US Navy Testing Electromagnetic Catapults to Help Launch Aircraft from Carriers

Aircraft carriers have been equipped with steam-powered catapults from the very start in order to help launch fighters and bombers and get them airborne quick. However, this old-fashioned technology seems to be a bit too old for the Navy to use it on newer multi-million aircraft.

As an alternative, the US Navy is now looking to replace its technology with an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). The technology is currently being tested aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford and uses bursts of electromagnetic energy to launch planes much more smoothly and efficiently compared to the steam catapults.

While aircraft carriers are one of the biggest ships found on the sea, they are still not big enough for aircraft to generate enough lift before they reach the end of the ship. This is why they required some auxiliary help, such as the steam catapults, to generate that extra lift force to get them into the air.

However, steam catapults come with some drawbacks. The old technology is said to take up a lot of space and weigh in at 1,300 lbs. The systems are said to take a long time to recharge and after each launch, the launch itself is said to be abrupt. This means that there is no smooth acceleration for a steam piston, putting a lot of wear on the aircraft each time it launches.

Steam catapults are also said to use more power than the EMALS system, which is rather surprising. The switch to EMALS is said to bring smoother acceleration, improved reliability and a more efficient design.

Thank you Geek for providing us with this information

Big Weights are No Problem for Homemade Exoskeleton

Who’s going to be the first to develop our next supersoldier? We’re not talking Captain America genetics or Robocop structure here, just strapping your average joe G.I into an exoskeleton and putting him to work – Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare style. America are often rumored to have things like this in the planning, we know China has the funding and the brains to carry it out.

Or maybe James Hobson, aka The Hacksmith, it the man we both need and deserve. Thie backyard bandit has developed his own personal exoskeleton by using simple household items like paper clips and rubber bands.

Ok we might be overstating it here, he’s not quite MacGyver, but either way we’re certainly impressed with his efforts.

Hobson’s exoskeleton has been filmed helping him lift 171.5 pounds (78kg) of cinder blocks without raising a sweat. Apparently a compressor upgrade could see him lifting much more as the current setup is running at half pressure.

If you’re interested to see exactly how it was designed, Hobson provides a work log guide to his upper-body creation. In saying this, there’s nothing strapped to his legs as of yet, so we’re hoping he gets some extra support before trying to lift something double the weight or more.

For all the fun, look no further than the video below.

[youtube width=”640″ height=”480″][/youtube]

Image courtesy of The Hacksmith

Hitachi Commissioned To Build 45mph Elevator – 95 Floors In 43 Seconds Anyone?

If you’ve been lucky enough to head over to Las Vegas, there’s a strong chance that you would have experienced the speedy elevators that run up and down many of the major hotels across the city, but these are nothing compared to the even faster lifts in Taipei’s 101. From experience these lifts are simply amazing when you think about the more mundane services that we find in our major shopping centres and malls, however like everything else in today’s technology driven world, there is always the room for more speed.

Over in the Tianhe Districts of Guangzho in China work is currently underway on the CTF Finance Centre, which when completed will stand almost twice as tall as London’s Shard at a staggering 530m from ground level. Getting up to the upper floors of any skyscraper sized building is not something which we want to do in a typical average paced lift, not by far, so to get up to the 95th floor in a super quick time, Hitachi have been tasked with the job of putting together the worlds fastest elevator. Running along at a nippy 45mph, the elevator will be able to run up and down the 440m long shaft in little over 43 seconds, out pacing Toshiba’s 38mph speed in the 101.

When traveling at these speeds, there are a number of challenges that Hitachi will have to overcome – the biggest of these is the difference in air pressure. For anyone who has been in a super fast elevator you will most likely have experienced an ear popping sensation as the lift quickly changes altitude and consequently a different air pressure. To overcome this, Hitachi will automatically adjust the pressure in the carriage to compensate the ear popping sensation whilst a series of active guide rollers which will react to minute changes in the position of the guide rails, keeping the car as stable as possible. With a few additional guides and controls to keep the car on the straight and narrow in place, Hitachi hope that users will not feel as nauseous as you can sometimes feel in other fast elevators, allowing high level execs to get up to the 95th floor in seconds and to a meeting on time without feeling sick in the board room afterwards.

Construction of the CTF Finance Centre is due to finish in 2016 at which point Hitachi will become the makers of the worlds fastest lift.

Source: engadget