Hi-tech vs. Lo-tech weaponry...


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bogie
February 16, 2007, 02:41 PM
Video is safe, but the web site probably isn't safe for work

http://www.break.com/index/potato_cannon_explosion.html

Saw this, and I got to thinking... Do we _really_ need to spend millions of dollars on weapons development, or should we just get a buncha college student groups, and tell 'em that the winner gets a keg?

Basically these guys constructed a fuel-air bomb. And the thing is small enough to be fairly portable. All the mechanism lacks is a lighting mechanism, which would be easy enough to incorporate. Increase the girth, shrink the length, and put a "cork" on the end so you can fill it without it leaking out, and it'd be unreal if airdropped with a decent triggering mechanism...

I'm guessing total cost, including a few gallons of regular unleaded could be well under $100/apiece.

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Rem700SD
February 16, 2007, 03:16 PM
Hmmm....take a cannister that's in use for air pistols, fill it with O2. Add a 20 oz rezervoir of gasoline, and the equivalent of a bic lighter. Add a timer/fuse. Have the O2 blow through the rezervoir, clearing it, and provide a spark. Now you have a hand grenade designed specifically for clearing an enclosed space. I wonder if DARPA has already built this?

Dan

quatin
February 16, 2007, 03:29 PM
Saw this, and I got to thinking... Do we _really_ need to spend millions of dollars on weapons development, or should we just get a buncha college student groups, and tell 'em that the winner gets a keg?

Because we spend tens of thousands of dollars for an education just to work for beer? I think you're thinking about the college of liberal arts, not college of engineering. :evil: Yeah I did it, I poked the bear. :eek:

atek3
February 16, 2007, 05:22 PM
horrible. I've seen fireball cannons at burning man that use compressed air and gasoline to shoot fireballs that are hundreds of feet.

That's not a fuel air explosion, it's just burning gasoline. For it to be a fuel air explosion the fuel has to be atomized and mixed with air in the proper ratio. If that amount of gasoline was properly mixed and ignited the resulting overpressure probably would have killed the guy on top of the barrel.

atek3

bogie
February 16, 2007, 05:40 PM
Okay, we can get all high-tech, and drop a $100,000 perfect ratio dealie, that'll take 100 gallons of ultra specially refined fuel, and turn an area into a bare wasteland...

Or we can take 100 five gallon pump gas "PVC Tubes" at $100 each, and drop 'em outta the same airplane. For that matter, stick a drogue on the business end, just enough to turn it in the right direction, and when it hits, it vents vertically, and a second or so later, pops a flare... If one's a dud, all the enemy gets is PVC, a compressed air mechanism, flare, and 5 gallons of fuel (assuming it doesn't leak after impact...).

I think lately we've spent too much on weapons development. Everything's high tech... Imagine that instead of a few dozen jets flying over Iraq, we had squadron after squadron of P51s... Spot the bad guys, and converge to light 'em up.

Or another idea... Outfit the robot aircraft as largely expendable, with the option of ramming a target while venting fuel... Hmmm...

Cosmoline
February 16, 2007, 05:45 PM
Hey, the contractors have kids to feed! What are you suggesting?

CWL
February 16, 2007, 06:45 PM
Invent something using PVC & gasoline that'll take out an underground bunker, tunnel complex or armored column. Fuel-air explosives can using overpressure and removal of all oxygen.

Next invent something using PVC that'll penetrate 100-ft thru concrete to take-out a North Korean Nuke facility. The US Govt. will pay you for it.

Everything has a purpose, including the need for fail-safes, overdesign & redundancies. I wouldn't want our modern armaments handled by a 19-year-old enlistee if it was cobbled from PVC, glue and gasoline.

bogie
February 16, 2007, 07:26 PM
Ever see a claymore? Plastic, C4 and BBs, with a hole for the blasting cap...

Not everything needs to penetrate concrete bunkers. Dropping a stick of these things on a convoy or rail yard or industrial complex would likely be HIGHLY effective however...

Probably would weigh under 100 pounds each... Load 'em up, and roll 'em out the back of a cargo aircraft like depth charges... We've got LOTS of cargo aircraft...

Imagine the overall impression... First wave of stealth stuff comes through, cleans out radar, missile sites, etc... Then the sky _fills_ with giant airplanes raining death...

CWL
February 16, 2007, 07:59 PM
Ever see a claymore? Plastic, C4 and BBs, with a hole for the blasting cap...

Yup, seen a few. Removed a few. Spoke to a few who've been on the recieving-end of them as well.

But back to the original posting: the USA already has incindiary weapons, used them on Japan & Germany to great effect. But we don't use them anymore for many reasons -one being collateral damage issues. Fortunately, indiscrimate destruction is no longer part of the US' battle doctrine.

Your original posting was to replace fuel-air explosives (hyperbaric) weaponry with what are essentially gasoline canisters. Fuel-air weaponry are meant for hardened targets, not open, massed or non-hardened targets. For these, I am a believer in cluster munitions.

MD_Willington
February 16, 2007, 08:51 PM
I like the "House Guest".


We take the propane tanks from under the stove and mount a half block of C-4 to the spout and throw it down the halway, then evacuate the house.



..but there's no pork in that, we need some cubicle trog (like me) to come up with something that has a unit cost of at least 5-15K on a whiteboard...

:neener:

Tokugawa
February 16, 2007, 09:05 PM
CWL, beg to differ- indiscriminate destruction is how wars are won. PC,carefully fought wars that seek to avoid civilian casualties wars are lost.

bogie
February 16, 2007, 09:07 PM
Yup. Porkless. I wonder what the cluster munitions cost to toast out a convoy of say 10 vehicles, vs. the low-tech...

benEzra
February 16, 2007, 09:13 PM
Okay, we can get all high-tech, and drop a $100,000 perfect ratio dealie, that'll take 100 gallons of ultra specially refined fuel, and turn an area into a bare wasteland...

Or we can take 100 five gallon pump gas "PVC Tubes" at $100 each, and drop 'em outta the same airplane. For that matter, stick a drogue on the business end, just enough to turn it in the right direction, and when it hits, it vents vertically, and a second or so later, pops a flare... If one's a dud, all the enemy gets is PVC, a compressed air mechanism, flare, and 5 gallons of fuel (assuming it doesn't leak after impact...).
Here's the problem. That airplane is limited in how much total weight it can carry. So you can carry 10,000 pounds of mega-blast ordnance, or you can carry 10,000 pounds of el cheapo ordnance with 1/10 the effects. The thing is, the latter costs you less in bomb cost, but you have to fly ten times the sorties in order to deliver the same explosive effect, and ten times the missions require ten times the planes and ten times the pilots, plus carriers/bases and maintenance personnel to support them. And planes and pilots are WAY expensive compared to 250-lb or 500-lb dumb bombs, or even smart bombs.

Now, there ARE cheap bombs that have been made; the BLU-82 "daisy cutter" is one, it's basically just a drum on a pallet that is filled full of slurry explosive, with a detonator, and pushed out the back of a C-130 cargo plane. But it's a niche thing.

ceetee
February 16, 2007, 09:27 PM
'Sides which, that tube wasn't a bomb by a long shot. It was just a device for spewing a cup of gasoline out over an already burning campfire. Back in my younger and dumber days, I heard rumors about some guys that would fill yard-size garbage bags with acetyline (don't tell dad!) and light them up with model rocket ignitors on long wires. We... I mean, they... used to get quite the bang and concussive wave out of something as simple as that...

bogie
February 16, 2007, 10:08 PM
Ah, but the high tech bombs require high-tech aircraft... So you have your 10,000 pounds of intelligent munitions, which have to be created and flown halfway around the world.

Or you can stuff a C130 with a buncha depth-charges, largely assembled on site, and fueled on site, get over target, open the back door, and start rolling 'em out...

Sure, gasoline isn't HE, but it's nothing to sneeze at either.

CWL
February 16, 2007, 10:29 PM
indiscriminate destruction is how wars are won. PC,carefully fought wars that seek to avoid civilian casualties wars are lost.

I used to believe this also, but no longer do after seeing indiscriminate warfare with my own eyes.

Never said I was "PC", I am an advocate of cluster munitions -not very "PC". ;)

RyanM
February 16, 2007, 10:52 PM
Just for the record, although I do own a potato gun, the "Ryan M." in the video is not me. The worst I've done with mine is break the sound barrier with a penny.

Anyway, that thing wasn't very efficient. It was basically like the equivalent of a very short range molotov cocktail with a compressed air tank built in.

BedPimp
February 16, 2007, 11:01 PM
atek3, it's nice to seen another burner here. ;)

This is a project I helped with last year in the Nevada desert:

http://www.4bc.org/burninator/burninator_two.html

It is a lot like the new fangled xmas tree lights that do patterns and sequencing, but instead of little bulbs, there are a dozen 2 story flames. Although I think it falls into the hi-tech category since it was featured in the IEEE magazine.

Full Clip
February 17, 2007, 03:29 PM
*****.
Look like Darwin Award candidates to me.

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