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For all you UFO fans out there, the US Navy is planning a sub-launched and recovered UAV. Unlike the combined plane/sub that was UFO's Sky:Diver combination, the Cormorant UAV is intended to be blasted out of the missile launch tubes of a converted Ohio class SSBN.
Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, famed for the U-2 and Blackbird spy planes that flew higher than anything else in the world in their day, is trying for a different altitude record: an airplane that starts and ends its mission 150 feet underwater. The Cormorant, a stealthy, jet-powered, autonomous aircraft that could be outfitted with either short-range weapons or surveillance equipment, is designed to launch out of the Trident missile tubes in some of the U.S. Navy’s gigantic Cold War–era Ohio-class submarines. These formerly nuke-toting subs have become less useful in a military climate evolved to favor surgical strikes over nuclear stalemates, but the Cormorant could use their now-vacant tubes to provide another unmanned option for spying on or destroying targets near the coast.

Funky stuff.

But this is still cooler...

It looks like we're slowly starting to live in a Gerry Anderson world.

A pity that it's the institutionalised paranoia of UFO, rather than the optimism of Thunderbirds...


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC)
Not to mention the world of The Flying Nun.

That top picture is half Flying Nun, half cootie-catcher, and half box labeled This Side Up.
Feb. 23rd, 2006 11:13 pm (UTC)
It looks like someone's been designing using origami. I would love to see it launch - it's going to have to be a Transformer
Feb. 23rd, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC)
The wings wrap around the body, and it sits on a compressed air cylinder (there are more pics on the piece I link to)
Feb. 24th, 2006 10:36 am (UTC)
Meanwhile, in NZ, something more modest is launched...

but just as pretty.

(Big pics here: http://www.earthrace.net/view.asp?webpage=171 )
Feb. 24th, 2006 11:57 am (UTC)
And also ellarien pointed out something that looks suspiciously like Thunderbird 2.
Feb. 25th, 2006 06:11 pm (UTC)
So where's my gull-wing electric car, then?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )