February 10, 2013

Sweet Baby Jesus: Jets Armed With Lasers

Sure, sure, we might not get a 160 kilometer wide Death Star constructed in the near future, thanks to The White House tapping out on our fan boy needs. That petition was strange and I’m still pondering how it garnered so much momentum, but according to recent news we’ll be getting something better.

According to Lockheed Martin Corp., a contract for $9.5 million dollars has been secured for the optimization of laser technology on the rear of fighter jets. Why do they specify the rear and not the front of the jet?

Maybe they’re not so comfortable with soaring through the skies while having keen eyes staring down their hind ends. Owing to a reason like that, we could all assume that the guys/girls at Lockheed have a serious inferiority complex about their looks.

But I think the reason for this has something to do with the fact that these lasers are intensely hot, likely the result of radiation being emitted from the canon. I imagine that firing a laser in front of you while flying at that kind of speed would get your jet caught in its own crossfire. This would undoubtedly spell disaster for your cockpit, or even your gas tank.

If you know anything about the physical aspects of moving jets, then you know that they’re fast enough to speed through a major shopping center in less than 1/3 of a second. Could you imagine the maneuvering capabilities of a jet in an area like that?

Ignore the fact that you’d hardly get a chance to check out the scenery.

Speaking of which, someone should tell the pilot that we’re having a clearance sale over at Old Navy.

On to more reasonable discussions, this fusion of laser technology with jets means more air superiority for our country’s fighter pilots. In the past one hundred years, pilots have had to rely on their own skill in piloting to reign victorious in dogfights. It’s complicated to determine if that skill was short-lived, since fighter jets have gotten more advanced, and with that, more demanding of the human body to pilot. Those high velocities mixed with constant and quick directional changes have the capability to cause intense blackouts in the air. For a candidate to even be considered valid for piloting, they have to endure demanding flight and gravity tests of their body’s tolerance to high momentum changes. Could you imagine being yanked around the skies at speeds of up to 1,000 mph?

It’s enough to make your insides feel like Jell-O.

What would history’s most famous pilots say about technology like this? For pilots like the Red Baron and The Black Devil, this might have ruined the integrity of dog fighting.

It’s a little sick and demented to think of it like that, but I would like to believe that these men respected the physics and aerodynamics of dog fighting. I say this because they both flew aircraft that by today’s standards were the equivalent of piloting Styrofoam models.

But we’ll never know how they could feel about it, seeing as they died almost an entire century ago. I definitely look forward to seeing how this new technology will turn out in the future.

And in the mean time I’d love to hear your thoughts on these interesting new developments below in the comments!!!

Image Credit: Jurgen Ziewe / Shutterstock

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