If you plan on steaming a huge Navy ship around the globe, it's going to need a lot of fuel to keep it running. That's a problem when you're thousands of miles from home in hostile waters. But what if you could simply make your own fuel using the seawater that surrounds you? That's what the U.S. Navy wants to do, using a two-step process that turns seawater into jet fuel.
Man has long warred against man, bringing all manner of bloody machination to rend the opposition limb from limb. For as long as man has been capable of throwing stones, he has also brought with him all manner of beast. You will likely recall stories of courageous horses, mules, dogs and perhaps carrier pigeons, but animals have "enjoyed" far stranger uses in battle. Here, commonplace creatures have been called upon to fulfill the strangest of roles. Here's our list of the 17 strangest, most under-sung animal war heroes ever called to battle.
War is a messy business at the best of times, but it could get even more foul if a Russian inventor's personal human waste extracting tank gets built.
It's been a long while since airships ruled the skies, but like all things vintage and nostalgic, they might be making a comeback. Of course, this time it's about more than nostalgia. A company in Southern California is building airships for the military to transport cargo and conduct surveillance.
For a soldier in a firefight, one of the hardest things to protect without restricting vision or breathing is the face. Regular camouflage face paint, with its oil and wax base layers, actually makes things worse, so scientists have developed a new version that protects the skin from intense heat.
Science is hard at work developing ever more freaky robots to take over the world. To that end, DARPA, in partnership with private-public-hybrid Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a "cost-effective" modular robot hand that is scarily close to mimicking a human hand's movements.
Yesterday, the Air Force conducted a third test flight of its X-51a "Waverider" hypersonic cruise missile, hoping for 300 seconds worth of sustained scramjet-powered flight at over Mach 5. It could have gone worse, but not by much: a faulty control fin caused the vehicle to break apart and crash into the ocean just over 30 seconds after launch.
America has a mighty, might navy, with giant, powerful ships that are (or soon will be) outfitted with laser canons and hypersonic railguns, but these fearsome war machines have one major weakness: land. DARPA's new CAAT demonstrator can project some of this power onto the shore, using big air-filled flappy bits to allow vessels to travel on water or land.
The F-22 Raptor is unquestionably the most advanced combat aircraft the world has ever seen. It's also by far the most expensive. But whether it's the hands-down best is up for debate, especially after multinational Red Flag combat exercises in Alaska. In the words of one German Eurofighter Typhoon pilot, "we have had a Raptor salad for lunch."
We now know what an atomic bomb really sounds like. So what does it feel and look like? In June of 1957, five Air Force officers found out, volunteering to stand directly under an exploding two-kiloton nuclear warhead. They narrate the whole thing, live.