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Air Force to Test Aeroelastic Wings

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the silly-putty dept.

Technology 168

firegate writes "The New Scientist is reporting that the US Air Force is planning to test a variant of the Wing Warping steering system used on the original Wright Brothers plane to steer new supersonic jets. They've invested $41 million in the project so far, and the first test flight will take place next month at NASA's Dryden research center in California."

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SLAYER (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309662)

First toast!!!!!!

Slayer Rules!!!!!!

joke... (-1, Offtopic)

JuiceRat00 (566508) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309663)

Im rubber your glue what ever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you!!!

Re:joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309872)

Hah.. you missed FP AND burned Karma... Leave FPs to the ACs.. they can do it better.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309664)

first post

Hmmm... (1)

Scaebor (587064) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309665)

"Aircraft will eventually sense their environment and morph their shape to perform optimally in many different flight conditions."

Right... and didn't i see something about an invisiblity quote a little while back? Maybe they should integrate that in there too...

I'm going to sleep now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309853)

I just thought I should warn you all, that it's late, I'm tired, and I'm going to sleep. I offer the public service of this informative message, so that you all may be aware & prepared for life to ground to a halt until tomorrow morning, when I, refreshed and in top form once more, shall return. Alert the media of this all-inportant event. Let the women lament.

Re:Hmmm... (2)

spun (1352) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309894)

Dont forget active camouflage. And it should be a modified harrier, so it has VTOL.

Sounds like some Air Force boys have been reading cyberpunk novels.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Geek_in_Marketing (596828) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310021)

I've worked it out.... USAF designers have been channeling 'Klunk' from the old Dastardly and Muttley cartoons! Just wait till you see his latest designs! One day the USAF will finally stop that pigeon..

News from the future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309666)

The rubber band broke. Ow.

Space Age Materials (2, Funny)

iamjim (313916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309671)

Are they going to be using plywood and fabric too?

Test speeds. (5, Funny)

Jade E. 2 (313290) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309674)

From the article:
The technology will be tested at subsonic and supersonic speeds, though not in the unpredictable range close to the speed of sound.
Now, I'm no aerospace engineer, but how exactly do you test at supersonic speeds without at least passing through the range of speeds 'close to the speed of sound'? Or, if the wing snaps in half as it passes mach 1, do they just say "Oops, that didn't count, better not tell anyone."?

Re:Test speeds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309688)

Easy..they don't start measuring until the airflow is supersonic. Also they probably use different wind tunnels and models.. I've seen a supersonic wind tunnel that was a few inches in size and the model of the plane was a teeny little thing. Apparently this works just fine. I think it's assumed the wing won't snap off as it passes to supersonic..............they hope anyway..........

Re:Test speeds. (5, Insightful)

Ma$$acre (537893) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309699)

INAE either, but "passing through" and "[testing] in" are two different things. Going through the sonic barrier and testing within it are two different things. Going through is stressful... testing on the edge of mach 1 introduces amazing stresses. Something that flexes a lot more than a standard wing could set up harmonic vibrations which would shatter the hardware. Passing through would actually stablize after the initial shockwave.

Re:Test speeds. (1)

chamenos (541447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309774)

it seems to me that testing the wings at speeds "close to supersonice" would be necessary, since the plane would first have to get past that speed before it can go supersonic, right?

what's the point of having a flexy-wing plane that can fly at supersonic speeds, but becomes unpredictable, or at worst uncontrollable at the speeds it has to pass through first before becoming supersonic?

i'm guessing if they can't get the plane to fly properly at speeds close to the speed of sound, they can probably use this technique on surveillance planes which need to be able to loiter around in places longer, since the lighter weight would help with fuel efficiency.

Re:Test speeds. (1)

Mr Rohan (87542) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309784)

what's the point of having a flexy-wing plane that can fly at supersonic speeds, but becomes unpredictable, or at worst uncontrollable at the speeds it has to pass through first before becoming supersonic?

I would guess they have an actuation mechanism which makes the wing like a normal wing when active and softens it otherwise - so they can fly through the turbulence point

Re:Test speeds. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309875)

In related news my penis is turbulent in the presence of boobies and softens otherwise. I'm glad you actually mentioned my genitals.

Re:Test speeds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309798)

You go through the sound barrier quickly to avoid any undesirable/unpredictable vibrations.

Re:Test speeds. (1)

Scaebor (587064) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309844)

I suppose you could test it in a wind tunnel so as to minimize the outside factors involved. But still, you can't go from 0 to > mach 1 without passing the area around mach 1...

Re:Test speeds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309964)

mach(t)=1-e^(i*t) goes from 0 to 2 as t goes from 0 to pi, without passing through the area around mach 1.

Re:Test speeds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309952)

I AM an Aero Engineer (or at least an undergrad) and the difference is that subsonic systems have flows purely below the speed of sound and supersonic systems have flows strictly above the speed of sound.
When you pass the speed of sound (transonic), you have both, and you have mixed flows which add several variables and orders of complexity to the situation. This is the unpredictable region they talk about. It's not without bounds, and empirical data, but it's just not ggod for experimentation.

Watch material science expand even further (2, Interesting)

Ma$$acre (537893) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309677)

We've seen some amazing things due to the innovation of flight. Carbon Fiber, Titanium, Many plastics, even the IC on Silicon. The list could go on for quite a while... if you took NASA and the Air Force out of the material science loop, we'd be living in an entirely different world.

Look for this idea to spawn a host of new things from more complex fly-by-wire systems and innovative materials development and use.

nice (1)

TR6 (577489) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309680)

interesting that they are using technology that was invented in the beginning of the science of flight. kinda makes me wonder what else is coming out of the older technologies

Re:nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309717)

maybe we should look closer at old kernels like that of the Vic20 heheeheehehe

Re:nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309846)

Except on the VIC-20, it was spelled KERNAL [] , not kernel. Of course, as this page [] points out, KERNAL is an acronym:

Q $017) What does the acronym KERNAL stand for?
A $017) KERNAL = Keyboard Entry Read, Network, And Link. Again, I think this is a words after the letters acronym, so take it for what it is worth.

Network? Network? I guess if you count that crazy daisy-chained patented-slow-as-cassette floppy-drive crap...

Re:nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309765)

Maybe they just didn't want to pay the patent royalties, the bastards!

Re:nice (1)

erth64net (47842) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309771)

It makes you wonder if technology like the Tesla Turbine [] , and the technology behind the air powered car [] could be combined to create something much more efficient...

Air Force Times (4, Interesting)

batboy78 (255178) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309681)

I think I actually read something about this in the Air Force Times (you can pick one up on most military bases). There is usually so much propoganda in there that its nothing but slop but sometimes they have something interesting. This is one of the reasons I got out of the AF, they spend all their money on R&D instead of paying the troops what they deserve to get paid.

There are Airmen (E4 and below) that make almost nothing and are in charge of thousand user networks, or several million LOC systems. It drives me crazy.

Re:Air Force Times (1)

prisen (578061) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309689)

Read my mind - I'm E-3 atm. In charge of about 1,500 workstations/servers as well. No BS here, the AF does spend quite a bit of dough on R&D instead of paying their (well, enlisted) people.

Re:Air Force Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309748)

umm do you guys really think that if they paid you guys large salaries they'd be able to develop the systems they have today... the money has to go somewhere, and i think it's going to the right places. sorry guys :(

Re:Air Force Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309763)

do you guys still get conscripted in the US or is it completely volunteer based?

Re:Air Force Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309874)

Volunteer until otherwise declared in times of war. When the draft is enacted, then the government conscripts all hale males of proper age. Males are required to register for the draft when they turn 18. The whole thing's rather sexist. If women want equal rights, then they should bear equal responsibility for the defense of those rights.

Re:Air Force Times (2)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309955)

Just a clarification - only citizens (male citizens) are required to register with selective service (the draft.) No citizenship, no requirement to serve, not in the armed forces, not on a jury, nothin'. Of course, you still have to pay taxes.

Re:Air Force Times (1)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310001)

Not just citizens: "Some non-citizens are required to register.... Almost all other male noncitizens are required to register, including illegal aliens, legal permanent residents, and refugees."

Illegal aliens? Think they really sign up?

Re:Air Force Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309998)

yes....feminism is my pet peeve. they're just a bunch of hypocrites and bigots, in my opinion. and this happens in almost every country with a "modern, western culture". in other countries like singapore which practice conscription, all males aged 18 have to serve two and a half years of "national service" after finishing junior college or getting a diploma at a polytechnic, whilst all the women get to go on to university and enter the workforce two to three years earlier than the men. and they STILL complain they are being discriminated against.

they argue that childbirth is kinda like "national service", but they fail to see that childbirth is not compulsary, and the government even gives monetary incentives to women who have children. "national service" for men is legally compulsary, and failure to do so is a criminal offence punishable by law, which usually constitues the archaic practice of caning (yet another "privilege" reserved for men in singapore only) and a jail term.

one of feminist's favourite feel-good topics is when they managed to gain the -privilege- (i wouldn't call it a right) of voting. i say it is a privilege, not a right, because the burden of defending the country, and hence that right to vote, comes saddled with the right to vote. do women have to do -anything- at all to earn that right? nah. during times of war they just hide out in shelters and consume valuable resources whist the men go out and risk their lives defending them and the country.

currently, singapore is suffering from a falling birthrate, and very soon the length of "national service" served would be extended to 3 years, to make up for the lower intake of new recruits, so as to keep the current pool of active servicemen the same size. and this is due to the failure of women to serve their "national service" of childbirth, with us men having to bear the cost. basically we're doing their NS for them. and whilst we sacrifice more of our precious time of our already-shorter-lifespans, the women go out and further their careers, earn more money for themselves, and enjoy the peace and national security that men pay the price for.

with the rather recent 911 incident, more men were called up for service to beef up the security due to the numerous US interests here, whilst the women did nothing. and i don't want to hear crap about the women who in the military, since those women joined the military of their own accord, and were not conscripted like men are. all they did was read about the various measures that had been taken to ensure the security in singapore and gawk at the men in uniform with guns, whilst they remained shielded from the reality of what it takes to ensure our security. the men in the meantime, got burnt in the sun, crawled through the dirt, and risked their lives to protect their country, its security, and to preserve the peace, all for a bunch of fucking ingrates who still whine they're being discriminated against. sad to say, most politicians think more with their balls, rather than their heads, and let chivalry take charge of their judgement. not only that, they know women's votes count a lot, and that those votes go against them should they ruffle the collective feathers of women. most women who have the right to vote, do so without knowing the full extent of the responsibility they have been accorded, since they never had to pay the price for it. its kinda like giving a kid a gun; the kid doesn't understand the responsibilities that come with the ownership of a weapon, same way women don't understand or appreciate the responsibilities that come with being given the right to vote.

to them, its a right they have, not a privilege. same way the british people felt the right to unconditional welfare was their right. to try and explain to them the intricacies of why being allowed to vote without having to defend that right to vote is a privilege and not a right, would be as futile as playing music to a bull and expecting it to appreciate it (a chinese saying). give an inch and they take a mile. and don't expect to get that mile back.

what has been made of women as a whole is nothing less than an aristocracy, and this has permeated so many countries and cultures to the point where it cannot be ignored, though it still is for the most part since feminism is still politically fashionable. and what is politically fashionable is what gets the votes.

with the recent campaign against afghanistan's harsh taliban regime, a lot of attention was given to the discrimination that women faced. that i cannot deny and i fully concur with the sentiments against it, but i have to say that the opposite is true for america and singapore (and numerous other countries which practice conscription to a certain extent). men are the ones being discriminated, and i find it ludicrous that the discrimination men face is still unspoken, and our tolerance of it is expected.

down with feminism!

Re:Air Force Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309892)

Army boys in uniform are retards. The only reason they enlisted is because they can't find a decent job and are incapable to live on their own. These losers have to get their ass kicked to get things done.

Re:Air Force Times (5, Insightful)

kryonD (163018) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310050)

Sorry to pop your bubble, but E-1 to E-4 pay ranges from $1022.70 to $1752.30 per month depending on time in service ( [] ). This is on top of the fact that all your food, housing, electricity, water, trash, medical, dental, and training are provided to you free of charge. In other words, the only financial obligations you have are the ones you create yourself. Even if you take a loan out on a car($300/mo. + $100/mo. for expensive insurance + $50/mo. for gas/upkeep), get a cell phone ($50/mo with a ton of minutes), and get cable plus wide-band access (up to $100/mo) that still leaves over $400 pure spending cash for even a boot E-1. Average promotion times are 6 mo. to E-2, 8 more mo. to E-3 and an average of 18 months for E-4 depending on how good of a worker you are. Most folks straight out of high school with little to no work experience usually don't have it nearly that good. Also, starting Oct 1st, the Military pays 100% tuition assistance for undergrad education, so free college to boot!

Now, that being said, the military is still a tad behind the civilian world in overall fiscal compensation. But it's a bit too far to say that enlisted make "almost nothing". As far as the IT field goes, most military people suck up the free training and bail after the 4 year stint for better paying jobs. This rapid attrition rate allows those that stay in to reach the ranks of E-5 and E-6 faster. Benefits begin to increase in the form of priviledges which makes staying in just about as worth while as getting out.

FYI, the daily unclassified, non-critical networks that the E-1 through E-4's usually administer have terrible up-time rates and is usually directly attributed to the lack of experience and education. Most of these self-proclaimed IT wizards couldn't manage a Nintendo without their roomate's assistance.

Before the blasting starts, I enlisted 9 years ago and have worked my way to the officer ranks. I think I made plenty of money then and make plenty of money now with the increase in pay directly related to the increase in my education level and responsibilities.

More information on the subject... (5, Informative)

prisen (578061) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309682)

I'm a USAF member, and at the office lately we've been tossing around this interesting subject. Honestly, the article presented in the story was pretty lame; here's a few good links we've come up with, if you want to know a bit more about the technology:

NASA Press Release []
Air Force Research Laboratory brief []
AAW photo collection (NASA) []

Re:More information on the subject... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309800)

i like army boys in uniform. would you care to tie me up today in your detention barracks and discipline me? my pussy is dripping wet right now thinking of your chiselled abs and facial features, combined with the authority of your imposing uniform and rank. the idea of a member of one of the world's best air forces making hot sexy love to me just gets me so horny. please say yes my love.

$41 million (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309683)

not to bad []

sense their environment and morph their shape (1)

iamjim (313916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309684)

So they are suggesting they are going to be combining this technology with AI or are they developing their own type of AI. THIS is was could lead to Terminator 2 and Matrix-type scenarios. Instead of the wing "morphing" this plane "talks" to other planes and reconfigures its flight path to something a bit more to its liking.

And, hell, throw a couple 18g inversions in there for fun.

This is where it gets interesting...

Moving parts at supersonic speed (0, Troll)

chocho99 (552877) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309686)

...tend to break. Many things happen to airplanes when materials fail at high speed. Most all of them are bad. There are already problems with metal fatigue in current passenger airplanes - especially with hidden fractures in carbon fiber composites that are difficult to detect.

Back to the basics (0)

grant+harris (603582) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309692)

So this is what the call "going back to the basics" :)

How the revolutionary design was born (1)

xphread (584401) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309745)

the USAF has modified the wings of an early version of an F-18 fighter. This aircraft was chosen because its wings are more flexible than those of most others./I? F-18 Pilot looks out the cockpit: WTF???? Mayday! My wing's bending all over the place! Control: Um - it's "meant" to be like that! Muffled voice: Hey guys, quick, think of something!)

Re:How the revolutionary design was born (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309764)

Don't post again until you learn basic HTML.

Re:How the revolutionary design was born (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309791)

ditto to that. and stop making corny jokes.

Re:How the revolutionary design was born (1)

xphread (584401) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310022)

incase you hadn't noticed, the ? is next to the > (Or cant you be bothered to try and work out what happened>!) Dont post again until you have a login.

Flik again? (0, Offtopic)

Ghoser777 (113623) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309693)

There he goes, with one of his crazy inventions. We've been flying with wings with moving parts ever since I was a wee ant. He should get back in line and prepare for the harvest... er... wait a minute.

[/end attempt at humor]


wing warping... (5, Informative)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309694)

There is a very intersting applet [] about wing warping on NASA site.

Actually wing warping was discontinued due to the fact that as modern airplanes became bigger and heavier rigid Duralium(Aluminium+Copper) and steel was used, which was not very conductive to bending, But I guess with carbon fibre based materials that will change.

Wing warping gives a large degree of control. It is Demostrated very well in the java applet which shows the lift, the forces, the mechanics and the attitude on a model plane(like the one used by wright brothers).

good sign (2, Funny)

Pretzalzz (577309) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309696)

This is a good sign. We were sorely technologically overmatched in the war in Afghanistan so it is good to see that we will be spending a couple of trillion more dollars improving our weaponry.

Re:good sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309750)

Yet you can't find Osama

Re:good sign (2)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309823)

First of all your anonymous so you're probably a troll and not worth my time. However bombing afganistan back to the stone age is absolutely nothing like hunting down Osama bin Laden. There is no amount of technology short of a satallite that can trace dna patterns from space through layers of rock that is going to find that bastard. Most likely he is going to be found through old fashion intelligence agency/detective work or by being sold out by one of his cronies. Then again if they passed up the $5 million (can't remember the exact figure)or so award they have on him then most likely that isn't going to work.You also refered to the poster as "you" so I'm assuming you're probably not american and were taking a generally condescending attitude to american war technology. #1) Screw you. #2) You're probably right though. Its kind of like that saying about not all the money in the world can being able to buy love. Not all the military spending in the world will find him. But hey, spending $40 billion on wing warping for an f-18 verse on education is the republican way.

Where is the "oomph?" (1)

csmorris (610681) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309698)

Maybe I'm just dense, but I don't think the article specified exactly how the wings would be bent. What will be used to warp the surfaces -- hydraulics? Changes in airflow? Electrical actuators? "Fly by wire" seems a bit too broad :)

Re:Where is the "oomph?" (2)

Jade E. 2 (313290) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309768)

Wow, I'm in a bad mood tonight. The poster posted:
...I don't think the article specified exactly how the wings would be bent. What will be used to warp the surfaces...
You obviously didn't see the pictures someone else posted. It uses a a pair of hydraulic cylinders attached to the ground [] , of course.

Actually (speaking with no knowledge of what I'm talking about) it seems like all you'd need would be front and back hardened rods the length of the wing that were only attached at 2 points - the [electric/mechanical] actuator inside, and a hardpoint on the twisty end...

Re:Where is the "oomph?" (2)

spun (1352) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309902)

It sounded to me like it was changes in airflow brought on by a modified control surface. Rather than seeking to deflect enough air directly to alter flight characteristics, the control surfaces would deflect enough air to bend the wing, which would then deflect even more air, and alter flight characteristics more efficiently.

I doubt they will be using the Wright brother method of having the pilot swing back and forth to bend the wings, though it does conjure up amusing images of combat pilots dangling beneath their supersonic planes.

Cool (1)

serps (517783) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309701)

Okay, now that we have the ornithopters, bring on the cute fremchicks!

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309832)

Since when were Dune references the new slashdot style?

Wright Bros Patent Royalties (3, Funny)

tdsotf (316796) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309709)

So does this mean the (long dead) Wright Bros get royalties on their wing-warping patent?
I guess it took us a hundred years to figure out they were right all along :-)

Re:Wright Bros Patent Royalties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4310049)

So does this mean the (long dead) Wright Bros get royalties on their wing-warping patent?

If you are conscious, and since you are conscious you are obviously for property rights, lest you fall prey to the stolen concept, then yes. If you are unconscious(brain dead), then you are obviously a nihilist, and not worthy of a response. Duh!!!

A little history... and a further resource (5, Informative)

DaedalusLogic (449896) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309719)

We are a little over a year away from the centennial of powered flight. The Wrights made their first successful powered flight on December 17th of 1903. The first run was something around 12 seconds... Later in the day they recorded durations of just short of 1 minute. The wing warping technique was used to control the roll of the airplane. The Europeans later developed the control surfaces known as ailerons to get around patents that the Wright Brothers had made on their wing warping technique. Ailerons eventually became the method of choice for future development for many engineering reasons.

An article on this matter was published and graces the cover of the September 2002 Aerospace America magazine. The plane this system is being tested on if not intended for is the F-18, the writer of the article was J.R. Wilson. Aerospace America page at []

Re:A little history... and a further resource (1)

A Rabid Tibetan Yak (525649) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309861)

I s'pose you could say Orville was wright all along, then...

Re:A little history... and a further resource (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309960)

for a little more history, check out html

Richard Pearse, ailerons. (2)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309980)

Well, I would say Richard Pearse [] bet the Wright brothers to it, but there is insufficient evidence to sway an American from the view point.

What I can tell you though is that the europeans did NOT develop ailerons, that was Richard Pearse [] in a small farming community of New Zealand, Waitohi.

Patents.. again.. (1)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310051)

So what you are saying is that superior technology was ditched because of patent/legal issues? Wow. That's a first...

The Simpsons (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309721)

The first thing that came to my mind upon reading the post was the Simpsons episode where Lisa's future is foretold. In a sci-fi setting an old Wright Brothers type plane flies by and Lisa's boyfriend says: "I'm so glad they re-evaluated those old designs" anyone remember that one :)

Re:The Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309929)

Definitely! The first thing I did was search this page for "simpsons" ;)

Re:The Simpsons (1)

agent oranje (169160) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309949)

you are sick. and i am just as bad for remembering the same episode when i read the headline.

the slashdot effect: a new form of terrorism (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309722)

The Slashdot Effect: A new form of terrorism.

Version 1.0 by Anonymous Pancake

As an assistant member of the security team of a large fortune 500 company, I have discovered a new form of terrorism stemming from the deepest underground of the Internet. A site catering to hackers, communists and anti-Americans called has created a new type of denial-of-service attack known as 'the Slashdot effect'. This attack has been used against what are seen as the enemies of the 'Open source movement' which include many large American companies such as Microsoft as well as many American media companies such as Time-Warner-AOL. The Slashdot Effect could have a potentially crippling effect on the American computer industry and I feel it is justified to offer my own advice on this problem.

What is the Slashdot Effect?

The Slashdot Effect (also known as Slashdotting) is a new form of denial-of-service attack stemming from the site Once they find a 'target' (whether it be a large media company or small personal homepage) the URL of the site is posted on the front page of Members of this site attempt as quickly as they can to follow these links and overload the target server. This causes the 'target' website to slow to a grinding halt before going offline. It can sometimes take days or even weeks for the site to recover from such a surge of traffic, and often the servers can be damaged beyond repair (that is, they cannot be fixed with a simple defrag!).

Who is normally the target of the Slashdot Effect and how is it done?

Many American companies have already been attacked by the Slashdot Effect. Targets often include news sites such as the New York Times as well as well as large American companies such as Intel. Sites that criticize the open-source movement are a prime target. For example, lets say an American media website such as the London Times does a review of a little known operating system known as Linux. Linux is an operating system developed by a hacker from communist Finland, which is based on code stolen from an American operating system known as Unix. It was created in cooperation with a communist group known as g.n.u. (Which stands for Glorified Novelty Unix) and is generally unusable by non-hackers. Obviously since it is such an archaic and unstable operating system compared to those made by American companies such as Microsoft it would get a bad review on the London Times. Once a Slashdot member discovers this honest review the URL would be posted on the front page of A flood of users would follow the link to the site and bring the server to a grinding halt. Since most of these users are terrorists they would probably have ads disabled using European hacking software. This would mean a potential loss of thousands of dollars worth of ad revenue. To top it off, members of often plagiarize the articles and post it on illegal mirrors, furthering the loss of ad revenue. Members of Slashdot are rewarded for plagiarizing in the form of 'Karma', a form of hacker currency, on

What can I do to avoid the Slashdot Effect and how would I deal with it if it happened?

The easiest way to avoid the Slashdot effect is to refrain from posting anything about any open-source software, especially Linux. Focus your website on fine American companies such as Microsoft. You can also set up your server to reject any links from, something many people have done. If you think your site is being attacked by the Slashdot Effect, contact the authorities immediately and report this act of terrorism. The penalties against hacker/terrorists are stiff and you can feel confident that the perpetrators of this terror will be punished in the harshest possible means.

Good luck and God bless America!

Re:the slashdot effect: a new form of terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309933)

I can make thousands of dollars worth of ad revenue? Count me in!

It is a controllable surface (2)

aibrahim (59031) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309724)

and that means that they can choose to keep it "straight" or more like a traditional wing during straight and level flight as the aircraft accelerates through Mach 1.

They do this simply by controlling the deformation and setting it to the rest state of the surface...since this is a prototype of a very new technology it is fair to assume that aside from deforming the wing for control the actual shape of the wing is very traditional, as are its construction techniques.

This should give a reasonably predictable set of behaviors at transition.

Then again, IANAAE. I should perhaps be heeding my sig.

Airshows..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309726)

....I predict massive carnage at Airshows for the public that will engulf large numbers of innocent onlookers in a fireball of molten metal and plastic! :( um yeah.

uh...excuse me... (1)

anzha (138288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309735)

Mission adaptable wings are not really that new. I was ooooohing and aaaaaaaaaaahing about ten years ago about the ones they were testing on an F-111.

I think it was on the AFTI F-111...

Re:uh...excuse me... (2)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309757)

Ten years ago?

I thought that was 68-69.

Re:uh...excuse me... (4, Interesting)

anzha (138288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309924)

lol. Yeah, for the swing wing, but what I meant was the automatic adaption of the shape of the wing itself for different speeds.

Here [] is the only photo I can find. Note the date at the bottom.

Re:uh...excuse me... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309913)

F111?!? How big a keyboard do you have?

Oh wait...

Re:uh...excuse me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4310061)

Those tests were just to determine the effect of changing camber on a wing rather than extending flaps, etc. If I remember correctly, both board & starboard wing moved at the same time and they were hinged at various points so the individual wing boxes kept their shape.

Have been wondering how they warp the wing without buckling the skin on one side.

Re:uh...excuse me... (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310064)

Well, for mision adaptable wings, look no further than the f14 or the Tornado. But then again, those where nowhere near as flexible (excuse the pun) as what's being talked about here. You might actually want to read the article.

intellectual masturbation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309736)

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As a skydiver, I have this to say... (1, Offtopic)

AntiNorm (155641) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309746)

Will it be jumpable?

In other news (1)

cebarro (596789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309759)

Dale Brown has just been named head of R&D at Dreamland.

For a great speculative description... (1)

brokenbeaker (267889) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309766)

There is a small passage in William Gibson's "Count Zero", where a jump jet is used in a getaway. The smart aircraft changes its shape for optimal flight...

Looking back at the past (2)

NetGyver (201322) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309778)

Why stop with the Wright Brothers? Why not take a bigger step back and design aircraft like birds? They have bendable wings too! Screw animalisitc decals, i'm talking glue and feathers man.

Once this gets into mass production, instead of our enemies looking up and seeing a decked out f-16 with all the trimmings and sophisticated bomb technology, they'll just think it's a overgrown hawk with explosive diarrhea.

How's that for covert!

The briefing at the base this morning (0, Flamebait)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309789)

We won't know if these planes are any good until we can do a double blind study to see if these new planes can kill people more efficiently than the older types of planes. Of course, it's a bit difficult to do a double blind study, because it would require the people killed to actually not know they are dead! Taking care of the researchers is easier; we can hire a bunch of those civil war re-enactors to pretend to be dead (or not!). Well, since it's hard to do a proper double blind study, we'll just have to settle for several single blind studies and work some magic with statistics.

Anyone got a problem with that?
Good, you are dismissed.

Re:The briefing at the base this morning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4310063)

youre an idiot if you think the military cant analyze the efficiency of its weapons systems.

Re:The briefing at the base this morning (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310068)

" dead (or not!)" Great, now you have to drag Schrodinger into it too? As if Heisenberg wasn't enough! And if you don't know why I'm dragging the latter into it, you're not thinking hard enough.

Just remember that (1)

pkplex (535744) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309790)

it was a kiwi who flew first :)

Or something like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309810)

Flex wings []

Variable Wing Geometry in Anime (4, Interesting)

Guppy (12314) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309818)

In the Anime OAV Macross Plus, the General Galaxy YF-21 [] Prototype piloted by Guld Bowman used a variable wing geometry as part of it's design, a feature also incorporated in the production VF-22 Sturmvogel [] appearing in Macross 7. Of course, the mechanism is different in that (besides being fictional), a shape-memory alloy was used to allow the wing to change shape.

Pilots are still the limiting factor (4, Interesting)

mike3411 (558976) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309840)

Advances in maneuverability are great, but pilots are, and have been for some time, the limiting factor. The current generation of fighter jets can produce G forces that greatly exceed what even well-trained humans can endure. I think the next major advance will be fully remote fighter jets. If the military had some sense they'd be using cameras on the jets and some kind of vr for the pilots. Voila, war is video games, and all of a sudden I'm an elite fighter pilot!
And my millions of hours logged in Counter-Stike are merely preparation for remote-controlled human-like spec ops. Yeah....

Re:Pilots are still the limiting factor (1)

panurge (573432) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309965)

Remote controlled fighter aircraft? How easy is it to jam a radio? Line of sight communications would be too short range. And what about mountainous areas where the signal can suddenly interfere or go to zero?

You'll have to control your aircraft from above using satellites. And before long countries like India and Pakistan should have the technology to deliver the EMP bombs that will knock them out.

Re:Pilots are still the limiting factor (1)

mike3411 (558976) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310056)

How about short range radio supplemented by LOS communication via smaller, guided-missle style craft, which communally are capable of providing constant (encrypted) communication. I suppose, however, EMP would be an issue, but would they be in any worse shape than current fighter jets, whose control system is entirely electronic?

Re:Pilots are still the limiting factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4310065)

in the long run theyll be able to run the mission on their own. think of it as a cruise missile that can dogfight too, and comes back to base when its done.

Re:Pilots are still the limiting factor (1)

RALE007 (445837) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310052)

It is very true that pilots are the limiting factor in maneuverability. I did notice that the article seemed to stress the benefits of weight reduction allowing a greater payload as apposed to soley speaking on maneuverability benefits.

Re:Pilots are still the limiting factor (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310071) haven't been following aerospace technology recently, have you? They already have Predators (UAV used for recon) fitted with missiles. Used 'em in Yougoslavia for the first time, IIRC.

Morphing wing technology tested before (3, Informative)

NathanielSamson (610709) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309885)

I remember a few years ago seeing in Janes Defense Weekly and other publications about a F-111 testbed vehicle in which the forward edge was replaced with similar techology. While this experiment did not include the entire wing the technologies developed were a definite precursor to the technology presented in the artical. If anyone else remebers this plane please reply, it is possible I have the aircraft type wrong. In an end note I have to say very cool reapplication of sound technology. Who owns the right to the Wright Brothers IP, I see a juicy lawsuit coming. He He He

You know you need more sleep when you wonder... (1)

jimhill (7277) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309891)

"What is an autoerotic wing, anyway?"

How Long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4309896)

I wonderhow long its going to take he USAF to get a patent on the technology?

Old stuff, new twist (3, Insightful)

Chris Johnson (580) | more than 11 years ago | (#4309919)

Aeroelastic is old. That's the way 747 wings were built, and 707s, the entire pedigree of Boeing swept-wing jets have aeroelastic wings. They use the podded engines to direct the bends of the wing so that they are bending in useful ways. Non-useful ways would include flutter and pitching up in a stall.

What's being talked about here is DIRECTED aeroelastic wings, even more elastic than the Boeing jets. Sounds like a neat idea :) sure as hell would result in control surface effectiveness! Not only no control surface gaps, but the whole damn wing's a control surface. In addition, this could also trim the wings to act as flaps, changing wing incidence on the fly.

Re:Old stuff, new twist (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310077)

Not strictly true.

What we have here is you not really understanding material science: everything bends when it's put under stress.
What you're talking about is just using the structural shape to minimize the stresses. Same thing happens in any structure (at least, if you're an engineer, which I am). You compute the forces, then the stresses and then devise ways of minimising them. That's not aeroelasticity, that's just elasticity, something you takee into account in any calculation.

Second bit of your statement is true.

Just another adaptation of nature... (4, Interesting)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310038)

Well all the birds and insects will be glad to hear that we superior humans have finally decided to get with the program and utilize controllable surfaces to improve our aerodynamics(think feathers and flexible wings)... now if we could only talk to the hummingbird and bumblebee [] specialists out there to begin using micro-turbulence effects to our advantage as well... hmmmm, interesting.

Active surfaces (2)

Chocky2 (99588) | more than 11 years ago | (#4310087)

Active aerodynamic surfaces have long seemed to me to be the next big leap in aero technology, nice to see something publicly available -- most of the research into it is too classified to find much out about.
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