Concept: airplane that can split into 3!

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Romulan_spy, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2000
    Location:
    Terre Haute, IN. USA
    I found this concept video from BAE for a drone fighter plane that could split into 3 smaller fighter planes and recombine after the mission.

    It reminded me of the vector assault mode of the USS Prometheus from Voyager's "Message in a Bottle":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re29lqCEtpc

    Could this concept become reality? It looks super cool but I still feel like it is pointless. Just like with the USS Prometheus, I think it would be far easier to just build 3 separate planes to begin with rather than trying to create a plane that split into pieces.
     
  2. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    Without reference to a tactical advantage or purpose, any weapons system is pointless. Why make a submarine capable of performing as an aircraft carrier? The Japanese might tell you.
     
  3. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah, I'm not sure what the advantages of such an aircraft would be, but it has a great "coolness factor." It reminds me of some of the stuff from Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds and U.F.O.
     
  4. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2000
    Location:
    Terre Haute, IN. USA
    I could situations where it could be useful. It could split so as to engage three different targets that are far apart and then recombine afterwards to return home. Or, it could split and use one as decoy, the other to paint the target and the third piece to engage and then recombine to return home. But again, these scenarios could be just as easily accomplished with three standard planes working together.
     
  5. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007

    Human torch- Is it a "Hemi"?
     
  6. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    The F-14 "Tomcat" could fire on six targets at once, although I don't know if it was ever used that way in actual combat. I don't see any advantage at all in this "transformer" plane design, while the concept is exceedingly risky. The D-21 drone experiments on the SR-71 demonstrate that, and those experiments were separation, only. Recombining into a solid airframe in-flight is nothing like docking in the vacuum of space.
     
  7. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Danville, IN, USA
    The concept reminds me of some UFO reports about lights (theoretically representing aircraft) that break into multiple parts then recombine.

    So, maybe it's possible.
     
  8. farmkid

    farmkid Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    My first thought as I watched this was to wonder how the system dealt with the massive turbulence so close to each piece. As they got close to dock, or at the first moment of separation, that turbulence would be extremely violent and dangerous.
     
  9. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Or at the very least, have small planes that can be carried inside the bomb bay of a larger plane, so they can be deployed once in the air.

    A similar thing was done ages ago, actually.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYtazEBQ1K8
     
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago...
    Yep, nothing says "viable" like a report of mysterious lights in the sky.
     
  11. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    The U.S. Navy also tried using the dirigibles Akron and Macon as flying aircraft carriers.
     
  12. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    [​IMG]
    Fascinating. A very interesting read...
     
  13. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    As others have said it looks too complicated and if you don't want something in a weapon it's complexity.

    There are so many things that can fail and such aircraft have to operate in any weather so if thereƄs heavy rain/storm in the target area you can't send in your cool drone? That alone would immediately disqualify it from actual use.

    Such things work in movies but in reality i don't see either the point or the tactical advantage that would outweigh the limitiations of this design.
     
  14. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    ANd how would the control surfaces work on the front aircraft anyway?
     
  15. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    In other words:
    You've failed me again Starscream!

    Similar
    http://www.smh.com.au/travel/the-fu...plane-with-clip-on-cabins-20130612-2o3nq.html
    http://www.google.com/patents/US6070831

    Now I will say this--it might surprise someone on your six, to have this auto-drone come apart. You think you just need to fire at one target, and all of a sudden, there are three.

    My favorite idea was the concept of a B-1R missile truck, perhaps serving as a fighter destroyer. Have drones coax enemy planes into a ballistic footprint, and unleash hell--very long range missiles--with a powerful enough radar in that Bone's nose to light up even moderately stealthy designs.

    Back on topic--a fuselage that can parachute down would save the lives of passengers--perhaps a parachute atop a blended wing body.

    That might be harder for a missile to fragment than standard cruciform designs.
     
  16. JustAFriend

    JustAFriend Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2002
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Not a new concept. And it's never worked well enough to bother with....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    Wikipedia has an article that refers to the Short Mayo Composite (see Tiberius' link)-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Mayo_Composite. This was a specific niche for which a piggyback arrangement actually worked.
     
  18. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Indeed it does! :)

    I've always been a fan of these kinds of fanciful ideas!

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    The nose cone-"Fireball Junior"-of the Fireball XL5 could detach and land on a planet. Compared to an Enterprise shuttle, Fireball Junior was rather large compared to its parent craft, almost like two-ships-in-one.
     
  20. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    At a specific point of time-for the Mayo combo-a straight forward design was not quite up to the job. The limitations of the technology did allow a sort of circumvention, a doubling up of hardware in a system that created new functionality. Of course, technology was still developing, and the combo became obsolete very quickly. Another example is chemical rockets. By piling up the technology it became possible to reach orbit. Staging created a new functionality, a new possibility. However, as I understand it, chemical rockets are up against a hard limit, the limited energy content of chemical fuels. The rocket combo has therefore lingered.

    In universe, engineers have had a long time (dating back to First Contact) to refine the basic technologies associated with the warp drive. I suspect that by TNG, engineers would have considered doubling up technology to circumvent-to some degree-hard limits. Hence, the Prometheus as test bed.
     

Share This Page