December 08, 2008
Horse 938 - F-22 Raptor vs Bees
As a bloke, we often ask the question of "Who would win in a fight?". Apple vs Mac, Pepsi vs Coke, Holden vs Ford, Liverpool vs Everton, Ronald McDonald vs The Colonel, David Lee Roth vs A Blade of Grass. Today we have some new challengers for whom we can ask the question "Who would win in a fight?"
The F-22 Raptor or Bees
Let's lay the cases out and see what we find.
F-22 - 2 Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 engines
Bee - 1 Bee
This of course is pretty obvious. Whereas an F-22 Raptor has two PW F119 engines just in case one fails, a bee has only itself as a propulsion system. In the event of a flameout or whatever the bee equivalent is, then it's pretty well much curtains for the bee.
Raptor 1 - Bee 0
F-22 - 2205km/h empty; 1830km/h laden
Bee - 24km/h empty; 15km/h laden
An F-22 Raptor can outfly, outrun a bee but probably not outturn one. In the current climate, the F-22 hasn't really got any natural enemies, whereas bees can become food for potentially all sorts of small birds and animals that might like a bee snack. The F-22 also has a set of quite reasonable anti-air and air-surface defences, so in this regard the F-22 is better prepared.
Raptor 2 - Bee 0
F-22 - $137,000,000
Bee - $0.02
This is something that you can do a cost effective analysis on. I found out that to buy a small self-sustaining swarm would cost about $140. For this you get about 7000 bees; this puts the average cost per bee at about 2c. In other words for the price of an F-22 Raptor you could get 6,850,000,000 bees. Personally I think owning 6,850,000,000 of anything would be brilliant.
Raptor 2 - Bee 1
F-22 - 15000kg
Bee - 40mg
The issue here isn't whether an individual bee could carry more than an F-22 Raptor, but whether an equivalent weight or value of bees could outcarry one. 6,850,000,000 bees all carrying 40mg a piece would collectively carry 274,000kg of payload. For their size bees are quite hardy and are able to carry their own weight. The maximum takeoff weight of an F-22 Raptor is a paltry 38,000kg.
Raptor 2 - Bee 2
So for the honey world production of around 1.4 million tons, around 1.4 trillion bees are needed. From the dramatic reduction in the number of wild bees over the last few decades we can conclude that most bees are now working in the honey production for us. Thus a reasonable guess could be the number of around 2,000,000,000,000 bees. Our 6,850,000,000 bees is about 0.3% of all the bees in the world.
The 2004 locust outbreak in Western and Northern Africa has estimated to have cost about $4bn with roughly an equivalent amount of locusts. Also, If you then assume that it's reasonable that there are about the same number of bees as in biblical times, then the fame of the plague of locusts which has extended for a few thousand years is quite great. Churchill estimated that if the British Empire lasts for a thousand years, men will still say this was their finest hour.
With the Iraq war and clashes in Afghanistan grinding on, the cost to the US budget is $500 billion and still mounting. The question is how much of that is caused by air-power. Personally I suspect that bees would be more cost effective because they could deliver a bigger payload at cheaper costs.
Raptor 2 - Bee 3
I think that I've more or less come to the conclusion that a bee is a more efficient and more cost effective device. The grand question of who would win in a fight is... BEES: 3-2.
Posted by Rollo at 12:02