thrust Vehicle.

Wrong car (2, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397540)

We have only 5 years till Doc comes to get the tech to upgrade Deloreans to make them able to fly. Doing the practice in Humvees won't translate too well for a car that different, and things will get worse if we are too busy doing this to be able to develop MrFusion. Believe me, you don't want to create time paradoxes.

Our fine four fendered friend... (1)

skila (1853052) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397564)

Where is Caractacus Potts [wikipedia.org] when you need him?

Old News (3, Funny)

Target Practice (79470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397574)

I drew pictures like that way back in third grade. This is very old news, and I'm sad it's taken military officials so long to catch up.

To Stimulate The Economy : (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397610)

From the U.S.A.'s largest corporation: The Pentagon.

Yours In UVB76 [slashdot.org] ,
K. Trout

When do we get walkers? (2, Interesting)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397630)

I'm waiting for the AT-AT...seriously people, these have been in the concept stage for a long time. If we can walk dozens of men in a huge machine all over the place, we wont have to get on the roads.

Re:When do we get walkers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397706)

John Deere already built one for logging.

Detection or avoidance. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397632)

I thought the problem was detecting the IEDs, not avoiding them. DARPA is great, they gave us this global porn distribution network and all, but this idea is just beyond stupid.

Dumb idea (1)

rur (110111) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397660)

If the purpose is to avoid roadside bombs, why not develop an UAV dedicated to that purpose?
It would also help with the clearing of minefields.

ok. stay with me here. (3, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397688)

Imagine the meeting. Sitting round the table and the next item on the agenda is insurgency and road side bombs.

How do we avoid the casualties?

The best answer?

"I know! We make the humvees fly!"

 

solution exists already (1)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397746)

the real solution to the IED problem is just to use a C130...

to bring them all the americans back home.

Good idea (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397752)

For the past few centuries, the biggest technological developments were driven by the military. Mass production started with guns. Aircraft were first made into actual tools by the military. Jet engines. Nuclear power. I don't have to tell you guys how much of modern computing is derived from the military, from ARPANet to microchips. Whatever your thoughts on the ethics of it, the military drives technology.

Now we're just co-opting that process to get me my flying car.

doesn't even reach Onion standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33397796)

Enter the submacopter: http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1294 [questionablecontent.net]

Flying cars... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33397804)

Because amphibious vehicles have worked out so well that now everyone owns one! I suspect it is even harder to build something that both makes a good aircraft and a good car than it is to build something that both makes a good boat and a good car. As a child, my father sold Allsport Tracker [kijiji.ca] amphibious ATVs. Guess what -- they sucked. Big time.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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>