DEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4600 posts, RR: 1 Posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Flightglobal reports that Boeing is contemplating a completely new jet trainer as its entry for the planned USAF T-X competition. But with first delivery targeted for 2014 and IOC in 2017, would Boeing have enough time to develop a clean-sheet design?
Quote: "Boeing could propose developing a "purpose-built" airframe as one of several options to replace the US Air Force's fleet of Northrop T-38 jet trainers, say industry officials.
According to industry officials, the Boeing concept pre-supposes that the USAF does not want to select a future trainer aircraft that was developed in a previous decade. The service plans to reach initial operational capability for the T-X fleet in 2017 and operate the type for 30-40 years.
Boeing's concept also may add a 'homegrown' dimension to a competition dominated by aircraft developed substantially in foreign countries."
The home turf advantage is real but timeframe is very tight. However, the potential order plus any subsequent navalised and light attack variants compel major manufacturers to have their own candidate, instead of just fronting for someone. Might Boeing have a design all ready for development, or would they settle for a sweeter partnership with Alenia?
Not picking on you per se, but we see this all the time so my question would be this: When you say have the time do you mean the time it would take to use their massive computer technology to design, test and build a clean sheet new a/c or do you mean the time it would take for the program design stage to contribute positively to the bottom line, the development phase have produce enough test frames to significantly impact next ROI, earnings etc. and the production phase ensure that the company is viable for the next 10-20 years producing sufficient frames for the US and other export customers?
Years ago a/c were designed and built using slide rules and less exotic materials, even when such materials were used it never took the decades that we talk about today, wind tunnel test were either a water tank or a full size production frame being flown by a human. If an OEM chooses they can design and build a test frame within a year faster if they use an engine already in production, the issue in my line of thinking is not whether they can, but whether some financial person justifies the financial decision to them, in which case we should be looking at financial data such as last quarter earning, current income, expenses, projects in the pipeline, future initiative, stimulus packages hoped for, next economic upturn / downturn etc. and not whether there is a need for a new a/c, how efficient it should be, easy to fly, adequately train pilots for a/c presently in inventory etc. etc. etc.
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11904 posts, RR: 52 Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 32767 times:
I doubt that Boeing would have time to design a clean sheet trainer. Does the USAF want a supersonic trainer like the T-38 is? If so, I doubt anyone could deliver a new airplane by 2014 with an IOC of 2017.
Boeing may be wanting to join up with someone else who already has a trainer in production. Perhaps the Japanese Kawasaki T-4, if they reopen the production line?
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12956 posts, RR: 79 Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting L-188 (Reply 3): I would go for the Slingsby Firefly, which was unsuccessfully used by the USAF Acadamy.
That was a somewhat bizarre case, since the Firefly is used successfully enough by other AF's and/or contractors.
Not sure if they ever got to the bottom of that.
My money, for the T-38 replacement, is on a US version of the Macchi M-346, it's being touted as suitable for training modern generation combat aircraft, in terms of both it's systems and aerodynamics.
Which is the rationale, apart from age, of replacing the T-38's.
While I'd love to see the USAF buy the latest BAE Hawk version, or to be more correct, a new 'de-navalised' T-45 version, which could systems wise do the job, I suspect the USAF will want something more modern aerodynamically.
(The Hawk's best shot at the USAF was about 20 years ago, when it was briefly considered for the lower end of the T-38 mission, restricting the subsequent modernization of the T-38 to just the newer frames for the upper end part of the training syllabus).
Oroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 875 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Depends on what the USAF wants. I am sure that Boeing could field a simple design. No light attack version, no crazy high tech new gear, using existing or lightly modified avionics, current engines... just a simple trainer. If they want to develop more capacity after the fact, sure, but if they want to get a order, they better follow the KISS mentality.
BMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15088 posts, RR: 26 Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting GDB (Reply 5): or to be more correct, a new 'de-navalised' T-45 version
T-45 production should be ending soon. Kind of a shame since I enjoyed seeing those flying around STL. I think that Boeing could, and should come up with a clean sheet design for the T-X. The T-38 is a great plane, but its time may have come.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
EBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting DEVILFISH (Thread starter): Flightglobal reports that Boeing is contemplating a completely new jet trainer as its entry for the planned USAF T-X competition. But with first delivery targeted for 2014 and IOC in 2017, would Boeing have enough time to develop a clean-sheet design?
Would it be that hard to field a simple jet trainer in four years and have it fully operational in seven? I suspect that Boeing has already done some initial design work and has a good idea what they want to propose for the competition. That being the case, their head start would give them an edge and make possible the proposed service introduction.
Spacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2812 posts, RR: 1 Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting L-188 (Reply 7): I don't think it was an airframe issue, it was an engine problem, it would vapor lock at the high density altitudes at Colorado Springs in the summer.
I'm on the other side of the hill from the USAFA, and we're only at 6,700 feet. The Piper Cubs are up here all day every day towing gliders, and the T-41s soldier on. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with the correct fuel.
I'd be wary about a vapor locking engine at this low altitude, but I suppose it could happen.
Jackonicko From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 472 posts, RR: 11 Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
The adoption of an advanced T-45 derivative by the USAF would be low cost (the line is up and running) and would provide massive savings in logistics and support costs thanks to commonality with the Navy's T-45 fleet.
The USAF could usefully build on some of the work already undertaken for the Hawk 128, and might look hard at some of the support and training system solutions now being delivered to the UK RAF.
With such a potentially large order, though, it would be desirable for the US to take on the remaining airframe manufacture of the T-45 (at the moment the rear fuselage still comes from Brough), cutting BAE Systems out of the loop.
Providing supersonic performance imposes significant cost and compromises on a trainer design and has been proven to be irrelevant to the advanced training role.
CTR From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 303 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting DEVILFISH (Thread starter): But with first delivery targeted for 2014 and IOC in 2017, would Boeing have enough time to develop a clean-sheet design?
Twenty years ago the answer would have been yes. Today? I seriously doubt they could pull it off.
The problem is that after losing the JSF to Lockheed, Mc Boeing in St Louis has lost most of the critical personel with the skills required due to retirement, layoffs and departure to Lockheed for the F-35.
Spacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2812 posts, RR: 1 Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 13): The adoption of an advanced T-45 derivative by the USAF would be low cost (the line is up and running) and would provide massive savings in logistics and support costs thanks to commonality with the Navy's T-45 fleet.
You have a lot of good points in your post, but I think the T-45 is fundamentally wrong for one reason:
If this trainer is intended to be workhorse advanced trainer for fighter, bomber, and transport types, I think it really needs to have two engines. This would enable "engine-out" flight that simply would not be paralleled in a simulator. I suppose you could do engine-out in a goshawk, however that's an entirely new can of worms. I think this and the supersonic capability on the M-346 make it a much better option.
As I understand it, the T-45 is substantially changed from the basic Hawk. Would the USAF T-45 retain most of these Navy options?
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11904 posts, RR: 52 Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Well, it looks like most here think the M-346 would be the best replacement for the USAF T-38s. I just don't see the USAF buying into a modified T-45, mostly because the USAF considers it a "USN aircraft".
Quote: "The US Air Force may be within months of launching a contest to replace the Northrop T-38 Talon trainer that was introduced in 1962.
At least five companies are plotting potential bids to win the contract to replace 450 T-38s and become the go-to trainer option worldwide for Lockheed Martin's fifth-generation fighters - the F-22 and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter."
The usual suspects are lining up to fill the bill --- with the renamed T-100 (M-346) leading the pack.....
However, most intriguing would be Northrop Grumman's response.....
Quote: "As the legacy T-38 supplier, Northrop's preferred route may be offering a service life extension programme for the Talon fleet.
Dave McDonald, a plans, programmes and requirements manager for the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), confirms 'extending the life of the baseline system' remains one of the options on the USAF's list.
Northrop also has the ability to surprise the competition by producing an all-new, clean-sheet design. In addition to its long heritage in the trainer market, the company owns a major stake in Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites.
Among several ambitious design projects over the years, Scaled designed and built a jet-powered replacement for the Fairchild A-10 ground-attack aircraft in the early 1990s called the agile response effective support aircraft."
What could it be --- a two-seat version of the Tigershark?
Now, that would be the ultimate irony - "American trainer reverse-engineered from Russian design"!
Quoting GDB (Reply 20): Big article in this week's Flight about the USAF trainer requirement.
The real 'biggie' according to the blog above is this.....
Quote: "But there is one thing holding this story back, and it's a 'biggie'. So far, the USAF hasn't put any real funding into the budget for T-X, despite plans to award a full-scale development contract before 2013. Industry expects that oversight to be cleared up in the Fiscal 2012 budget request that will be released in early February."
AirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 6 Reply 22, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
I'm not sure Boeing knows how to design and bring from the drawing board to reality, a modern military aircraft since they bought out McDD. Sure, the Super Hornet was a whole new aircraft, but not according to Boeing who said to the US Congress that it wasn't, so that they wouldn't need their financial blessing for the project. So what's that, the early 1980's since they won a bid for a newly designed military fighter jet aircraft? Personally, I think Boeing no longer has the muster to pull off the task, but I sure would like to see them try and prove me and all of us wrong.