Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Nearly silent but fast and deadly drone

Radar transparent stealth drone powered by jet or gasoline power plant to get there; switches to electric power in target area for quiet operation
(+1, -1)
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This high quality, robust stealth drone is powered to your destination by a fast high altitude ops jet, low altitude ops turbo prop, or rotary gasoline power plant driven pusher style propeller in the rear, as you require(1). Upon arrival the drone switches to a front end located tractor style electric propeller power for quiet military or surveillance operations in the target area.

(1) We can install the power plant(s) you need for speed, economy and\or silence. Mono power plant drones are also available. Ask us about our soon to be available scramjet models that are launched from mother ship drones.

Edit 2013-02-20. The electric motor is geared so the prop tips do not exceed the speed of sound.

Sunstone, Feb 16 2013

Dornier DO 335 https://en.wikipedi...wiki/Dornier_Do_335
Similar to design I have in mind must have stealth qualities built in as well [Sunstone, Feb 16 2013]

Can a twin engine aircraft fly with one engine out https://www.google....al&client=firefox-a
[Sunstone, Feb 16 2013]

Silent helicopters with rotor designs based on deadly, silent owl wings https://www.google....e7&biw=1024&bih=548
[Sunstone, Feb 20 2013]

NASA's Ultra-Efficient, Super-Quiet, One-Man Electric Aircraft, et al https://www.google....e7&biw=1024&bih=548
[Sunstone, Feb 20 2013]


       How does it cope with the combined weight of two or three different powerplants, when only one is used at a time?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 16 2013

       In the drone category, no bun without a mention of bagpipes. Strict but fair.
not_morrison_rm, Feb 17 2013

       Electric motors are heavy. So are batteries. So are drive transfers. So are turbines and jet fuel.   

       Electric aircraft aren't exactly known for their payload capacity. On the plus side, it should excell at vertical descent.
Alterother, Feb 17 2013

       //Electric motors are heavy. So are batteries. So are drive transfers. So are turbines and jet fuel.//   

       Yes, but you can save a bunch of weight by leaving off the wings.
ytk, Feb 17 2013

       Oh, sure, but then you'll need extra wheels to get the thing airborne.
Alterother, Feb 17 2013

       In a piston-engined airplane, most of the sound comes from the propeller, not from the engine exhaust.
baconbrain, Feb 17 2013

       Neither electric motors, batteries, nor jet engines can be "radar transparent". The skin can be constructed to produce a minimal radar return, but that's the best you'll do.   

       And has been mentioned electric propeller driven model airplanes are not particularly quiet, air movement around the propeller makes noise.
MechE, Feb 17 2013

       Is this not a Dreamliner?
not_morrison_rm, Feb 19 2013

       Silent but deadly? Hmmm... where have I heard that before...
Grogster, Feb 20 2013

not_morrison_rm, Feb 20 2013

       You haven't. It's silent.
RayfordSteele, Feb 20 2013

       I was just remembering the time I bought an electric string-trimmer/weed-whacker. I took it out in the early morning cool, assuming that since it was electric, it would be silent.   

       The string tip whipped and cracked quite loudly. So did my wife.
baconbrain, Feb 20 2013

       Hold up, everyone, we've missed an important point of ridicule here: nowhere in this idea has the 'deadly' aspect of the drone been adressed. What gives, [Sunstoned]?
Alterother, Feb 20 2013

       At an airshow I used to attend, there was a plane called Samson, that had propellor tips moving at over the speed of sound. It was hella loud.   

       The interesting part was when planes flew near the announcers booth. The sound system played what the sound was there, and we could hear a different sound where we were. The difference between engine and propellor sounds really stood out, for some reason.   

       Samson and some others were running radial engines, and listening to the differences between radials and inlines also helped make clear what was propellor sounds and what was engine.   

       A slow-turning prop would help a stealth craft, as is already known. Muffling piston engines is already a science, as is quieting jets and turboprops.
baconbrain, Feb 20 2013

       A slower prop is quieter, but since it's going to have to be larger, the net effect on radar cross section is not going to be good.   

       Oh, and [Sunstone] please link directly to the article, not to a google search. The article about the NASA craft is a popular science article and does not provide any facts. It looks to be quite, but I would bet not stealthy. Again, larger, slower rotors don't equal a stealthy craft, even if they do make a quiet one.   

       The stealth helicopter may be relevant, but technical details are lacking. It's well known you can reduce noise by reducing vortices, but how much is critical. A helicopter that is quiet relative to a major city may not do so well out in the rural countryside.
MechE, Feb 20 2013

       It doesn't. Those Bell 'Executive SuperSlipstream Mark VI etc.' choppers that the truly overpriveleged fly out to the ski resort's airfield make an incredible racket going up the valley. It's the sound of money, however, and around here we're always ready to forgive a minor annoyance if it's paired with major disposable income.
Alterother, Feb 20 2013

       Hello MechE: Thank you for the comment. I connect to a Google search so that, over time, when a single link that I would connect to would go dead, there are other like links to connect to instead. Dead links are most aggravating as I found out in my now baked "Safe Halloween Coupon Handouts" submission. I can no longer select the "cached" feature on Google to see the cached version of the article. Internet Archives does not always pull up the deleted article.
Sunstone, Feb 23 2013

       [Sunstone], Google started doing silent "search personalization" fairly recently. The Google search that you see when you click that link is not the same as the Google search I see when I click it, which is in turn different from what [MechE] sees when he clicks it.   

       Google search links are effectively worse than useless for archival purposes. Just post a link, or if you absolutely MUST perform some method of long-term archival, just post what the plane is called and let others Google it later.
Hive_Mind, Feb 23 2013

       Propellers aren't conducive to stealth; it would be easier and more cost-effective to make a quiet turbofan engine inside a stealthy airframe.   

       The noise problem could be addressed by simply flying it an a higher altitude, and using more accurate targeting systems for weapons and more precise long lenses for surveillance cameras.
whlanteigne, Feb 25 2013

       Also the tractor position for the propeller is non-ideal as this forces the cameras and sensors to look through the props for forward visuals, though I guess you could mount the cameras on the wing tips. I'd say for the weight, I'd dump the electric batteries and motors in favor of a lighter more limited option such as flywheels or as mentioned, potential energy storage. If internal combustion normally propels the drone, then some switch to compressed gas for final approach seems feasible.
MisterQED, Feb 26 2013


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