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未来空中交通工具A future vehicle

2006-07-28 18:02

  While many technological advances occur in an evolutionary manner, occasionally a revolutionary technological appears on the horizon that creates startling new conditions and profound changes. Such is the case with the privately developed Moller Skycar, which is named after its inventor. With his permission, I would like to discuss the military potential of this vehicle. The ruggedized Moller Skycar variant the military is evaluating is called the light aerial multipurpose vehicle, or LAMV (pronounced "lam-vee")。


  The LAMV is a vertical take-off and landing aircraft that can fly in a quick, quiet, and agile manner. It is a new type of vehicle that combines the speed of an airplane and the vertical take-off capability of a helicopter with some characteristics of a ground vehicle, but without the limitations of any of those existing modes of transportation.


  The LAMV is not operated like traditional fixed —— or rotary-wing aircraft. It has only two hand-operator uses to direct the redundant computer control twists to select the desired operating altitude and moves fore and aft to select the rate of climb. The right-hand control twists to select the vehicle's direction and moves side-to-side to provide transverse (crosswise) movement during the hover and early-transition-to-flight phases of operation; it also moves fore and aft to control speed and braking. Simply put, the LAMV is user friendly.


  The LAMV of the future will be 18 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 6 feet high and weight 2,200 pounds. It will hold four passengers and a payload of 875 pounds (including fuel)。 The vehicle will have a maximum rate of climb of 6,400 feet per minute and an operational ceiling of 30,000 feet. It will attain a top speed of 390 miles per hour at an altitude of 6,000feet and a cruising speed of 350 miles per hour at 25,000 feet, and it will have a maximum range of 900 miles at 80 passenger miles per gallon. The LAMV also will be quiet enough to function as an acoustic "stealth" plane at 500 feet. It will have a vertical take-off and landing capability and emergency airframe parachutes, and it will be capable of using various fuels.


  Safety, of course, is most important. The LAMV design incorporates a number of safety features. For starters, the LAMV has multiple engines. Unlike any light helicopter or airplane, the LAMV has multiple engine nacelles, each with two computer-controlled Rotapower engines. These engines operate independently and allow for a vertical controlled landing should either fail.


  The LAMV features redundant, independent computer systems for flight management, stability, and control. Two airframe parachutes can be deployed in the event of the vehicle's catastrophic failure. These parachutes ensure that the LAMV and the operator and soldiers it carries can land safely. The Wankel-type rotary engines are very reliable because of their simplicity. The three moving parts in a two-rotor Rotapower engines are approximately seven percent of the number of parts in a four-cylinder piston engine. Each nacelle fully encloses the engines and fans, greatly reducing the possibility of injury to soldiers who might be near the vehicle in the event of an engine fire or explosion. Multiple systems check fuel for quality and quantity and provide appropriate warnings. The LAMV can land on virtually any solid surface.

  LAMV的特色是用独立的咒余计算机系统分别进行飞行管理、稳定性调整和控制。如果发生灾难性故障,可以使用2顶机体降落伞。这两顶降落伞可确保LAMV 及其驾驶员和所载土兵安全着陆。汪克尔式转子发动机结构简单,非常可靠。每台双转子Rotapower型发动机只有3个活动部件,仅为4缸活塞式发动机部件数的大约7%。每个发动机舱都将发动机和风扇完全密封,这样,在发动机着火或爆炸事件中就可大大降低对航空器附近的士兵造成伤害的可能性。它的多重系统可以检查燃料的数量和质量并给出适当的报警。LAMV实际上可以在任何固体表面上着陆。

  The LAMV is aerodynamically stable. In the unlikely event that sufficient power is not available to land vertically, the LAMV's stability and good glide slope allow the operator to maneuver to a safe area before using the airframe parachutes. Since computers control the LAMV's flight during hover and transition, the only operator input is to control speed and direction. Undesirable movements caused by wind gusts are prevented automatically.


  The potential economic advantages of the LAMV are worth mentioning. Its fuel-efficient engines and ability to operate on various fuels will low fuel costs. The LAMV uses one-fourth of the fuel per passenger mile used by the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey or high performance helicopters. The LAMV's acquisition cost also will be a significant factor in its favor. The LAMV's purchase price per passenger seat is projected to be approximately eight percent of that for the 30-passenger Osprey.

  LAMV在经济上的潜在优势也值得一提。其低燃耗发动机及可使用多种燃料的性能会降低燃料费用。LAMV的每乘客英里耗油量只相当于V-22"鱼鹰"式倾转旋翼机或高性能直升机的1/4.LAMV的购置成本也是它的一个重要的有利因素。LAMV的每乘客席采购价格大约只有30人定员的"鱼鹰"机每乘客席的 8%。

  The LAMV's potential military uses will be numerous. They include aerial medical evacuation, aerial reconnaissance, command and control, search and rescue, insertion of special operations forces, air assault operations, airborne operations, forcible-entry operations, military police mobility and maneuver support, communications retransmission, battlefield distribution for unit resupply, transport of individual and crew replacements, weapons platform, noncombatant evacuation operations, battlefield contractor transport, and battle damage assessment.


  Consider the LAMV's use in contingency operations. An adversary observing a LAMV would have great difficult determining the type of force approaching and that force's destination and intention. If the adversary did realize our intentions, the senior enemy commander would not have time to react. Imagine a forcible entry and early entry force package based in the continental United States that self-deployed overseas in LAMV's. With short halts along the way at seaborne resupply vessels or land-based refueling sites, the force package would reach its objective within hours. This concept would reduce dramatically the Army's dependence on the US Transportation Command for strategic airlift and on the geographical commander in chief for intratheater airlift support. The overall speed of force closure would improve greatly. This would enhance the senior commander's ability to conduct multiple, simultaneous operations in his battle space with an accelerated operational tempo that precludes the adversary from achieving his goals. Dependence on air and sea ports of debarkation would be reduced.


  LAMV will benefit the Army's battlefield distribution concepts tremendously because it will be able to move commodities rapidly when and where they are needed across a widely dispersed battle space. Both air and ground main supply routes (MSR's) would exist throughout the battle space. The MSR's in the air would change as missions and situations dictate. Eventually, small, multi-commodity shipping containers could be designed for transport by either a LAMV or an even more futuristic medium or heavy aerial distribution; many types of land mines used to block convoy movements today would become less of a concern for logisticians and engineers since they could use MSR's in the sky. Or consider moving contractors around the battle space in LAMV's to perform their tasks. Basically, the LAMV concept promotes a smaller, more agile, and more effective sustainment presence within a supported battle space.


  Consider the LAMV working in unison with the Army's Future Combat System (FCS)。 The LAMV could become an integral component of the overall concept for employing the FCS. The operator of thee LAMV actually could be a member of the FCS crew or unit. In this role, the LAMV would provide multiple benefits - reconnaissance, resupply, medical evacuation, and maintenance supply. Perhaps the AMV itself could become a future combat weapon system platform. Perhaps this innovative technology could force major changes in joint and Army doctrine, training, leader development, organizations, material, and soldier programs.


  Of course, the LAMV brings with it some obvious challenges. Its limited payload will be a negative factor. Its use will complicate Army airspace command and control. How the LAMV will be used in conjunction with forces under the joint force air component commander will have to be determined. LAMV support issues also require resolution. For example, operator selection and training, leader training, employment doctrine, LAMV basis-of-issue plans, and LAMV life-cycle management all require the Army's attention.


  However, once the LAMV technology matures, its military possibilities are startling. We in the Army combat service support "futures" arena are encouraged by the developments so far and hope that the LAMV will be ready for Army fielding around 2010. The LAMV can become a reality in our Army and possibility in the other armed services as well. Without any doubt, this technological innovation will succeed internationally inn the private, commercial, and military sectors. I hope that the US Army will be the first army in the world to embrace and exploit this technology. But sooner rather than later, this aerial vehicle technology will affect all of our lives. It is just over the horizon.

  不管怎样,LAMV技术一经成熟,其军用潜力是惊人的。我们这些在陆军战斗勤务支援"未来"领域工作的人,受到了迄今为止研制动态的鼓舞,期望LAMV在 2010年左右就能用于陆军兵力的战场部署。LAMV能够在我们陆军并且也可能在其他的军种成为现实。无疑,这-技术革新将会在世界范围的私营部门、商贸部门和军事部门取得成功。我希望美国陆军将是世界上掌握和利用这一技术的第一支军队。但是不久以后,这种空中运载器技术就将影响到我们生活的方方面面。它已经冒出地平线了。

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