France Shows Off Cutting-Edge Navy Ship in Russia
By IRINA TITOVA, AP - Nov 23, 2009
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – A cutting-edge French warship sailed into St. Petersburg Monday to show off its capabilities to potential buyers in the Russian navy, whose pursuit of an amphibious assault capacity is frightening some neighboring countries.
Oh really? What a yawnfest . . . so they've got an amphibious carrier and they want to sell it to the Russkies, huh? NO BIG DEAL . . . just so happens we've got a "Gator Navy" of our own -
* Wasp class
o USS Wasp (LHD-1), Norfolk, Virginia
o USS Essex (LHD-2), Sasebo, Japan
o USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), Norfolk, Virginia
o USS Boxer (LHD-4), San Diego, California
o USS Bataan (LHD-5), Norfolk, Virginia
o USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), San Diego, California
o USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), Norfolk, Virginia
o USS Makin Island (LHD-8), San Diego, California
* Tarawa class
o USS Nassau (LHA-4), Norfolk, Virginia
o USS Peleliu (LHA-5), San Diego, California
Then on top of all that, we've got THIS:
Three carrier strike groups in formation for a great photo op: USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and their associated carrier strike Groups steam in formation formation while 17 aircraft from the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps fly over them while preparing for Exercise Valiant Shield 2006.
Here's a close-up:
'Bye now . . .
And that's only a QUARTER of what we've got:
* USS Enterprise (CVN-65) — Norfolk, Virginia
* USS Nimitz (CVN-68) — San Diego, California
* USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) — Norfolk, Virginia
* USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) — Norfolk,Virginia +
* USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) — Norfolk, Virginia
* USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) — Everett, Washington
* USS George Washington (CVN-73) —Yokosuka, Japan
* USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) — Bremerton, Washington
* USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) — Norfolk, Virginia
* USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) — San Diego, California
* USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) — Norfolk, Virginia
* USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) — Under Construction, will replace the USS Enterprise +
Then on top of all that, we've got THIS thing:
The plane in these pictures is still officially the 'Air Vehicle Number 1', a prototype, on board the USS George Washington CVN-73 for catapult fit checks. Not exactly still Top Secret but certainly not yet made public.
It will be known as the F/A-37. Although specs are classified, it is believed to be Mach 3.5 (top speed in the Mach 4 range), super-cruise stealth fighter/bomber/ interceptor with approximately a 4,000nm range.
Check out the Navy test pilot in the cockpit of the F/A-37 . . . LT Kara Wade:
BUT WAIT ! ! ! THERE'S MORE ! ! !
Boeing is preparing a 1000 passenger jet that could reshape the Air travel industry for the next 100 years. The radical Blended Wing design has been developed by Boeing in cooperation with the NASA Langley Research Center. The mammoth plane will have a wing span of 265 feet compared to the 747's 211 feet, and is designed to fit within the newly created terminals used for the 555 seat Airbus A380, which is 262 feet wide.
The new 797 is in direct response to the Airbus A380 which has racked up 159 orders, but has not yet flown any passengers. Boeing decide to kill its 747X stretched super jumbo in 2003 after little interest was shown by airline companies, but has continued to develop the ultimate Airbus crusher 797 for years at its Phantom Works research facility in Long Beach, Calif.
The Airbus A380 has been in the works since 1999 and has accumulated $13 billion in development costs, which gives Boeing a huge advantage now that Airbus has committed to the older style tubular aircraft for decades to come.
There are several big advantages to the blended wing design, the most important being the lift to drag ratio which is expected to increase by an amazing 50%, with overall weight reduced by 25%, making it an estimated 33% more efficient than the A380.
I can just imagine a fleet of these babies unloading the entire 82D Airborne Division over Drop Zone Managua - Look out Chavez, HERE WE COME ! ! !
High body rigidity is another key factor in blended wing aircraft, It reduces turbulence and creates less stress on the air frame which adds to efficiency, giving the 797 a tremendous 8800 nautical mile range with its 1000 passengers flying comfortably at mach 0.88 or 654 mph (+-1046km/h) cruising speed another advantage over the Airbus tube-and-wing designed A380's 570 mph (912 km/h).
The exact date for introduction is unclear, yet the battle lines are clearly drawn in the high-stakes war for civilian air supremacy.
Now where were we? Oh yeah - the French have a new toy? And the Russkies want to buy it? Y-A-W-W-W-N-!-!-!