CF188A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8322 times:
Quoting Kukkudrill (Reply 6): Going from reverse thrust in the Tornado back to drogue chutes in the Typhoon seems to me to be a bit of a retrograde step. Why isn't reverse thrust more widespread in combat aircraft?
Yep, you're pretty much spot on. Reverse thrust uses a bunch of gas, complex systems, and additional money to not really do much of anything but make a bunch of noise. It is extremely ineffective at slowing an aircraft compared to drag chutes or brakes. The biggest "advantage" of reverse thrust is that it cancels out the idle forward thrust working against you. On my aircraft (CRJ), we get a substantial portion of our reverse thrust effectiveness by just unlocking the reversers and not even bringing the engines out of idle.
Canceling out idle thrust isnt an issue on most fighters, as they have an engine nozzle that is open at ground idle to prevent any thrust from being produced. This nozzle probably also makes it a bit difficult to integrate reversers, but the Tornado proves it can be done. Id imagine the benefits of reduced brake wear just dont stack up enough for the military to consider it. On a slightly related note, do any of the heavier aircraft, like the B-52 or B-1, have them?