Question of the Day

Here’s a video of what happens to metal inside one of Japan’s electromagnetic trains.

Go ahead, watch it. I’ll wait.

Now.

The question. If a system as low power as is needed to move trains around does this to paperclips, what will a much higher energy system (like that needed to launch airplanes) do? (I’m making the assumption that the power needed to gradually accelerate a train to 30 mph is much less than the power needed to get a fully loaded F/A-18 to 165+mph in 2 seconds). UPDATE: Fair enough, the trains go 130 mph. But not in 2 seconds…

What’s it going to cost to take F/A-18s and make them impervious to the magnetic field generated when EMALS launched them? Or are we just going to *hope* all of the electronics in there don’t fry?

What happens to the folks who have berthing right underneath the cats on the carrier?

I hope these things are being worked out.

I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about. Sounds like VADM Architzel’s got it all worked out.

Freshman Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y., a retired Navy commander, prompted the most direct questioning of the hearing.

“What happens if it doesn’t work?” he asked.

“The technology now is critical to the ship,” replied Architzel, who detailed the Navy’s steps in reviewing the program but did not mention an EMALS alternative.

“I say again, what happens if it doesn’t work?” asked Massa.

“We have every expectation that it will work,” replied Architzel.

“With all due respect,” Massa asked again, “what happens if it doesn’t work?”

“With all candor, if that new system will not work … we will have to make sure it does work,” Architzel said.

Nice. Classic Navy right there. Do not deviate from the plane. Even worse, do not have a plan to deviate to if the first plan should fail.

Seems to me going through life without a plan B is a bad idea.

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2 Responses to Question of the Day

  1. Niall says:

    30 mph? Magnetic bullet trains in Japan go much, much faster than that. More like 120 mph. Ditto for the magnetic trains in France.

  2. Jeff Lee says:

    That Architzel quote is great.

    As far as berthing under the cats, studies have shown that magnetic fields do not have adverse biological effects. Doesn’t mean that there is no risk, but I’m sure it’s good enough for the Navy. After all, inhaling amine and atomized lube oil for months at a time is safe enough for submariners…

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