Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Air Force creates Transparent Aluminum?

For those of you who remember Star Trek IV, transparent aluminum was needed to house enough water to carry two humpback whales to the future. (It was not one of the Star Trek franchise's better movies, and that's saying something. Those movies were lousy.) It looks like there was a serious Trek geek somewhere in the Air Force, because they've created something eerily similar in conjunction with the US Army and the University of Dayton.

It's expensive and seems destined only for military use for the time being. I could easily see this being used as a building material for skyscrapers, as it's lighter and tougher than glass. After all, we got anti-lock brakes from anti-skid systems on military aircraft landing gear, refinements in power steering from fighter technology, GPS systems from military navigation systems and cruise control that came from autopilot speed regulation systems on jet engines. This is another situation where military technology will find its way into civilian life again.

The US Air Force is once again getting competitive in the research field. It's about time they started back on that path.

(Via Jonah Goldberg at The Corner)

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