Aircraft Launch with Launch Loop Transformer Track Technology
Military Fighter Launch
Note: I prefer peace to war, and defense to offense. Perhaps if defense is good enough compared to offense, war becomes unlikely. But people are insane, so I fear this will just add fuel to the hellish fire of hatred. Loop power requires a well-prepared fixed location, a source of electrical power, and is unlikely to be usable in occupied territory without months of construction. I welcome suggestions to make this even less likely to be used for offensive operations.
One of the first applications of loop technology might be the rapid burst launch of squadrons of military aircraft. Presume control distributed among the aircraft to separate them safely after launch, and to control them in the turbulent wake of their predecessors, so they can average one second spacing.
Assume a launch of 30 F-35A aircraft, one per second. WAG follows:
- Takeoff mass: 30 tonnes
- Maximum takeoff engine thrust: 100 kN (added to catapult thrust)
- Takeoff acceleration: 20 m/s²
- Takeoff speed: 120 m/s (much faster than carrier)
- 50 m/s² 5 gee turn, 144 meter radius, about 2 seconds to straight up
- Afterburners above 300 meters (far above ground) to continue climb
- Loop catapult thrust 500 kN, total 600 kN
- Takeoff time 6 seconds (and 6 vehicles in process)
- Takeoff length 360 m
- Unpowered abort length 640 m (including curved "waterbath" dispersal to avoid rear-end collision)
- Takeoff energy = 216 MJ per aircraft (including engine power)
- Takeoff energy from loop = 180 MJ per aircract
- Takeoff energy for 30 aircraft = 5.4 GJ = 1500 kWh from the loop (about $200 of electrical input)
- Average power during launch 180 MW
The aircraft may be connected to the sled with cables so they can be "flown like kites" after reaching takeoff speed. They can be hauled back down to the ground during an abort, with subsequent aircraft flying over the aborted aircraft.
Wikipedia: The EMALS 300-foot (91 m) LIM will accelerate a 100,000-pound (45,000 kg) aircraft to 130 kn (240 km/h; 150 mph), cites EDN 240 km/h is 66.7 m/s, in 91m is average 24.4 m/s², perhaps a peak of 30 m/s², kinetic energy of 200 MJ.
Launch loop version 1 assumes a 14km radius D magnet and 14 km/s, thus a radial acceleration of 14000 m/s². A 500 m radius power loop with 8,000 m/s² acceleration would move at 2000 m/s and store 2 MJ/kg. 3000 meters of 4 kg/m rotor stores 24 GJ. With a transformer track, this is more than enough energy to launch the 30 aircraft. With a 1 MW grid feed, loop energy could be restored in 90 minutes.