While also as strong as possible so as to withstand the pressures exacted by speed & torque.... and all those rockets & bullets that might be shot at themsober_ruski said:Lets see... aircraft = light frame and skin to reduce as much weight possible to create highest power to weight ratio possible.
sober_ruski said:Lets see... aircraft = light frame and skin to reduce as much weight possible to create highest power to weight ratio possible.
submarine = heavy strong metals to keep it from being crashed by water pressure.
just does not add up.
Best: Never-Used Weapon Systems, From the USSR's Ekranoplan to the Puckle Gun
By Sharon Weinberger 04.21.08 | 6:00 PM
Dubbed the Caspian Sea Monster, the USSR's top-secret ekranoplan skimmed on a pocket of air just above the water's surface and well below radar. Only a handful were built, and the behemoth never made it out of trials.
2. Marine Corps Space Plane
A few years ago, the Marine Corps proposed Sustain — the Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion project — which would put boots on the ground anywhere in the world within two hours. It made a great PowerPoint presentation.
3. Atomic Airplane
In the 1950s, a rumor spread that the Soviets were working on a nuclear-powered aircraft. Alarmed, the US rushed to finish its own. The hitch: The crew would be exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. One solution offered was to use older pilots.
For years, the US military experimented on its own soldiers with LSD, pot, and 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, hoping to learn how to give foreign armies a bad trip.
5. Sun Gun
The Nazis developed plans to build a space-based reflector that would redirect sunlight into a devastating heat beam. Allied engineers doubted the Germans could do it. They were right.
6. Davy Crockett Nuclear Bazooka
A nuclear recoilless rifle of questionable accuracy — what could go wrong? It was actually deployed in Europe during the Cold War.
This space weapon would have used a thermonuclear weapon to power a massive X-ray laser. Eventually the notion of setting off hydrogen bombs in orbit started to seem like a bad idea.
8. Bat Bomb
Aiming to end World War II, the Pentagon sponsored a project to release time-bomb-laden bats over Japan. The mammals would nestle in the nooks of buildings, where their incendiaries would eventually ignite. Little Boy and Fat Man beat them to the punch.
The Crusader could have shot 10 artillery rounds a minute at ranges in excess of 20 miles. It would have been awesome — for fighting the Soviet Union, which collapsed a decade before the super howitzer was finished.
10. Puckle Defence Gun
In the 1700s, Englishman James Puckle invented what many credit as the first machine gun. One selling point: It fired round bullets for shooting Christians and square ones for shooting Muslims, whom he felt deserved a more painful death.
Greymatters said:Im sure every major nation has some odd looking weapons in their libraries that never saw reality, dating back all the way to Da Vinci and his mobile machine gun turret... any other Canadian ones?
geo said:Replacement ??? Do you mean the "notional helicopter"
:"We must proceed therefore on the basis that anyone knowing what is in the German reports can establish a chain reaction, provided he has sufficient materials."
Alvin Weinberg's post-war evaluation of Hitler's nuclear program
interviewed Alvin Weinberg many times over the years, including a couple of times for a profile, "Reflections of a Nuclear Trailblazer," that was published in The Miami Herald on Oct. 3, 1984. We talked a lot about his early work at the University of Chicago and the circumstances of how he joined the Metallurgical Laboratory to help design reactors for the wartime A-bomb effort.
"We were under enormous pressure," he said. "People were dying. Americans and others were being killed at an enormous rate. We knew if we succeeded, then the war would be over. I never worked so hard in my life."
Fear was a motivation. Fear of losing freedom. Fear that Nazi Germany might be first to develop an atomic weapon.
"I will never forget a meeting we had in Arthur Compton's office," Weinberg said. "This was in 1943. It was probably around November. The war wasn't going very well at that time, and we had word then that the Germans were working on the uranium bomb."
He added: "The meeting was attended by Compton, who was head of the Metallurgical Project, Eugene Wigner and Enrico Fermi -- all three Nobel Prize winners -- and Alvin Weinberg. I was Wigner's assistant at the time, and I was just a kid, really. The issue was when can we expect the German atomic bomb.
"Wigner went up to the blackboard and said, 'Well, it'll take three months for them to design and build their reactor. It'll take two months for them to run it. It'll take two months extracting (plutonium) . . . We had rumors they were working on it, and Wigner was always very pessimistic in his assessment. So, he estimated that by Christmas of 1944 we could expect the German bomb."
Fortunately, Weinberg noted, Wigner was wrong.
But what was Weinberg's assessment of the situation a few months after World War II ended?
Tim Gawne, who's spent a considerable amount of time researching ORNL's archives and the Weinberg papers, recently came across a declassified Nov. 8, 1945 memo from Weinberg and L.W. Nordheim, the first physics director at the Oak Ridge lab (then called Clinton Laboratories), to Compton. Weinberg, who later directed ORNL for 18 years, died in 2006.
"We are writing in order to correct what we believe to be a very prevalent misconception concerning the state of the art as known to the Germans in 1945," Weinberg and Nordheim wrote in the three-page memo, noting they had read a few of the relevant German documents.
There has been a lot written, of course, regarding Germany's work on the atomic bomb and various analyses. I'm no scholar on the topic, by any stretch, but the Weinberg/Nordheim memo seems to offer a more generous assessment of Germany's progress than some other post-war reports and subsequent analyses.
They addressed multiple questions in the memo, including a concluding one, "What bearing does this have on the general question of our 'secrets'?"
Here's part of their answer:
"On this we can presume to speak only as individuals.
"The general impression from the German reports is that they were on the right track and that their thinking and developments paralleled ours to a surprising extent. The fact that they did not achieve their chain reaction is primarily due to their lack of sufficient amounts of heavy water.
"In one of the reports a vivid description is given of the German efforts in this respect. The heavy water factories in Norway were designed for a capacity of 3-4 tons a year and were successfully operating during part of 1942 and 1943. This capacity would have been sufficient for the construction of a pile (reactor). However, the production was interrupted by sabotage and finally the main factory was destroyed by a bombing attack. Toward the end of 1944 plans were made to initiate production of heavy water in Germany and to use enriched uranium in order to reduce the material requirements.
"It is also fairly clear that the total German effort was on a very considerably smaller scale than the American effort. This may be due to the strained German economy or to the less favorable attitude of their government. The fact remains that an independent group of scientists, of much smaller size than ours, operating under much more adverse conditions achieved so much.
"We must proceed therefore on the basis that anyone knowing what is in the German reports can establish a chain reaction, provided he has sufficient materials. The Smyth report will give additional very helpful hints. The time when others can establish a chain reaction is therefore no longer a matter of scientific research but mostly a matter of procurement. The policies of our authorities must, it seems to us, be formulated with a clear realization of these facts."
Here's a link to the full Weinberg/Nordheim memo.