Sure you know Hitler made thousands of V-1 “Vengence Weapons” during World War Two and Blitz’d London with them, but did you know that the US cloned them? Or that we also wanted to build thousands to use against Tojo’s Japan home islands? Well if you are ever in West Florida, check it out. They were the Loons.
These 5000-pound flying bombs were built by Republic Aircraft with help from Willys (the Jeep people) and Ford Motors. Designated the Republic-Ford JB-2, they were 27-feet long and used a PJ31 Ford Pulsejet engine (yes, you can always win a bar bet by saying, and proving, that Ford made a working pulsejet engine in the 1940s). Packing 2000-pounds of high explosive, these things could fly on their stubby 17-foot wings at over 425mph to a range of 150-ish miles. Controlled by radio, they could hit a target with about a 1000-foot aimpoint. With a ton of HE, that’s fairly close enough to work, especially if you sortie a bunch of these things at one time.
The US rushed these into production just 90 days after finding a more or less intact German V1 in 1944. This included reverse-engineering the German Argus As 014 pulse-jet engine that gave the bomb its curious ‘buzz’ as it flew. Before the war ended, the US had nearly 1400 of these built. It was envisioned that they would use these bombs flying from the decks of converted escort carriers, large submarines, and wings of PBY Privateers (navalised B-24 bombers). The thing is, the war ended before they could be used.
As it was, besides a few shot up in tests in the desert, the 1400 JB-2s were mostly expended over the Gulf of Mexico, flying from Eglin Field and Wagner Field (where the Doolittle Raiders trained). If you ever go to the State-owned beaches like Grayton Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, etc, know that most of the dunes there had rails on them to fire Loons out over the Gulf back when they were a part of Eglin. Occasionally wreckage from these old bombs are found and a few of thier sled tracks are still out there. The Armament Museum at Eglin has a complete one on display.
A few months ago, the collective gun community fell off its rocking chair when Cody Wilson created from a jug of plastic media a disposable single-shot pistol. This was done through the magic of 3D printing. However, a totally different company has trumped Wilson’s “Liberator” by making the much more interesting clone of the famous Colt 1911 .45ACP pistol– out of steel.
For the rest of the real deal on this story, check it out in my column at Firearms Talk.com
You’ve seen them around in increasing numbers in the past few years. Those spooky Jason-meets-Michael Myers masks being
worn by ‘operators’ from video games to the sandbox. They are the ballistic face shields, and we are taking a closer look.
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk.com
An intresting piece in the Washington Times looks at the PLAN’s take on their small SSBN program. They currently have five operational nuclear-powered boomers carrying submarine launched ballistic missiles.
In 2010, a new class of missile sub, the Type 094 Jin class, entered the service. It is capable of launching 12 to 16 JL-2 missiles with a range of about 8,700 miles, covering much of the continental U.S. with single or multiple, independently targetable re-entry vehicle warheads. Chinese SSBN will begin official seapatrols starting in 2014. A futher class the Type-96 Tang, is under development.
Chinese calculations for nuclear attacks on the U.S. are chillingly macabre.
“Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, [our] nuclear attacks should
mainly target the key cities on the West Coast of the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego,” “The 12 JL-2 nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill and wound 5 million to 12 million Americans,”
And yes, for the record, I DO consider it grim irony that the fringe Survivalist groups whom have for years advocated the Northern Rockies such as Idaho and Montana as the most ideal survival prospect, now find themselves squarley under the proclaimed threat zone of the Chinese.
Then of course there is the 15 new “Zhan Shen” (God of War), Hongzha-6K bombers, which are just a rehash of Krustchev’s
Tupolev Tu-16 Badger twin-engine jet bomber, but can carry modern ALCMs with a 1500-mile range. Coupled with the H-6Ks 2500-nm combat radius, this allows nuclear cruise missile strikes almost 4000 miles from the Chinese mainland. While it cant reach the eastcoast, outer Hawaii and Guam (not to mention of course Japan and the ROK) are within its theorethical reach.
The Navy has gone through a lot of growth spurts for its Fire Scout Program. The program was born ten years ago to provide a remote control (unmanned) vertical takeoff & landing (VTOL) aircraft, with a payload capacity of 200 pounds, a range of 125 miles , an endurance on station of three hours at an altitude of 20,000 ft, and the ability to land on a ship in a 20-knot wind. The UAV was to fly 190 hours before planned maintenance.
They started off in 2002 with the RQ-8A, based on the Schweizer/Sikorsky 330, a 31-foot long, 1200-pound three person light helicopter. Then came the MQ-8B, based on the Sikorsky 333, and upgraded 330.
Now they have moved past that to the four-bladed, 41-foot long Bell Jet Ranger 407 (HH-57/OH-58) type helicopter. The much larger MQ-8C weighs 3 tons at max payload, has a 1,000 lb useful payload (Max hook capacity 2645 lbs), and has an endurance of up to 24 hours. It can be armed with AGM-175 Griffin missiles and APKWS II guided 70 mm rockets that the MQ-8B can carry, as well as heavier AGM-114 Hellfire missile. The Navy will buy a total of 96 Fire Scouts to deploy on both ships at sea and with expeditionary forces ashore.
And they have tested it in the air this week:
Point MUGU, Calif. (Oct. 31, 2013) An MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle takes off from Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu. The Navy’s newest variant of the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter completed its first day of flying Oct. 31 with two flights reaching 500 feet altitude. The MQ-8C air vehicle upgrade will provide longer endurance, range and greater payload capability than the MQ-8B. Initial operating capability for the MQ-8C is planned for 2016, with the potential for an early deployment in 2014. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman/Released
The PCU USS Gerald R. Ford is now in the water, having had her immense dry dock filled this week at the builder’s yard. CVN-78 is to be the lead ship of its class of United States Navy super-carriers. When finished in 2016 she will be 112,000 tons and over 1100 feet long, making her the largest warship ever completed.
She will fill the hole left in the fleet when USS Enterprise (CVN-65) decommissioned without replacement last year.
Congratulations US Navy, you have the first new floating tumblehome hull battleship since the Battle of Tsushima in 1905!
October 28th, 2013, — The 87% complete Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer PCU USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) is floated out of dry dock at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard. The ship, the first of three Zumwalt-class destroyers, will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces and operate as part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. The lead ship and class are named in honor of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., who served as chief of naval operations from 1970-1974. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics/Released)
Above is not the Zumwalt but the 12,300-ton (only 700-tons lighter than the Mighty Z-boat!) French battleship Charles Martel with her tumblehome hull. Construction date: 1891. Incidentally, the great graveyard of tumblehome battleships is in the waters between Japan and China. There in May of 1905, an upstart Asian naval force with borrowed technology sank a modern European one and made it look simple.
Now if the the US Navy can just get the magic guns to work on their new 13,000 ton ‘destroyer’ that has 20% fewer VLS cells than the current 1980s technology Burke class destroyers, and 40% fewer cells than the 1970s technology Ticonderoga-class cruisers in a larger hull, things will start to look a lot better and less like 1905.
During the opening shots of the Cold War, Stalin had the B-29 Superfortress reverse-engineered to make the first Russki intercontinental bomber. The Chinese, looking to get into aircraft carriers, bought the old HMS Melbourne for scrap in the 1970s then examined her for twenty years before moving on to Russian pre-owned casino carriers.
Well, it looks as if the Chinese have gone the Stalin route and cloned a AH-64 Apache.
No one has seen it fly yet, and it may just be a mock-up, but still. Holy xerox batman!
RedOrbit has done some research that would tend to color the prospect of a zombie virus as a definite….possibility
“So, you start with Rabies virus, but you engineer it so that it doesn’t actually kill you. It just takes over your brain and makes you want to bite other people to spread itself. Infected people just become automatons devoted to spreading the virus. The main viral property you’d want to change would be to convert it from causing an acute infection (like Ebola which tends to kill the victim quickly) to persistent infection (like Herpes, which stays with you for your entire life). Functions you’d want the infected person to retain would be metabolism (so they can produce more virus) and motility (so they can get from victim to victim). You would want the virus to cause infected people to lose the ability to think independently (and therefore come up with a cure).
Hey, aren’t we talking about internet trolls here,” Dr. Dinman told redOrbit.
Some conspiracy theorists say a zombie virus is already here and its known as LQP-79. This virus is allegedly a “mental virus infection” that derived from the 79th attempt at developing a “Lysergic Quinine Protein” in a bid to create a mind control substance. According to theories, the virus was supposed to be contained to training facilities, but not only have samples been released, the media is playing cover-up by hiding information on this story from the public. Obviously, this story has been proven time and time again to be a hoax, but it has become so popular that even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged the term “LQP-79? had been one of the top searched terms on the government agency’s website in May 2012.”
Their version of the Future of War…..