The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Remember The Vasa? We’re Going For The Aerial Version, It Appears

Posted on | May 23, 2012 | 18 Comments

by Smitty

The Vasa was a 17th century Swedish unintentional submarine:

Vasa was intended to express the expansionist aspirations of Sweden and to glorify king Gustavus Adolphus. No expense was spared in decorating and equipping the Vasa, which was also one of the largest and most heavily armed warships of its time.

Modern tribal knowledge has it that the king was all “More guns!” and the naval architect replied, “Can we invade Russia instead?”

Meanwhile, the same Administration that brought you Solyndra is coming at naval aviation with the brilliant flair of Gustavus:

New tests conducted at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have revealed that US warplanes are capable of flying faster and carry more payload on missions, when flying with synthetic fuels, including biofuels, compared to conventional military jet fuels made from petroleum.
The increased performance of biofuels could allow, for example, a fully loaded F/A-18 SuperHornet supersonic fighter to carry one additional missile during military operations.
According to Air Force special advisor on energy and fuels, Omar Mendoza, the Pentagon has authorized additional testing with General Electric, Rolls-Royce, and Pratt & Whitney to confirm the findings from the Air Force Research Laboratory, based at Wright Patterson AFB, near Dayton, Ohio.
Mendoza added that, if the results seen at the extensive Wright-Patterson engine testing labs are confirmed, outcomes could include consideration of next generation engines that can take full operational advantage of the breakthrough in warplane performance.

Human Events fires back:

A few days ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta added fuel to the fire of an emerging controversy—just now capturing the attention of some members of Congress—by sharing his plans for the future of the military with a group of rapt environmentalists at an Environmental Defense Fund gala in his honor in Washington, D.C.
“Our mission at the Department is to secure this nation against threats to our homeland and to our people,” he said. “In the 21st century, the reality is that there are environmental threats which constitute threats to our national security. For example, the area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security: rising sea levels, to severe droughts, to the melting of the polar caps, to more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
Despite pending defense cuts that have had a dismayed Panetta pounding lecterns across the country, the Defense Secretary said DoD would be committing $2 billion in the next fiscal year alone to energy-efficient equipment and efficiency programs, and research and development for green technology.

This came in a note from the Dilbert end of the equation, an aeronautical engineer I know from back in the day:

The truth seems to be that biofuels are less energy dense, meaning it takes more fuel to get the same amount of thrusties out the back end. Not sure if you have the time to blog on this, but it has me and a couple of engineers here at NAVAIR bleeding out our eyeballs reading this propaganda.

But the science is settled: policy trumps science. Or it will, as long as we continue to elect jackwagons to office, and suffer under the appartachiks they appoint.

Update: Fischersville Mike makes an excellent point:

Biofuels are less energy dense.
Politicans are more energy dense.


18 Responses to “Remember The Vasa? We’re Going For The Aerial Version, It Appears”

  1. K-Bob
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

    They aren’t merely “working on it.”  There are working versions being spotted near hard-to-reach islands in the Pacific somewhere.

  2. Mike G.
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

    There is no way so called bio fuels will propel our military fighters the way these dumbasses think it will.

    I’m former Air Force and I just can’t see an F-15 Eagle or F-4 Phantom  going supersonic or carrying even a minimum payload on ethanol or used bacon grease, much less our more modern fighters. Oh, and can you imagine a BUFF with full payload taking off using used bacon grease?

  3. M. Thompson
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    The idea of seeing all the different crud they can try and fuel stuff off of isn’t bad.

    But pushing it, when we’re supposed to be ready to break things, and kill people?  Not so good.

  4. JeffS
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    At least Jimmy Carter limited his environmental meddling to offices and barracks.  This Charlie Foxtrot will get people killed.

  5. Robert_Hewes
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

    Right, because less energy density means greater energy efficiency. You’re thinking about it as if it were science — think about it as if it were Keynesian economics! More borrowing and spending makes us richer, not poorer. Just like war is peace, slavery is freedom, and two plus two equals five. 

  6. richard mcenroe
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    Truly we need fear no enemy with our magical green fuels that can defy the 2nd law of thermodynamics And make our jets grow extra hardpoints? If green fuels are all that why is the jerk. With the biodiesel bumpersticker always doing 40 in the center lane of the freeway.?

  7. richard mcenroe
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

    I may needto dip this Lenovo help not in recycled Bacon grease.

  8. Adobe_Walls
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

    I believe you’re onto something.

  9. Adobe_Walls
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

    Well it isn’t as if we didn’t already know that we needed to abolish globull warming believers.

  10. Coggieguy
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

    Biofuels = methyl esters of fatty acids.  Only fuel mentioned in the linked article is synthetic paraffinic kerosene.  The whole thing does not mention ANY specifics about ANY biofuel.  This is the green movement Mission Accomplished moment.  Lets see the whole aircraft testing.

  11. richard mcenroe
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 11:05 pm

    From its secret base in an extinct volcano in Vanuatu…

  12. Pathfinder's wife
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

    Oh yes, because turning potential food products into less efficient energy is always such a great idea….

    Although you have to admit: driving up food product prices to help fuel a less efficient war machine is, like, the ultimate expression of the Holdren doctrine…it’s almost elegant in its evil paradigm.  Al Gore might go super nova just thinking about all the implications…and then the Mayans will have been proven correct.

    Yeah, this statement sounds silly — but silly snark for ridiculous events.

  13. Adjoran
    May 24th, 2012 @ 12:07 am

    At a time when our military services are looking at huge cuts from automatic “sequestration,” this is an idea that borders on treasonous. 

    At the very least, it is proof positive that this entire Administration is populated by complete blithering IDIOTS who do not put a priority on America’s best interests, but instead serve first some insane socialist international ideology that wants to take our country down a few notches.

    If “biofuels” were indeed more efficient, they wouldn’t need any subsidies, tax breaks, or encouragement – in fact they would be in short supply as demand would be soaring.  It isn’t, which is why these green traitors are mandating this crap into our Defense Department.

    Rope.  We need LOTS of rope.

  14. scarymatt
    May 24th, 2012 @ 6:19 am

    Or…the “including biofuels” is a sop to the enviro-retards. Or it’s just one ingredient in some synthetic fuel concoction. TFA quotes some renewable energy CEO:

    Second, the Air Force is doing so much testing on coal to liquid fuels that I would be surprised if this data didn’t also apply to those technologies, which also produce a synthetic fuel.

    Given that the article is from “Biofuels Digest” it’s not surprising that they might emphasize the role of biofuels.

    The only thing I believe is that whatever the fuel actually is, it will be more expensive than conventional fuel.

  15. Bob Belvedere
    May 24th, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    I’m even more convinced that this whole Ethanol Thing is a Leftist plot to make bourbon more expensive.

    Think about it: bourbon is THE American booze; why it’s a Goddamn patriotic act to just sip it!  The scarcity of corn means (1) less bourbon can be made and (2) what is aged will be much more expensive.

    No Bourbon, No Peace!

  16. Pathfinder's wife
    May 24th, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    I suppose now would be a bad time to bring up Gov. Romney’s support for ethanol/biofuel and all that green energy/cap n trade/climate changey stuff, huh?

  17. M. Thompson
    May 24th, 2012 @ 9:00 am

    It’s whole hearted hold your nose and send Mr. Obama back ot Chicago time.

  18. Pathfinder's wife
    May 24th, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    I’m still debating on whether or not it should be sit back, wave my butt goodbye, and not even bother with this crazy bs time.
    My nose has been abused for quite some time; may be time to give it a breather.