Air Power vs. Wind Power: World's Mightiest Flying Force Rendered Impotent by Green Energy

Air Power vs. Wind Power: World's Mightiest Flying Force Rendered Impotent by Green Energy

Air Power vs. Wind Power: World's Mightiest Flying Force Rendered Impotent by Green Energy

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Aug. 27 2010 6:38 PM

Air Power vs. Wind Power: World's Mightiest Flying Force Rendered Impotent by Green Energy

The United States military has been blocking installations of wind-powered electrical generators in the Mojave Desert and elsewhere, the New York Times reports, because our $50 million warplanes get confused by them .

The military says that the thousands of existing turbines in the gusty Tehachapi Mountains, to the west of the R-2508 military complex in the Mojave Desert, have already limited its abilities to test airborne radar used for target detection in F/A-18s and other aircraft. 

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On radar, the military has trouble distinguishing between a motionless bank of windmills and a flying airplane or a storm (hint: maybe the airplane is the one that's moving?). According to the Times, one reason for this is that despite our lavish spending on military aviation , the country's radar system is comically primitive: 

Part of the challenge is that many radar systems in use in the United States date back to the 1950s and have outdated processing capabilities — in some cases, less than those of a modern laptop computer. While there are technology fixes to ease interference on these aging systems, it can be tricky to filter out just the turbines. 

Rather than figuring out better ways to tell a windmill from a 747, the Department of Defense is batting the Department of Energy to stop the spread of the dangerous nonpolluting energy technology—and, presumably, praying we keep fighting oil-producing countries instead of going to war against Denmark .