Wednesday 19 November 2014

DARPA Working On Building an Aircraft Carrier Inspired From Avengers

 Aircraft Carrier
Drones, which are always considered as a vital part of the United States Military Arsenal and the strength of the US Military is gaining importance every day. Although the range and speed of the drones is limited when compared to other manned aircrafts, this shortcoming has been overtaken its advantages which includes low-risk, low cost, versatile as well as the best alternate to manned aircrafts.

This is the reason why they are becoming progressively more powerful. The shortcomings of the drones is being keenly checked and expected to be fixed by DARPA, who are looking towards airborne aircraft carriers as an alternate. Now, this is just an idea for DARPA, but if this goes in the desired way, then we can soon expect these carriers to develop and be ready for deployment. People are expecting these carriers to be similar to the helicarriers that was used by the S.H.I.E.L.D. in the movie “The Avengers”.

Sounds Unbelievable but it is possible

At an instance, the idea might sound crazy but this is not the first time, where an aircraft has been launched and has been successfully recovered as well. Before the World War 2, The US Naval airships Akron and Macon (officially known as ZRS-5 and ZRS-4 respectively) were floating airfields and aircraft hangars. Since at that time the range of ocean required to be observed was too much and bi-planes used for scouting were having limited range, 1000-foot-long airships were designed. These airships were designed in such a way that they could carry nearly five F9C-2 Curtiss Sparrow hawk scout planes.

The planes could not only be launched but also recovered by using a hook system in a trapeze-shape. One thing to remember is that there was no accident reported on these airships with respect to the aircrafts. During their years of operation, both launch and recovery process was completed successfully. Unfortunately, Navy had to discontinue to usage of this program due to the planes being destroyed in crash caused by bad weather.

Now, what we are left with is “Hangar 1″ at Moffet Field, which has been built to accommodate the Macon. Even though people might have seen it at Silicon Valley and associated it with Airship are deprived about the complete story. According to the reports, the Hanger was leased out to Google recently and they had to pay a whopping $1 billion for a period of 10-years.

What will change for the drones?

According to DARPA, if they are able to develop the capability of launch and recovery of the drones, this will enable the US military to combine the manned aircrafts with the speed, precision and range of the drones. At present, the emphasis is being put on the surveillance, intelligence, and reconnaissance, DARPA recognizes that these weaponized drones will also be helpful in other missions. DARPA has invited respondents to put forth their ideas pertaining to the modification of the aircrafts and provide an a complete analysis of the benefits that can be expected out of the modified craft and also the system will work on these crafts.

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