2. The Switchblade may be the next generation of military aircraft.

The movies “Stealth” and “I Spy” both have one thing in common, do you know what it is? Of course there’s more than one thing, but the one that concerns us is – they both feature a military airplane very close to one called the “Switchblade”. As a matter of fact, the plane is even called the Switchblade in “I Spy”.

As we continue looking at the fascinating things I found in researching the book, we are nearly to the number one futuristic storyline in “South Pole Vendetta”.

I promise, I didn’t get the idea for South Pole Vendetta from either one, at least not directly! The idea is much more sinister, or exciting, depending on your point of view.

I was doing research for the book when I came across a very interesting idea.

Of course the newest, greatest thing I had run across that fits under the category of next generation aircraft for the US military is the F-35. But what about the NEXT generation? For that, I went looking for the unusual, unsubstantiated, and “under-wraps”.

This quote, from Pakistan Defence gives us an interesting concept to pursue: “F/A-37 unique switch-wing design closely resembles patent #5,984,231 for “Aircraft with variable forward-sweep wing”, issued to Northrop Grumman Corporation in 1999. This patent caused a wave of rumors about actual aircraft build with that design, with fictional name “Switchblade”, that was publicized in November 2000 issue of Popular Science magazine. Moreover, according to aerospace journalist Steve Douglass, Northrop Grumman was one of the technical advisors for the Stealth film. Yet another plane sharing design characteristics with the Talon is the VF-19 Excalibur.”

The articles itself is quite interesting: “On moonless nights, a secret aircraft taxies out of a remote hanger complex at an Air Force base in Nevada. The security lights at the base are dimmed as the aircraft rolls out onto the active runway. Under cover of darkness, the fighter-size aircraft takes off on a training mission over the sprawling Nellis Bombing Range.

“Sources tell us that this mysterious plane, officially called the Bird of Prey, will soon be declassified…”

I didn’t know at the time, and still don’t know, what the word “soon” means, but it sure gives a delicious taste of something new – doesn’t it?

Source: http://www.defence.pk/forums/members-club/145492-fictional-military-aircraft.html#ixzz2UYJhhuWT



6. The atlatl is an actual, legitimate, weapon – sort of.

10. The South Pole – no longer inaccessible.


9. Heroes don’t have to sleep with everyone who comes along.
8. North Korea is looking for respect and power on the world’s biggest stages.
7. Is there really an ocean of oil under the South Pole?
6. The atlatl is an actual, legitimate, weapon – sort of.
5. The division of Antarctica between so many nations is a volatile situation.
4. Unmanned military airplanes will continue to evolve.
3. Nanotechnology will change warfare in the near future.
2. The Switchblade may be the next generation of military aircraft.


And the Number 1 futuristic story line from “South Pole Vendetta”:
1. Where’s the evidence for global warming?


Tell the truth, “Do you even know how to pronounce ‘atlatl’?” I didn’t, when I began doing research for “South Pole Vendetta”.


Let’s try another question:


What weapon preceded the bow and arrow?


“It consists of a shaft with a cup or a spur at the end that supports and propels the butt of the dart. The atlatl is held in one hand, gripped near the end farthest from the cup. The dart is thrown by the action of the upper arm and wrist. The throwing arm together with the atlatl acts as a lever. The atlatl is a low-mass, fast-moving extension of the throwing arm, increasing the length of the lever. This extra length allows the thrower to impart force to the dart over a longer distance, thus imparting more energy and ultimately higher speeds.[2]


“Common ball throwers (molded plastic shafts used for throwing tennis balls for dogs to fetch) use the same principle.


“A traditional atlatl is a long-range weapon and can readily impart to a projectile speeds of over 150 km/h (93 mph).[3]”


This concept, and brand-new idea for me, quickly caught my interest. While everyone is aware of the bow and arrow, I had never thought about what came before that. The notion was too delicious to disregard.


So what kind of history do they have?


For one thing they’re found – everywhere.


“The earliest secure data concerning atlatls has come from several caves in France dating to the Upper Paleolithic, about 21,000 to 17,000 years ago. The very earliest atlatl shaft found to date is a simple antler hook dated to the Solutrean period (about 17,500 years ago), recovered from the site of Combe Sauniere. (I don’t think there’s any reason to believe they have to be that old. That date comes from a very evolutionary way of looking at history.)


“It seems to have been introduced to America during the immigration across the Bering Land Bridge, and despite the later introduction of the bow and arrow, atlatl use was widespread at the time of first European contact. Complete wooden spearthrowers have been found on dry sites in the western USA, and in waterlogged environments in Florida and Washington.


“The people of New Guinea and Australian Aborigines also use spearthrowers.


“Australian Aboriginal spearthrowers are known as woomeras.


“As well as its practical use as a hunting weapon, it may also have had social effects. John Whittaker, an anthropologist at Grinnell College, Iowa, suggests the device was a social equaliser in that it requires skill rather than muscle power alone. Thus women and children would have been able to participate in hunting,[3] although in recent Australian Aboriginal societies spearthrowers are in fact restricted by custom to male use.


“Whittaker said the stone-tipped projectiles from the Aztec atlatl were not powerful enough to penetrate Spanish steel plate armor, but they were strong enough to penetrate the chain mail, leather and cotton armor that most Spanish soldiers wore.[5] Whittaker said the Aztecs started their battles with atlatl darts followed with melee combat using the macuahuitl.[5]”
—This quote comes from Wikipedia.com



So, it was fascinating to actually run into the weapon on television just recently. To see “Atlatl Bob” live on the television screen after reading about him for so long, as “Weapon Masters” explored the weapon, was nearly etherial.
So, what do you think, ready to go back to the spearthrower of our ancestors?