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AFM: F-35 Can Supercruise  
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1680 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 10794 times:

Well, depending on your exact definition of supercruising (the usual definition that everyone tends to use or Lockheed Martin's definition).

http://www.airforce-magazine.com/Mag...2/November%202012/1112fighter.aspx

Quote:
The F-35, while not technically a "supercruising" aircraft, can maintain Mach 1.2 for a dash of 150 miles without using fuel-gulping afterburners.

"Mach 1.2 is a good speed for you, according to the pilots," O’Bryan said.

The high speed also allows the F-35 to impart more energy to a weapon such as a bomb or missile, meaning the aircraft will be able to "throw" such munitions farther than they could go on their own energy alone.

There is a major extension of the fighter’s range if speed is kept around Mach .9, O’Bryan went on, but he asserted that F-35 transonic performance is exceptional and goes "through the [Mach 1] number fairly easily." The transonic area is "where you really operate."

And for those wondering what that definition difference is; Lockheed Martin considers supercruising to be not just be traveling above the speed of sound; it has to exceed Mach 1.5.

And another tidbit was released; a F-35's RCS will actually improve over time. Only serious structural damage will harm the RCS:

Quote:
The F-22 requires heavy doses of regular and expensive low observable materials maintenance. F-35 stealth surfaces, by contrast, are extremely resilient in all conditions, according to the Lockheed team.

"We’ve taken it to a different level," O’Bryan said. The stealth of the production F-35—verified in radar cross section tests performed on classified western test ranges—is better than that of any aircraft other than the F-22.

This, he went on, is true in part because the conductive materials needed to absorb and disperse incoming radar energy are baked directly into the aircraft’s multilayer composite skin and structure.

Moreover, the surface material smoothes out over time, slightly reducing the F-35’s original radar signature, according to the Lockheed Martin official. Only serious structural damage will disturb the F-35’s low observability, O’Bryan said, and Lockheed Martin has devised an array of field repairs that can restore full stealthiness in just a few hours.

The F-35’s radar cross section, or RCS, has a "maintenance margin," O’Bryan explained, meaning it’s "always better than the spec." Minor scratches and even dents won’t affect the F-35’s stealth qualities enough to degrade its combat performance, in the estimation of the company. Field equipment will be able to assess RCS right on the flight line, using far less cumbersome gear than has previously been needed to make such calculations.


[Edited 2012-11-03 15:01:17]

52 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKC135Hydraulics From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 10742 times:

My sheetmetal bros will appreciate quite skin panel repairs!

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 10567 times:

Quoting KC135Hydraulics (Reply 1):
My sheetmetal bros will appreciate quite skin panel repairs!

Considering F-35 is about 42% composite by weight, compared to the F-22 at 22% and the F-16 at 2%, there won't be much in the way of sheetmetal work for F-35 in the first place. Also, some non-structural parts on F-35 use carbon nanotubes (such as the wingtip fairings, which use thermoset epoxy reinforced by carbon nanotubes). F-35 is the first mass production aircraft to use structural nanocomposites.

[Edited 2012-11-04 00:31:33]

User currently offlineKC135Hydraulics From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10221 times:

Maybe I should rephrase... I call all our structures maintainers "sheet metal" guys even though they are fully qualified to work on a wide range of materials (including composites).

User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4378 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 10099 times:

I guess i'm missing something, Lockheed claims the F35 can supercruise at Mach 1.2.


But also state that supercruise is Mach 1.5 or greater.


Which is it ?!



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinecargotanker From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 9997 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Thread starter):
The F-35, while not technically a "supercruising" aircraft, can maintain Mach 1.2 for a dash of 150 miles without using fuel-gulping afterburners.

Why only 150 miles? How do they define a 'dash'? Were they able to achieve this in a shallow descent from say FL450 to FL300 over the course of 150 miles? If it can truly cruise at Mach 1.2 it should be able to do this until it runs out of fuel.

Also, if Mach 1.2 = 750 knots at FL300 (I'm guessing, I'm within 10%, no science classes, please) then the F-35 can only 'supercruise' for 12 minutes.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 9996 times:

Before people get too caught up in the minutia of the statement or the comparisons to what supercruise actually means I think the important thing to note is really that the F-35 is going to be plenty fast enough to get the job done. In high threat environments it will be operating in a clean configuration with internal weapons only against fighters that most likely won't be operating clean.

The F-35 was not designed as a top-end energy fighter. It was designed to be good enough in that realm and it looks like it will be.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 911 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 9993 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 6):
The F-35 was not designed as a top-end energy fighter. It was designed to be good enough in that realm and it looks like it will be.

It doesnt matter what it was designed for, everyone is expecting it to be a F-22, so it is a miserable failure.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 9993 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 7):
It doesnt matter what it was designed for, everyone is expecting it to be a F-22, so it is a miserable failure.

The F-22 is great but in this day in age you really only need so many of them. With even high end 4th generation fighters really only being in service in the low hundreds numbers more than around 200 F-22's was overkill. If someone were running around with 1,000 5th generation heavy fighters it would be a good reason to worry. I personally think the F-35 would pull of a better than 1-1 kill ratio against anything but an F-22 (PAK-FA and J-20 included) due to its advanced sensors and networking. Given that it is likely to outnumber those aircraft I don't see what the problem is.

Against anything not in that class...well I think the F-35 would clean the floor with non-stealth opponents in the vast majority of realistic scenarios.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 911 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9992 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 8):
I personally think the F-35 would pull of a better than 1-1 kill ratio against anything but an F-22 (PAK-FA and J-20 included) due to its advanced sensors and networking.

Doesnt matter, it is not a F-22, it is not the best thing since sliced bread, that makes it a failure. Sure it can wipe the floor with most opponents... but not everything, so it is garbage and should be sold as scrap.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 9994 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 4):
I guess i'm missing something, Lockheed claims the F35 can supercruise at Mach 1.2.


But also state that supercruise is Mach 1.5 or greater.


Which is it ?!

Depends on your definition of supercruise is. Lockheed Martin's definition of "supercruise" is remarkably different to everybody else's, because they only consider what the F-22A is capable of as "true" supercruise, because THAT is what the term was coined for.

When Lockheed Martin say the F-35 isn't a supercruiser, they mean that it won't do M1.5+ on dry thrust. Not that it cannot exceed M1.0 on dry thrust.

So on the basis of Lockheed Martin's definition, F-35 isn't a supercruising aircraft. But on the definition that we all use, then it is a supercruising aircraft.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 5):
Why only 150 miles? How do they define a 'dash'? Were they able to achieve this in a shallow descent from say FL450 to FL300 over the course of 150 miles? If it can truly cruise at Mach 1.2 it should be able to do this until it runs out of fuel.

Also, if Mach 1.2 = 750 knots at FL300 (I'm guessing, I'm within 10%, no science classes, please) then the F-35 can only 'supercruise' for 12 minutes.

I believe F-22 can only supercruise for 100nm...


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4378 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 9993 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 6):

The F-35 was not designed as a top-end energy fighter. It was designed to be good enough in that realm and it looks like it will be.

Since when has 'good enough' been the objective ?!


Historically, in the US we have always developed fighter Aircraft that far outclass anything our enemies have or are likely to have in the conceivable future.


Nothing could beat the F14, F15 or F16 when they first flew and indeed since then and for good reason, major compromise to meet three different services disparate needs was not part of their design.


The F35 is truly a jack of all trades, master of none. Maybe a reasonable strike aircraft (although very slow) but incredibly expensive and poor value for money. It is certainly not a serious fighter by any stretch of the imagination.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 9993 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
Historically, in the US we have always developed fighter Aircraft that far outclass anything our enemies have or are likely to have in the conceivable future.


Nothing could beat the F14, F15 or F16 when they first flew and indeed since then and for good reason, major compromise to meet three different services disparate needs was not part of their design.

However, each of the 3 aircraft that you mentioned have compromises in their design. The end users have all accepted the compromises and developed tactics around them. Some of them were introduced into service with major and serious design flaws upon IOC, some of which were never resolved.

F-35 is at a very advanced stage of development, with a very high level of systems maturity. In the October 2012 issue of Canadian Defence Review, a test pilot who has flown F-35 in both the simulator and in real life (he's a test pilot who has flown the F/A-18 when it was introduced, and the Eurofighter during development) had this to say:

Quote:
I was a Eurofighter Typhoon test pilot at precisely this phase of Typhoon's development. I grew up in the F-18 which was fragile in the beginning. I've been around the F-16 development, and I've watched the Raptor being developed. This [F-35] is the only airplane I've ever seen as stable and robust at this point in its development. We have more than 40 airplanes flying and everything works when you step into that airplane. I flew AF-20 twice in one day, with a 3 hour gap between; everything worked through the end of the second flight. That is absolutely unheard of. It's not bragging rights, it's just unheard of in the development of a fighter airplane that's this sophisticated. The helmet, the radar, the EW [Electronic Warfare], the DAS [Distributed Aperture System], it doesn't seem possible that we are doing as well as we are - it's remarkable. I think that bodes so well for what we are talking about in introducing a sound design. We're way better than anything I have ever seen in a fighter airplane
Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
The F35 is truly a jack of all trades, master of none. Maybe a reasonable strike aircraft (although very slow) but incredibly expensive and poor value for money. It is certainly not a serious fighter by any stretch of the imagination.

Funny, that is what everyone said about the F-14, F-15, F-16, F/A-18, etc when they were all introduced... and yet those designs all turned up fine.


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4378 posts, RR: 19
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 9994 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 12):

However, each of the 3 aircraft that you mentioned have compromises in their design.

Not to the extent that the F35 is compromised. Not even close.


Neither the F14, F15 or F16 suffered the incredible compromises of forcing one conventional airframe configuration for the Air Force, one VSTOL version for the Marines and another totally different platform for the Navy.


No Aircraft has ever been expected to be so compromised and still perform well.


They should have stopped with a conventional version for the Air Force, kept developing the superb Harrier for the Marines, kept flying the F18 with the Navy while developing a true replacement.


The F35 is acknowledged as being such a poor fighter the Japanese Air Force, despite buying a handful of them plan on operating their F15's until 2040 !


At the same time they plan on developing a true F15 replacement themselves.


Same with the USAF, they know full well the F35 is basically a strike aircraft, not a fighter, they have already announced plans to significantly extend the lives of their F15's and F16's as they know they will need their capability.


Same with the Navy and their plans to extend the F18's life.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 12):

Funny, that is what everyone said about the F-14, F-15, F-16, F/A-18, etc when they were all introduced... and yet those designs all turned up fine.

That's not really true either. Each one of those designs had a specific mission from day one, and, with the possible exception of the F18 performed them superbly. There simply wasn't the level of concern that any of those Aircraft would not be up to the job.


Unlike the F35.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9998 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
That's not really true either. Each one of those designs had a specific mission from day one, and, with the possible exception of the F18 performed them superbly. There simply wasn't the level of concern that any of those Aircraft would not be up to the job.


Unlike the F35.

Then again many of those fighters (F-14, F-15, F-16 and F-18) were performing very specific missions that no longer exist. While the F-14 was eventually adapted to other things it existed almost wholly to take on long-range, supersonic naval bombers that the USSR had. Everything else was secondary to that. That role just flat does not exist anymore for a variety of reasons.

The F-15 was built in pretty limited numbers even for the USAF and its role is handled by the F-22 now.

The F-16 and F-18 are really aircraft very much in the mold of the F-35 in my view. Particularly in their later (and heavier) incarnations. What you have really done with the F-35 is bolt on the mission of the Harrier and while I do think that has consequences I don't think it is nearly as dire as you suggest.

I don't see many missions that the F-16 or F-18 perform that the F-35 is not going to be significantly better at.


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 565 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 9997 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
Not to the extent that the F35 is compromised. Not even close.

Unless you are directly involved in the development and testing of the F35, you have absolutely zero idea what it compromises or not.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
Same with the USAF, they know full well the F35 is basically a strike aircraft, not a fighter, they have already announced plans to significantly extend the lives of their F15's and F16's as they know they will need their capability. Same with the Navy and their plans to extend the F18's life.

Extending the lives of airframes has nothing to do with the F35.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
The F35 is truly a jack of all trades, master of none. Maybe a reasonable strike aircraft (although very slow) but incredibly expensive and poor value for money. It is certainly not a serious fighter by any stretch of the imagination.

I'm not sure if its your lack of knowledge on this subject that makes you come to this conclusion or just pure ignorance. Stop reading publications by that Sweetman baffoon and start listening to what the people flying the aircraft have to say. You probably won't because they are just paid henchmen, random people and "journalists" on the internet have more credibility....right?  


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 9996 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 12):
Funny, that is what everyone said about the...F-15

   You mean the "not a pound for air to ground" F-15? Not that any of that has stopped it from being developed into a fine strike aircraft, but it was designed to be dominant in one role.

Most of the really great planes were designed to do one job and then expanded. Designing a plane from day one to be everything to everybody is a good way to design an expensive, compromised airframe.

The F-35 will work out alright, but I'm not sold that it will be a better fighter than an upgraded F-22. Or that it would be a better strike aircraft than an FB-22. And I don't think it will be as capable as the A-10 for close air support.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
Neither the F14, F15 or F16 suffered the incredible compromises of forcing one conventional airframe configuration for the Air Force, one VSTOL version for the Marines and another totally different platform for the Navy.

The F-14 was the fix for the first time the military went down the one-size-fits-all aircraft route. Fortunately the F-35 will work out much better than the F-111, but still. The F-15 and F-16 were designed for fairly narrow roles but have proven more than capable of having their missions expanded.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
Each one of those designs had a specific mission from day one, and, with the possible exception of the F18 performed them superbly.

The Super Hornet in particular was forced to make compromises because of the cancellation of the A-12.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4378 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 9990 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 16):

You mean the "not a pound for air to ground" F-15? Not that any of that has stopped it from being developed into a fine strike aircraft, but it was designed to be dominant in one role.

Most of the really great planes were designed to do one job and then expanded. Designing a plane from day one to be everything to everybody is a good way to design an expensive, compromised airframe.

The F-35 will work out alright, but I'm not sold that it will be a better fighter than an upgraded F-22. Or that it would be a better strike aircraft than an FB-22. And I don't think it will be as capable as the A-10 for close air support.

Well said.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 9992 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
Not to the extent that the F35 is compromised. Not even close.


Neither the F14, F15 or F16 suffered the incredible compromises of forcing one conventional airframe configuration for the Air Force, one VSTOL version for the Marines and another totally different platform for the Navy.

There are no real compromises with the F-35 to adapt to all three roles. Since every jet fighter is designed around its jet engine you really wouldn't want to change that being the F-135 engine is the highest thrust engine available. Since the F-35 engine size, mass flow requirements and weapons bays dictate that you must use side air intakes that pretty much forces you into an airframe of the size and shape of the F-35. So really the only thing left to change is who supplies the avionics and systems.

F-35 is a major advancement over the aircraft it is designed specifically to replace: F-16, F/A-18, and the Harrier. It has better sensors, is stealthy, has more range and payload over any of these aircraft, and is just as maneuverable.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
The F35 is acknowledged as being such a poor fighter the Japanese Air Force, despite buying a handful of them plan on operating their F15's until 2040 !

The Japanese intend on cascading their F-15's down to their F-4 squadrons. For the squadrons operating F-4's, it will be a major upgrade, but the former F-15 squadrons will now get F-35's.

And if the Japanese thought so poorly of F-35, then why did they not purchase the other competitors, such as Eurofighter, F-15SE, or F/A-18E/F? They picked F-35 over anyone else. A article in Jane's Defence Weekly explained the rationale behind Japan's decision; the decision-making process was more about actual combat performance and interoperability with the US and other neighbouring allied states than about industrial benefits. Everything else was secondary.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
Same with the USAF, they know full well the F35 is basically a strike aircraft, not a fighter, they have already announced plans to significantly extend the lives of their F15's and F16's as they know they will need their capability.


Same with the Navy and their plans to extend the F18's life.

They are extending the lives of their F-15's, F-16's and F/A-18's because they are running out of airframe hours, not because they need their capability. The F-15 was designed with a airframe life of 5,000 hours. It's flying well past that already. The F/A-18 was designed for 6,000 hours. They are trying to push 10,000 hours through more inspections. Once F-35 is rolling off the assembly lines, expect to see F-15's, F-16's and F/A-18's pushed to the desert as fast as they can get F-35's.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 16):
The F-14 was the fix for the first time the military went down the one-size-fits-all aircraft route. Fortunately the F-35 will work out much better than the F-111, but still. The F-15 and F-16 were designed for fairly narrow roles but have proven more than capable of having their missions expanded.

Incorrect, F-111's failure was borne out of inter-service rivalry. If you looked and compared the F-111B's and the F-14's Standard Aircraft Characteristics charts, the F-111B’s dated 1 July 1967 and the F-14A’s, dated April 1977, you can see that the USN changed the specs that they were requesting to justify killing F-111B.

Much has been made of how terribly overweight the F-111B turned out. And it was, compared to a totally unrealistic specification. Many think that the F-14A was far lighter than the F-111B, primarily because most comparisons neglect to do so using the F-111B’s design mission for both aircraft. The F-14A is still lighter, of course, because the Navy changed its requirements so that it would be. Deleted were the escape capsule, bomb bay, and swiveling wing pylon stations among other things. The Hughes Airborne Missile Control System, given a few more years of development, was lighter. The structure was designed for 6.5 gs at 49,548 lbs, about 10,000 pounds less than the F-111B’s design gross weight at that g level. In effect, the six Phoenixes and 3,800 lbs of fuel were treated as an overload for the design of the F-14A structure. At combat weight (13,800 lbs fuel and six Phoenix missiles) the F-111B therefore had a load limit of 5.8 g and the F-14A (12,000 lbs of fuel and six Phoenix missiles), a lower (but not particularly constraining) 5.2 g. The result, however, is a somewhat lower structural weight for the F-14A.

According to the F-111B SAC, when it was loaded with full internal fuel and six Phoenixes, it weighed 77,566 lbs and required 11 knots wind-over-deck on a tropical day for launch; the F-14A, not surprisingly, weighed almost 7,000 lbs less but, surprisingly, required 16 knots wind-over-deck. However, at its takeoff gross weight the F-111B was carrying 3,000 lbs more fuel than the F-14, making the difference in takeoff gross weight for the same fuel and weapons load only 3,866 lbs, or 5%, not exactly the amount or percentage difference that most would have guessed given all the negative publicity garnered by the “Sea Pig.” With that additional fuel, the F-111B could loiter on station for 1.5 hours with the combat fuel allowance assuming an acceleration to 1.5 Mach; the F-14A with the two external tanks of overload fuel, and with the same combat Mach number (one has to read the SACs very closely), could only loiter for 1.1 hours.

As for landing, they were both heavy. In fact, the maximum arrested landing weight limit of the F-14A precluded it from landing back aboard with all six Phoenixes, whereas the F-111B had a 5,000 lb margin, all fuel, between its maximum landing weight and the landing weight with the standard landing fuel load of 2,417 lbs of fuel and six Phoenix (56,980 lbs). One does not need to be a Naval Aviator to appreciate being able to land with three times the required fuel. On a tropical day at the standard weight, the F-111B needed 15 knots wind-over-deck for landing; the F-14A could only land with five Phoenix, and even then needed 17 knots wind-over-deck at its maximum landing weight of 51,830 lbs. The F-111B was also less of an handful following an engine failure since its engines were not as widely separated as the F-14A’s.

This is not to say that the Navy didn’t do the right thing in getting the F-111B program cancelled and replacing it with the more versatile F-14, particularly since the Hughes AMCS wasn’t ready for prime time. However, with respect to its Fleet Air Defense design mission, it got an airplane that could not loiter as long or land with its full complement of missiles, had a higher stall speed at a lower weight, required more wind-over-deck for takeoffs and landings, and was more difficult to bring aboard with two engines running, not to mention with one inoperative.

The F-111B could do, pretty much, the Phoenix-based Fleet Air Defense mission that it was intended to do while weighted down with Air Force low-level supersonic mission and other requirements. The F-14 could not do the FAD mission quite as well - but well enough if needs be - and it did the carrier Navy’s other, equally important, fighter missions much better. What really killed F-111B is that the Navy never wanted what they always saw as being an 'Air Force' aircraft; they were looking for every excuse in the book to cancel it, including changing the specs. As a result of the USN changing their specs on what they wanted, F-111B did not meet the USN's requirements, and that gave the USN the excuse it needed to cancel F-111B and go with F-14.


User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 9990 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):

First of all thanks for your very informative post.

With regards to your comment on F35 manoeuvrability, I thought at least some versions of the F35 were 7G limited, compared to 9G for the F16 if I am not mistaking?



Stephane
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7136 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9992 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 15):
Unless you are directly involved in the development and testing of the F35, you have absolutely zero idea what it compromises or not.

Are you, considering your age I somewhat doubt it, you are no more informed than anyone else who isn't directly involved in the development and testing of the F35.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):
There are no real compromises with the F-35 to adapt to all three roles

Unless you are directly involved in the development and testing of the F35, you have absolutely zero idea what is compromised or not.


User currently offlinecargotanker From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9990 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):
There are no real compromises with the F-35 to adapt to all three roles. Since every jet fighter is designed around its jet engine you really wouldn't want to change that being the F-135 engine is the highest thrust engine available. Since the F-35 engine size, mass flow requirements and weapons bays dictate that you must use side air intakes that pretty much forces you into an airframe of the size and shape of the F-35. So really the only thing left to change is who supplies the avionics and systems.

There have been plenty of compromises, the biggest one being the VSTOL F-35B variant. Most jet fighters are designed around their engines, not engine, and that has forced a number of compromises too numerous to list. A design free of the B-model contraints would have been faster, stealthier, more manueverable, and been able to carry more for a longer range. That is based on my conversations with F-35 pilots and Operational Test directors and analysts where I work. It also would have been cheaper and suffered fewer delays. The Marines would have been fine with new build, improved, and proven Harriers.

The F-35 will be a very good weapons system, but at what cost? The F-22 is wonderful but with only 180 of them the USAF has a constrained ability to dominate the skies. I see a similar path for the F-35. The US military won't be able to purchase as many as it needs/wants, and we'll have to revise our capabilities downward. Same for the foreign customers. A successful fighter, yes, but not a successful acquisition program. We could have done things a lot better.


User currently offlineSP90 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 9992 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 10):
Quoting cargotanker (Reply 5):
Why only 150 miles? How do they define a 'dash'? Were they able to achieve this in a shallow descent from say FL450 to FL300 over the course of 150 miles? If it can truly cruise at Mach 1.2 it should be able to do this until it runs out of fuel.

Also, if Mach 1.2 = 750 knots at FL300 (I'm guessing, I'm within 10%, no science classes, please) then the F-35 can only 'supercruise' for 12 minutes.

I believe F-22 can only supercruise for 100nm...

That almost sounds like you need afterburners to get up to supersonic speed (M1.5/1.2...whatever) then throttle back and use dry thrust to maintain it (sort of like the Concorde). Then over the course of 100-150nm you slow down and have to use burners again to get back up to speed.


User currently offlinecargotanker From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 9990 times:

Quoting SP90 (Reply 22):
That almost sounds like you need afterburners to get up to supersonic speed (M1.5/1.2...whatever) then throttle back and use dry thrust to maintain it (sort of like the Concorde). Then over the course of 100-150nm you slow down and have to use burners again to get back up to speed.

Agreed, but either way it doesn't seem to fit the definition of 'cruise' speed. Cruise speed is supposed to unaccelerated and maintained. Descending or decelerating shouldn't be classified as cruise.

I wonder if its related to engine heating or maybe accounted for in calculations for combat range in order to project a realistic mission profile?


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 9991 times:

Quoting flagon (Reply 19):
With regards to your comment on F35 manoeuvrability, I thought at least some versions of the F35 were 7G limited, compared to 9G for the F16 if I am not mistaking?

F-35B and C are designed for 7.5G's. However, maneuverability in general is very comparable between all variants due to how the flight control software is written, and there are some slight differences. However, F-35C is slightly more maneuverable at lower speeds as a function of the carrier operations requirement.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 21):
There have been plenty of compromises, the biggest one being the VSTOL F-35B variant. Most jet fighters are designed around their engines, not engine, and that has forced a number of compromises too numerous to list. A design free of the B-model contraints would have been faster, stealthier, more manueverable, and been able to carry more for a longer range. That is based on my conversations with F-35 pilots and Operational Test directors and analysts where I work. It also would have been cheaper and suffered fewer delays. The Marines would have been fine with new build, improved, and proven Harriers.

Disagree. The Harrier line has been long closed and reopening would have been very costly. In addition, the Harrier is a extremely difficult aircraft to operate; one pilot has likened it to being like a octopus to operate all of the controls. F-35B is a extremely simple and easy aircraft to fly; one will require a few simulator rides and a differences course and be able to operate the F-35B in all modes of flight.

The B's restraints have in fact helped F-35's development; as the F-35B was the most sensitive to weight, any weight savings developed for the B model could be easily be rolled into the A and C models as well to enhance their performance. In fact, some have actually argued that it is not the B model that has hobbled F-35 the most, but the C model instead as the larger wing has caused problems with the area ruling of the aircraft, and the extra issues surrounding carrier operations.

The supposed issues regarding maximum speed of F-35 was not dictated by development issues, but a real world assessment of modern fighter jet operations. Fighter jets rarely, if ever, fly anywhere near their top speeds. In fact, the vast majority of service for fighter jets is in the subsonic regime, save for the F-22, which is designed in mind for supersonic operations. However, designing aircraft for high top speeds is more costly, and it was better felt that improving performance in the transonic range, where the vast majority of air combat and operations exist, was a better investment than pure top speed. Maneuverability wise, F-35 is very similar in terms of performance the current US fighters.

Could we have developed 3 separate fighters for all three services? Sure, but it would have been prohibitively expensive to do so. The F-35 is simply the best of a bad situation, and wishful thinking about what could have been isn't going to benefit anyone. Those who want to cancel the JSF now simply aren't living in the current reality, or have an emotional attachment to one of its predecessors or competitors.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 21):
The F-22 is wonderful but with only 180 of them the USAF has a constrained ability to dominate the skies.

Considering that at best, we only have ~100 combat capable F-22's in the first place, the avionics are obsolete (and a developmental dead end), and F-22 is a complete maintenance hog, killing F-22 production made sense. There is no reason to continue buying F-22 when F-35 can do its mission almost as good as F-22.


User currently offlinecargotanker From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 25, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 10118 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
Disagree. The Harrier line has been long closed and reopening would have been very costly. In addition, the Harrier is a extremely difficult aircraft to operate; one pilot has likened it to being like a octopus to operate all of the controls. F-35B is a extremely simple and easy aircraft to fly; one will require a few simulator rides and a differences course and be able to operate the F-35B in all modes of flight.

Restarting a production line along with incremental improvements would have been costly, but not nearly as costly as a complete new design aircraft. As for difficulty of operation, that's mostly irrelevant, the Harrier has operated fine in numerous conflicts despite its difficulty of operation. The Harrier worked, and given budgetary restraints could have been a sensible and practical alternative to a VSTOL version of the JSF.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
The B's restraints have in fact helped F-35's development; as the F-35B was the most sensitive to weight, any weight savings developed for the B model could be easily be rolled into the A and C models as well to enhance their performance

That's not what the engineers say. The B model forced a large single engine design and forced that engine into a position very forward in the aircraft due to the position of the forward nozzles. This forced compromises in inlet position (very forward, less stealthy) and cockpit position. It also compromises CG and center of lift position, which can create enormous performance changes in a fighter aircraft. As a result, the F-35 has reduced range, manueverability, and payload when compared to a design without those engine restrictions. The forward engine also reduced options for weapons bays, which are smaller and oddly sized on an F-35 compared to what they could be.

As far as weight savings is concerned, all F-35s have had their static protection of fuel tanks removed so that the B model can operate at a reduced weight. As a result, all F-35s have to stay 25 miles away from thunderstorms. This will probably get fixed, but there are plenty more examples of how weight savings have hurt the A and C models.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
The supposed issues regarding maximum speed of F-35 was not dictated by development issues, but a real world assessment of modern fighter jet operations. Fighter jets rarely, if ever, fly anywhere near their top speeds. In fact, the vast majority of service for fighter jets is in the subsonic regime, save for the F-22,

I'm aware of everything you just said (you are talking to a career military aviator), but its irrelevant to my point. I'm talking all speeds: cruise, supercruise, acceleration. Its also related to fuel burn and range. The compromises for the B model made all of these parameters worse.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
Could we have developed 3 separate fighters for all three services? Sure, but it would have been prohibitively expensive to do so. The F-35 is simply the best of a bad situation, and wishful thinking about what could have been isn't going to benefit anyone. Those who want to cancel the JSF now simply aren't living in the current reality, or have an emotional attachment to one of its predecessors or competitors.

One version of the JSF would have been fine. The Navy and Air Force could have developed a fighter they both agree upon, similar to the F-4 or A-7. (no history lessons please, I'm aware the naval version came first) A repeat of the F-111 is not a given. I don't think the F-35 is the best of a bad situation, it could have been better and we aviation fans are allowed to wishfully express our thoughts on an aviation website regardeless of who it benefits, if anyone. Our wishful thinking isn't doing any harm, either. I assure you that I am living in reality and realize at this stage the F-35 is the best path forward. But it could have been a hell of a lot better, and cheaper.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
killing F-22 production made sense.

The main factor capping F-22 production was cost. The Air Force wanted more but has to buy other things, like C-17s and KC-46s and F-35s.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 911 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10160 times:

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 25):
One version of the JSF would have been fine. The Navy and Air Force could have developed a fighter they both agree upon, similar to the F-4 or A-7

Without the STOVL constraints, it would have looked a lot like this:



User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4378 posts, RR: 19
Reply 27, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 10286 times:

It's inaccurate to say the Harrier is difficult to operate anyway. The later versions were and are so much easier to fly than the early ones it's like a different aircraft altogether.


It was and is an unparalleled ground attack aircraft, rugged, with a massive weapons load and tremendously flexible with it's VSTOL design.


In my opinion they should have stayed with the Harrier and kept developing it. Why on earth do the Marines need a stealthy supersonic attack aircraft for close air support ? its a complete waste of money for them and a design completely unsuited to that mission.


The Navy should have kept developing the F18 until they could find a true replacement. The F35C, especially with it's single engine is completely unsuited to them as well.


In my opinion the only version that should have been made (and optimized for that mission) was the A model for the Air Force and used as a stealthy replacement for the F16, a single version for that purpose could have used a much smaller engine and been much faster without all the design compromises built in for the B model. Speed and maneuverability is still vital.



It's been a pure fantasy the F35 would save money for all three services. In fact it's turning out to be the most expensive fighter of all time, precisely because of the impossible compromises forced on its design to meet three completely different roles.



At this point I think it's such a disaster they should just cancel the whole program.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 28, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 10266 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
Why on earth do the Marines need a stealthy supersonic attack aircraft for close air support ?

They really don't. It's a bit questionable why they need aircraft at all, but I think that the cost does outweigh the benefit here.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
The Navy should have kept developing the F18 until they could find a true replacement.

The Navy should have not cancelled the A-12 and they'd have had their stealth strike capability for a while now.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
At this point I think it's such a disaster they should just cancel the whole program.

Considering the unrealistic premise, the industry has done a pretty decent job considering the hand that politicians and bureaucrats dealt them.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently onlineNewark727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 1335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 10258 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 28):
Considering the unrealistic premise, the industry has done a pretty decent job considering the hand that politicians and bureaucrats dealt them.

I don't think that's an entirely fair assertion. Or rather, it ignores vested interests amongst the planemakers. The politicians and bureaucrats don't operate in a vacuum- if the contractors think that they can do a bunch of jobs with a single plane for less money, we'd be hearing the griping if they wanted two different types instead, I'm sure. So the question of "where did the F-35 get its really long list of design objectives" starts to move towards chicken-or-egg.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 28):

The Navy should have not cancelled the A-12 and they'd have had their stealth strike capability for a while now.

What sort of aircraft was the A-12 supposed to be? Something like the A-6 in size but way more advanced? Just curious, I hear a lot about the project but never see a lot.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 30, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 10260 times:

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 29):
Or rather, it ignores vested interests amongst the planemakers.

Even if the manufacturers know it's a really tall order, they aren't going to say that they can't do it. If they tell the policymakers that their idea is unrealistic in terms of cost and capability, you know the next guy will tell them "sure, we can do that." And for that matter, the F-35 is a big enough and expensive enough program that it was pretty obvious that once the ball got rolling, it would be all but impossible to stop, no matter how much the budgets and schedules got abused. Once the government was on the hook, it would be really hard to cancel the program considering how far reaching it is.

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 29):
What sort of aircraft was the A-12 supposed to be? Something like the A-6 in size but way more advanced? Just curious, I hear a lot about the project but never see a lot.

The A-12 was a design to replace the A-6 that was conceived in the 1980s and cancelled by Dick Cheney in 1991. It was going to be built by a partnership of McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics.

It was to be a jet powered, low observable flying wing design with a top speed in the high subsonic range. It was nicknamed "The Flying Dorito" and appeared like a miniature YB-49. The project ran into problems with performance, schedule and budget and ended up getting axed in 1991, although had the project been allowed to continue, it would have given the Navy a stealth strike capability in the late 1990s or early 2000s. As it was, the role had to be taken on by the Super Hornet, so when you hear people complain about the Super Hornet being too big, or too slow, or making too many compromises, that's why.

As far as I know, there is still an ongoing court case between Boeing and the government regarding the A-12.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-12_Avenger_II



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4378 posts, RR: 19
Reply 31, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 10260 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 28):

The Navy should have not cancelled the A-12 and they'd have had their stealth strike capability for a while now.

I do agree with that, the only reason to have Aircraft Carriers is their strike capability, as glamorous as their fighter's are their main purpose is to defend the carrier. Its the ability to put ordnance on the target in any weather conditions at any time of day in the most hostile environment possible that counts.


The A6 Intruder was the epitome of that capability in its day and a stealthy replacement was vital. Cheneys cancellation of that program was a terribly short sighted decision that has adversely affected Naval Aviation ever since.

[Edited 2012-11-12 00:54:05]


The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 32, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 10265 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 31):
I do agree with that, the only reason to have Aircraft Carriers is their strike capability, as glamorous as their fighter's are their main purpose is to defend the carrier.

I would not sell short the ability of an aircraft carrier to establish air superiority, however. Yes, it is a slightly more difficult proposition, since the Air Force can offer more in the way of tanker support (in the Falklands, a two plane CAP actually took six planes), but it is an important aspect of the mission for the carrier to be able to control any airspace its aircraft can reach.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 31):
The A6 Intruder was the epitome of that capability in its day and a stealthy replacement was vital. Cheneys cancellation of that program was a terribly short sighted decision that has adversely affected Naval Aviation ever since.

The problem with cancelling major programs is that it leaves you with the exact same problem you had before and less time to solve it. Cancelling the A-12 did not magically make the A-6s younger, so the Super Hornet had to make compromises.

Of course, this same logic is why the F-35 should not be cancelled at this stage: it's too late. Get the most out of it, and learn the lessons which this time will hopefully last a bit longer than when they were last learned with the F-111. In hindsight, there probably were better ways to do what the F-35 sets out to do, but at this time, pursuing those options would be an excessively long and expensive plan.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4378 posts, RR: 19
Reply 33, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 10262 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):

Of course, this same logic is why the F-35 should not be cancelled at this stage: it's too late. Get the most out of it, and learn the lessons which this time will hopefully last a bit longer than when they were last learned with the F-111. In hindsight, there probably were better ways to do what the F-35 sets out to do, but at this time, pursuing those options would be an excessively long and expensive plan.

I understand your reasoning but in this case I think the F35 is so badly compromised for any mission it should be put out of its misery.


The A12 had a specific mission it would have been very good at if they had persevered, not this lemon though..



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineMCIGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 10266 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 8):
I personally think the F-35 would pull of a better than 1-1 kill ratio against anything but an F-22 (PAK-FA and J-20 included) due to its advanced sensors and networking.

Agreed, the HMD + AIM-9X combination alone should be deadly, not to mention the APG-81 + AIM-120D.




Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
Why on earth do the Marines need a stealthy supersonic attack aircraft for close air support ?

Well, really isn't part of CAS to fly CAP over friendly forces?



Airliners.net Moderator Team
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 565 posts, RR: 1
Reply 35, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10272 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
In my opinion they should have stayed with the Harrier and kept developing it.

Might as well kept the P-51 and kept developing that. You could probably integrate some avionics and weapon stations on there quite nicely.  
Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
The Navy should have kept developing the F18 until they could find a true replacement.

At a cost of Billions more.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
At this point I think it's such a disaster they should just cancel the whole program.

Great idea, lets just throw away billions of dollars and decades of research just because some civies on the internet don't personally like the F35. The program is already years past the cancellation point, live with it or go find some other piece of hardware to bitch about.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7136 posts, RR: 3
Reply 36, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 10255 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
F-35B is a extremely simple and easy aircraft to fly

Unless you've flown one how could you possibly know this?


User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2098 posts, RR: 1
Reply 37, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 10263 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 35):
The program is already years past the cancellation point, live with it or go find some other piece of hardware to bitch about.

As this is an aviation forum for people to discuss their opinions on all things aviation, I find it offensive and in bad taste that you are telling someone to stop saying how they feel about.. anything. Your opinion is just that, an opinion. You are not an expert and your opinion is no more or less valid than anyone else's. I happen to be a fan of the F-35 too, but your posts directing people on how to act is irritating to say the least.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4378 posts, RR: 19
Reply 38, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 10258 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 35):
Great idea, lets just throw away billions of dollars and decades of research just because some civies on the internet don't personally like the F35

Glad you agree.

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 37):

As this is an aviation forum for people to discuss their opinions on all things aviation, I find it offensive and in bad taste that you are telling someone to stop saying how they feel about.. anything. Your opinion is just that, an opinion. You are not an expert and your opinion is no more or less valid than anyone else's. I happen to be a fan of the F-35 too, but your posts directing people on how to act is irritating to say the least.

Thank you for your intelligent comment. I think some people forget we are just having a conversation here !



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 565 posts, RR: 1
Reply 39, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 10294 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 36):
Unless you've flown one how could you possibly know this?

Real F35 pilots say so. http://www.dvidshub.net/news/96296/f...arine-corps-air-force#.UKFik4fLTw4

Quote:
The [F-35B] is so easy to fly because the computer does most of the work, so we won’t have to spend so much time on the basics.”
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123322393

Quote:
The F-35 is an ideal combination of stealth, sensor fusion and a robust digital flight control system making it, not only easy for a pilot to fly, but easy to identify and engage targets in the battlespace. Along with ease of flight, the F-35 also allows pilots greater situational awareness.
Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 37):
As this is an aviation forum for people to discuss their opinions on all things aviation, I find it offensive and in bad taste that you are telling someone to stop saying how they feel about.. anything. Your opinion is just that, an opinion. You are not an expert and your opinion is no more or less valid than anyone else's. I happen to be a fan of the F-35 too, but your posts directing people on how to act is irritating to say the least.

When someone rehashes the same ol' BS "F35 is a poor performer, should be cancelled, etc etc." then that starts to get irritating. Especially when that person suggests alternatives based on fantasies from video games that will never happen. It's too easy to just come up with uninformed opinions because they might look good on paper, but in the real world they'll never materialize. All this discussion is meaningless anyhow, more so if the person is so stubborn that facts don't convince him. 'If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.'


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 40, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 10276 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 33):
I understand your reasoning but in this case I think the F35 is so badly compromised for any mission it should be put out of its misery.

The F-35 is compromised in its mission, but I think that even more of the compromises have come in terms of cost.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 33):
The A12 had a specific mission it would have been very good at if they had persevered, not this lemon though..

It's interesting to wonder how much different the F-35 might be if the A-12 had gone forward. If the Navy had not needed a stealth strike capability, it might have made the whole program unnecessary, and certainly would have changed what it was.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 843 posts, RR: 1
Reply 41, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 10282 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 31):
Cheneys cancellation of that program was a terribly short sighted decision that has adversely affected Naval Aviation ever since.

On the contrary, one of the few things that Dick Cheney did right was the cancellation of the A-12. The last 20 years has proven that the USN did not require a stealth strike aircraft. The F-35 will now hit the fleet at the right time and when the stealth and advanced networking features of the airframe will be most useful, as well as when two rival nations are developing and testing three stealth aircraft of their own.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 33):
The A12 had a specific mission it would have been very good at if they had persevered, not this lemon though..

That is simply not a logical conclusion you can draw from the evidence. The A-12 did not even fly before it was cancelled. the Wiki article BMI727 quoted above indicated the design was already 30% overweight, its first flight was delayed at least two years and if you adjust for inflation each A-12 would have cost at least US$125 mill in 2012 dollars. (about the same as LRIP F-35 aircraft and greater than anyone honestly thinks the final full rate production cost for the F-35 will be in 2012 dollars). The GAO also stated the following, http://www.gao.gov/assets/90/89298.pdf

"McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics advised the Navy that the schedule for first flight would slip significantly, the full-scale development effort would overrun the contract ceiling by an amount they could not absorb, and certain performance specifications could not be met."

So with all the issues above you think that McDD and GD would have been able to magically turn things around and actually deliver an aircraft?

Quoting Max Q (Reply 33):
I understand your reasoning but in this case I think the F35 is so badly compromised for any mission it should be put out of its misery.

Yet the F-35 is meeting every single key requirement that the three services have specified, hence the primary customer of the aircraft is satisfied with its performance. Yes it is over budget (by about the same amount as almost every other manned fighter aircraft developed and fielded in the last two decades) and yes it is late but the program is now delivering production aircraft and the T&E program is now moving well.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 25):
The B model forced a large single engine design and forced that engine into a position very forward in the aircraft due to the position of the forward nozzles. This forced compromises in inlet position (very forward, less stealthy) and cockpit position.

The F-35's inlets are no further forward than the F-22 and the cockpit position is the same as the F-16, Typhoon and Rafale. The F-35 does have a shorter nose cone but that is related to advances in aerodynamics and radar performance, not to accommodate the B variant.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 25):
The forward engine also reduced options for weapons bays, which are smaller and oddly sized on an F-35 compared to what they could be.

Its a stealth airframe, done correctly the engines are always placed forward to minimise signature and increase IR diffusion. I also doubt the weapons bays would have been sized differently had the engine been further aft. They meet the requirements specified, why make them bigger if you don't need to?

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 21):
Most jet fighters are designed around their engines, not engine, and that has forced a number of compromises too numerous to list.

After the experiences and success of the F-16, there was no way the F-35 was going to use more than one engine.

Quoting SP90 (Reply 22):
That almost sounds like you need afterburners to get up to supersonic speed (M1.5/1.2...whatever) then throttle back and use dry thrust to maintain it (sort of like the Concorde). Then over the course of 100-150nm you slow down and have to use burners again to get back up to speed.

You would need burners to get past M1 and then put the aircraft back in mil thrust to maintain the cruise speed. Given the drag at M1 that shouldn't be a surprise. The 100-150 miles would be sitting at M1.2 though, no ascending or descending required to maintain speed. You don't go further than that because the fuel required is too excessive. As Pointblank indicated, the F-22 range is usually calculated on a supercruise of only 100nm. It does not fly around all day supercruising because the fuel burden would be too great, significantly reducing the range.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 42, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10246 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 41):
That is simply not a logical conclusion you can draw from the evidence. The A-12 did not even fly before it was cancelled. the Wiki article BMI727 quoted above indicated the design was already 30% overweight, its first flight was delayed at least two years and if you adjust for inflation each A-12 would have cost at least US$125 mill in 2012 dollars. (about the same as LRIP F-35 aircraft and greater than anyone honestly thinks the final full rate production cost for the F-35 will be in 2012 dollars). The GAO also stated the following, http://www.gao.gov/assets/90/89298.pdf

"McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics advised the Navy that the schedule for first flight would slip significantly, the full-scale development effort would overrun the contract ceiling by an amount they could not absorb, and certain performance specifications could not be met."

So with all the issues above you think that McDD and GD would have been able to magically turn things around and actually deliver an aircraft?

Very correct. A-12 was an unmitigated disaster that frankly was not going to remotely live up to its promises and expectations. A-12 tried to accomplish too much too quickly, and the Flying Dorito kept having new requirements added which added to the burden. There was no way that McDD and General Dynamics was going to be able to salvage the program without a total and very costly redesign that the USN was unwilling to pay for as it would have essentially destroyed the USN fighter jet budget at a time when the F-14's were starting to get old in the tooth, along with the A-6's and A-7's.

Canning A-12 was the correct decision to make because the aircraft was not going to live up to expectations and at a cost that would have been remotely affordable.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 40):
The F-35 is compromised in its mission, but I think that even more of the compromises have come in terms of cost.

The costs are more in the form of supporting infrastructure; a good chunk of the F-35's Weapons System Costs is from the new simulator's being built for F-35 pilot training. The new simulators are considerably more advanced compared to the ones currently being used, as they are meant for more realistic combat training than basic flight training. The simulator can eplicate the tactical environment that a pilot and his wingmen would face in combat. The sims also can be linked, and pilots can experience flying in a multiship environment against a vast array of air and surface threats, similar to a virtual Red Flag. Eventually, the simulator will be able to link to other F-35 bases and to different types of aircraft simulators across the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

So in essence, what could happen is that a USAF F-35 squadron based in EDW can conduct a simulated training attack run on a carrier group in the Persian Gulf, while CAP is being simulated by pilots in simulators in Hickam, and some IADS work being done by a unit based in the UK.

It will also help find willing adversaries for F-35 pilots, as I will expect that very quickly, the initial F-35 squadrons will face a situation much like what the F-22 squadrons are facing when trying to find adversaries for Red Air operations; the complete lack of units willing to play what is essentially the role of live bait to be toyed with by these squadrons.


User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 1755 posts, RR: 1
Reply 43, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 10197 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 8):
The F-22 is great but in this day in age you really only need so many of them.

This is along the lines of what they said when the F-4 came out without a gun. And we all know what happened there... A nation that can afford to have a standoff military, like USA, Russia, China, etc, needs an air force with an air superiority fighter like the F-15, and since the fifth generation fighter is now the cutting edge, the F-22. The F-35 is a multirole fighter, that, in my eyes, is better for a branch similar to the US Marine Corps which can do all kinds of aspects of aerial fighting and other missions, but a branch like the USAF, which one of the roles it specializes in is air superiority, among other things, needs a fighter like the F22.



Go coogs! \n//
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 44, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10204 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 43):
This is along the lines of what they said when the F-4 came out without a gun. And we all know what happened there... A nation that can afford to have a standoff military, like USA, Russia, China, etc, needs an air force with an air superiority fighter like the F-15, and since the fifth generation fighter is now the cutting edge, the F-22. The F-35 is a multirole fighter, that, in my eyes, is better for a branch similar to the US Marine Corps which can do all kinds of aspects of aerial fighting and other missions, but a branch like the USAF, which one of the roles it specializes in is air superiority, among other things, needs a fighter like the F22.

It has F-22's. The question is how many does it really need right now and is what was built enough. I used to think the USAF needed more of them but looking more closely at the F-22's maint. issues and the F-35's potential in the Air to Air environment I think that the correct decision was made.

The USAF has F-22's in sufficient numbers given the threats that exist today. Even in its limited numbers in a realistic combat scenario (AWACS support, ECM heavy environment ect) it would clean house against pretty much every fighter actually flying in combat roles today. Combined with all the other things the USAF and USN bring to the table I don't worry all that much about gaining control of the air if the rules of engagement are not stupidly crafted (ala Vietnam).

I also think that the F-35 will perform just fine in the Air to Air role for about 90% plus of the missions the USAF will undertake. The sensor fusion and data sharing for the platform is a much bigger deal (took me a long time to get comfortable with it and say that) than the kinematic performance of the airplane. A flight of F-35's will be incredibly dangerous and are going to give a lot worse than they take from anything short of a PAK-50/J-20 type threat. Even there I would suspect they would hold their own (or more so as there is still a lot of the hardest work to do from an avionics perspective to get those things not just flying but shooting and using sensors the way the F-35 will) and they should be around in far greater numbers than those types.

I think the big tip off was Japan. Japan does not need a light bomber. They needed a highly capable interceptor. We all know the F-35 is not the F-22 in this regard. But Japan could have bought the Eurofighter (or anything else in the world) to fill that mission. And they took the F-35.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 10179 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 44):
I think the big tip off was Japan. Japan does not need a light bomber. They needed a highly capable interceptor. We all know the F-35 is not the F-22 in this regard. But Japan could have bought the Eurofighter (or anything else in the world) to fill that mission. And they took the F-35.

Japan was a big signal as to the future of F-35. The Japanese could have had their pick of designs (except for F-22). They chose F-35.

And the first operational F-35B has been delivered to the USMC:

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/th...cas-yuma-recieves-first-opera.html
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2012/11/17/784515.jpg

The aircraft is going to VFMA-121, which is currently a Hornet squadron.

Also, high angle of attack testing is about to begin (video with commentary):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfWHHuLILs0

[Edited 2012-11-19 19:23:25]

User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4378 posts, RR: 19
Reply 46, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 10129 times:

How can you have a 'stealth' fighter that is twice as loud as an F15 ?!



This thing is supposedly optimised for ground attack, you don't need radar to know it's coming, just your ears !



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 47, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 10063 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 46):
This thing is supposedly optimised for ground attack, you don't need radar to know it's coming, just your ears !

I think you are stretching it a little bit there, but anyway I would expect a typical ground attack mission profile to be conducted a low level at a speed close to M1 in which case the sound the plane makes should be very difficult to ear for the target until just before the attack?



Stephane
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 48, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 10036 times:

Quoting flagon (Reply 47):
I think you are stretching it a little bit there, but anyway I would expect a typical ground attack mission profile to be conducted a low level at a speed close to M1 in which case the sound the plane makes should be very difficult to ear for the target until just before the attack?

Actually it is far more likely that the F-35 will operate from high altitude than low, particularly when it is using things like JDAM, SDB and JSWO. Either way the sound thing won't be much of an issue either way. If you rely on sound to detect it you will be long dead anyway.

Also, just as a general policy statement on life, loud military jets are awesome. Nothing beats hearing a B-1 or F-4 roar by at low altitude and shake the earth for miles.


User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 565 posts, RR: 1
Reply 49, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9851 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 46):
How can you have a 'stealth' fighter that is twice as loud as an F15 ?!

This thing is supposedly optimised for ground attack, you don't need radar to know it's coming, just your ears !

Please tell me you aren't serious. The anti-JSF camp is really grasping at the straws now, lol. What's next? "The paint is too dark, you'll be able to spot it in daylight too easily!" Almost as bad as the CBC/Yahoo comments....


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 50, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9797 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 46):
This thing is supposedly optimised for ground attack, you don't need radar to know it's coming, just your ears !

Your ears are probably pretty useless for actually targeting and hitting things.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 51, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9796 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 48):
Actually it is far more likely that the F-35 will operate from high altitude than low, particularly when it is using things like JDAM, SDB and JSWO. Either way the sound thing won't be much of an issue either way. If you rely on sound to detect it you will be long dead anyway.

Especially considering the advanced sensor package onboard F-35... you essentially have in the nose a high resolution mapping radar, with capabilities to detect and track multiple moving ground targets, and a built in Sniper XR targeting pod behind it backed by EO-DAS.


User currently offlinegipsy From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 52, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 8962 times:

I still remember the talks a few years ago, how it is a fully fledged fighter performance wise outperforming obsolete "4.5 generation" junk like the eurocanards  

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