Electric Hybrid Jets — A Puddle in the Future

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X projects have helped us build some of the most successful technologies ever.  It was an X project that got Lindburg to fly across the Atlantic and it has helped spur our first commercial space program.  But now the X moniker is being lent to a new, hybrid Air Force Jet Fighter, dubbed the “F-X”.

The Air Force’s cheif scientist, Mark Maybury, has been at the drawing board and he’s sketched out a future in which US military jets are equipped with battery-powered flight (backed by internal combustion), an extensive avionics package which includes lasers, radar reflection and evasion, heat detection and even the ability to inject computer malware into enemy computers.  (Think Iran‘s Stuxnet nuclear bug).

Maybury is looking to use super capacitors to store excess energy generated by the jet’s engines to such an extent that they would power all the on-board electrical systems and be able to handle the huge current draws that we expect from the laser and directed-beam energy weapons systems of the future.

Not a bad idea, but also not a big reach idea either.  Improved motor designs, such as a combined-cycle motor are likely to win more wars and save energy while doing so.

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Army’s “Nett Warrior” Program Put on Hold


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We’ve talked about “Nett Warrior” on the show before.  The army’s project to equip soldiers with a fully integrated navigation and communications system may be completely changing direction, or even cancelled.

Instead of having an additional 8 pounds worth of equipment to carry with them in the field, why not just carry a smart-phone or tablet computer?

Turns out that almost any of the new Android or iOS based smartphones and tablets can do everything the Army’s multi-million dollar program can do and more.  Sounds like their effort to require soldiers to carry an app-laden smart-phone may be the better solution after all.  And save millions.

Goodbye Nett Warrior, hello commercially-available, off-the-shelf, reliable technologies.

New England All Service Academy Holly Ball

Attention New England Service Academy Graduates/Midshipmen/Cadets.

If you are a Tech Talk With Craig Peterson show listener, you know that I’m big on volunteering. My wife and I have been co-presidents of the Northern New England Parents’ Association of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. That means we were elected as co-chairs of the Holly Ball…

This year is the 30th anniversary of the New England Holly Ball. For the first time ever, the United States Merchant Marine Academy‘s New England Parents association is hosting the ball, and boy is it tons of work! I’ve been putting some of my Marketing Talent into play and we’re sending out post cards, formal invitations and even email blasts!

If you’d like to help welcome in the New Year in Boston, check it out — buy a ticket (or donate a ticket for a Midshipman or Cadet by selecting “Will not be able to attend” when you buy your ticket). We’ve got a great dinner lined up, dance and more.

A quick summary:

  • Formal Pictures available
  • Formal Dress Uniform for Midshipmen and Cadets
  • Black Tie optional for Parents and Guests
  • Door Prizes

Schedule of Events

  • Festivities Begin at 6:30 PM with a Reception Hour
  • Grand Entry of Midshipmen and Cadets at 7:20
  • Pledge of Alligence and National Anthem
  • Innvocation
  • POW-MIA Remberance Service
  • Battle Standard Moment of Silence
  • Dinner Service at 7:45
  • Recognition of First Class Midshipmen and Cadets 8:30
  • Cake Cutting Ceremony 8:45
  • Desert Service 9:00
  • Drawings 9:15
  • Dancing 9:30 – 12:00

Female Cadets may bring Formal Gowns for the Dance
(A changing area will be provided)�