Those Volkswagens are sure making good time!

December 16, 2010

railgun 490

U.S. Navy breaks railgun record

The U.S. Navy says it has shattered a record with its futuristic electromagnetic railgun by firing a projectile with enough force to launch 33 Volkswagen Beetles 100 miles all at once.

railgun 300 I guess I really don’t get out enough, because this video report, which I did NOT make up, is the first I’ve heard of the Navy’s so-called railgun project, with a logo and everything.

I hope they’ve thought this thing through properly. Only a few million Volkswagen Beetles were made, and if we’re going to shoot off 33 of them at a time, pretty soon we’ll run out.

And that’s not to mention a lot of old hippies are going to be pretty fricking surprised.

VENEZUELA-ELECTIONS/I also question the wisdom of the name they chose. Calling this something that sounds very much like “nailgun” could lead to some seriously injured Navy carpenters.

This railgun thing supposedly shoots its projectiles at several times the speed of sound, which I guess means during the next war a lot of people’s last words will be:

“Lamar, do you hear something?”

“No.”

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Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez drives away in a Volkswagen Beetle after voting in the presidential election, at a school in Caracas December 3, 2006. REUTERS/Miraflores Palace/Handout

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30 comments

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They could send off a lot more hippies if they designed it to fire VW Minibusses.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by robert basler, Oddly Enough and eBusiness BPO Inc., cabun. cabun said: [Oddly] Those Volkswagens are sure making good time! http://reut.rs/eZAk8L [...]

Brilliant daydream…. Chavez in a Beetle, flying at the speed of sound… Can we land him on Mars pleaseeeeeee!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

If I am reading this correctly, the logo says “Velocitas Eradico”… and I think it means it eradicates velocity…
REALLY?????????

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

@Shra – I think they are trying to say Speed Kills, or Speed Destroys. The Latin weenie in the next cube to mine thinks it really translates as ‘I am speed, I destroy’.
I Second having Hugo Chavez as a first customer – can we also include Sarah Palin in the vehicle as well? That leaves two empty seats in the back.
Any nominations?

Posted by Sonambulist | Report as abusive

Actually, Shra, I think it translates to, “I didn’t take Latin; I just made this up.”

Posted by skeres | Report as abusive

“Velocitas Eradico” appears to be gobblety-gook to me. (But, then, I saw my Latin professor in CostCo this last weekend and ducked into the men’s room to avoid talking to him for fear he would want to talk to me in Latin.) I can see why you would translate it “I kill speed,” but that would be “velocitatem eradico.”

The closest I can come is “I speed, destroy.”

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Ooohhhh, Shra! Isn’t that awfully close to learning? Maybe not, as I’m pretty sure it means something else, but I refuse to learn. You can’t make me, no way, no how. I don’t like the zapper one little bit, no Ma’am.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

I can’t help thinking you all are getting distracted by Latin, when the real thing to focus on is a project to fling 33 Volkswagens at a time. Your tax dollars at work.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Yeah, but 33 Volkswagens moving at mach 7…. THAT’s cool! May not be very practical, but very cool.

@Sonam Glenn Beck?

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

I am not making you learn, Dave! And remember, the taser is resting… Festive season after all! :)

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

The thing with Latin
is that it may sound as smooth as satin…
But if the speakers include Palin
I would have the same expression as Stalin…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

It could be cool, Dave. Like watching one of those “Love Bug” movies on acid.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Sonambulist, so little space, so many contenders… this is gonna get tough…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Is it true, the rumor I’ve heard? That Shra has asked the Dep’t of the Navy to design a futuristic zapper for her?

“Zappo ad maximus, ya’ll”

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

@Doc, I just got shivers from the thought of Shra wiedling a futuristic zapper. Is it possible to un-learn everything I have ever learned just to be sure I remain out of the crosshairs?

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

@rbasler – so you would know that how, exactly? If that was the Lindsay Lohan version, you are excused.

By the way, what’s latin for ‘oh yes we did’

Posted by Sonambulist | Report as abusive

Sure, you can launch 33 V-Dubs, but how would you stop them at the other end?
Since the zapper in on vacation…
33 Megajoules sounds like a lot, but is about the same as the energy in 1/4 gallon of gasoline (at 100% efficiency, according to wolfram alpha), so those VW’s are collectively getting some serious gas mileage. And all electric, too!
Current “kinetic kill” rounds from Leopard and M1A1 tanks pack about 25 MJ’s, so 33 Mj, while pretty cool for an electric gun, isn’t all that impressive.

Of course, my math could be all whacked…

Posted by AllThatJazz | Report as abusive

Why railgun? Is it like the steam loco equivalent of fly by wire?

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Oooh, can I join in the haiku fun for this one? I promise to go back to lurking afterwards.

Sitting on a wall
Thirty-three Volkswagon bugs
And then there were none

Posted by Wyvie | Report as abusive

Would that be trippin the lights fantastic, or the classic cheech n chong… farout dude whoa.
As the smoke clears and the vw crests mach 6?

Posted by wheelz | Report as abusive

Neither of the Volkwagens that I own do Mach 7. But one of the ones that I used to own did…..6 speed Turbo Baby!

Posted by vwgal | Report as abusive

Wow! Just imagine ordering a pizza and having one of those VWs land in your yard with the delivery person and a pizza. Or what’s left of them…

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

You guys are just having way too much fun with this, but 33 hurtling Herbies is quite a mind trip!

Posted by KLM | Report as abusive

Ummmm….. pizzzzzzzzzzzzzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!  !!
Oh, Jazz… the taser maybe on holiday now… but you shall be zapped… I had to eat a Brandy Mince pie to get rid of that information you dished out…
Yes, I had brandy at 9.47 a.m GMT… just a splash!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Indeed it is, KLM. I gather you’ve heard the longer, album-length version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” where “33 hurtling Herbies” is one of the verses. That’s the version that goes all they up to “40 fractured femurs….”

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Ahhh, BG, are we doing verses? the one I heard includes 15 goats in Gucci, 21 dunkin’ donuts, and 36 babes in burqas. I think it did, maybe that was the acid version…

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

@Shra – did you say GMT or GNT (Gin aNd Tonic)?

@Dave – if they’re in burqas, how do you know they are babes?

Posted by Sonambulist | Report as abusive

@Shra – Sorry!! Didn’t mean to be so rough on ya!

Posted by AllThatJazz | Report as abusive

VWGal – now I miss my Mk2 Golf GTI !

Mr B, Dave, I listened to the Blue Collar Comedy crew’s Redneck 12 Days of Christmas today. :)

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Well, Sonam, I have never had a GnT before… might give it a go, sometime…
Jazz… Nahhhh!!! I did that to myself! :P

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

[...] The recall warning doesn’t say how many users already have been flung, or where they finally came down, but I can picture suburban dads hurtling to and fro like Navy Volkswagens. [...]

[...] felt this ignorant about current events since a year ago, when I found out the U.S. Navy was shooting off Volkswagens at the speed of light or whatever it [...]