Spacepope
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And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:02 am

So sorry to distract you all from the ongoing A400M and KC-X soap operas.

http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1109

FROM THE ARTICLE
ST. LOUIS, March 9, 2010 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a U.S. Air Force contract worth approximately $69.7 million for the initial engineering, manufacturing and development of QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Targets to replace the QF-4 fleet. Under the terms of the remainder of the contract, expected to be awarded in coming years, up to 126 QF-16 drones will deliver beginning in 2014.

Would be fun to see a 10-12G turn without the meatbag in front to worry about.
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sasd209
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:05 am

Well, I suppose we knew this day would come.....at least they will die for a useful cause!!
 
L-188
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:40 am

Any body notice that most of these drones seem to be built from Air Force frames?

No QF-18's. I don't remember hearing anything about QA-7's, QF-8's, QA-4's or QT-2's.
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sasd209
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:47 am

Wow....a QF-8.. That would be a heck of a target!!
 
Beta
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:51 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
Any body notice that most of these drones seem to be built from Air Force frames?

No QF-18's. I don't remember hearing anything about QA-7's, QF-8's, QA-4's or QT-2's.

Good point! I've never thought of that. Maybe the Navy's and Marines Corps's airframes were all "well-used" and rusted, hence more expensive to modify? I do not know. I'm curious as to how they go about building those drones? Take out the oldest, highest mileage frame from storage and mod it? What about the engines? Anyone in the know how can educate an ignorant here. Thanks.
 
L-188
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:23 am

Quoting Beta (Reply 4):
Maybe the Navy's and Marines Corps's airframes were all "well-used" and rusted, hence more expensive to modify?

You think that wouldn't be that big of a deal on a airframe that is built to be destroyed.
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Stealthz
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:43 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
Any body notice that most of these drones seem to be built from Air Force frames?

As it is pretty much an Air Force program it might make the airframe ownership paperwork easier to handle.
Another consideration is just a numbers thing, when the QF-4 program started I would expect that the F-4 was available in considerably larger numbers than the other types mentioned, similarly today with the F-16.

[Edited 2010-03-09 22:01:27]
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Stitch
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:55 am

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 3):
Wow....a QF-8.. That would be a heck of a target!!

I'm waiting for a QB-52.  
 
ThePointblank
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:23 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
No QF-18's

That's because of a number of issues with the F/A-18 fleet... namely early airframe fatigue on the centre fuselage barrel (where the wings, tail, and cockpit meet) is forcing the USN to dredge out early model F/A-18A's and B's with avionics upgrades and placing them back into active carrier wings, so they can take the C's and D's to have the time consuming and costly centre fuselage barrel swap done to extend their lives.
 
mechatnew
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:24 pm

The US Navy has used many drones over the years, and used the Q designation for drones, and D for drone directors.F6F-5K Hellcat, QP-4B [PB4Y-2 Privateer], QT-33A, QF-8A, QF-9s [F9F-6K Cougar], QF-86F/H, and the last of there Phantoms drones, QF-4B/N/S, were retirer in 2004. Airborne drone controlers were DB-26 Invaders, DT-33A, DF-9 Cougars, DT-2 Buckeye, DF-8F Crusader, DP-2 Neptune.
 
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Moose135
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:35 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
No QF-18's.

That's only because they would need the to do an inflight refueling between takeoff and reaching the range...  Wow!
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Spacepope
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:59 pm

Quoting mechatnew (Reply 9):
The US Navy has used many drones over the years, and used the Q designation for drones, and D for drone directors.F6F-5K Hellcat, QP-4B [PB4Y-2 Privateer], QT-33A, QF-8A, QF-9s [F9F-6K Cougar], QF-86F/H, and the last of there Phantoms drones, QF-4B/N/S, were retirer in 2004. Airborne drone controlers were DB-26 Invaders, DT-33A, DF-9 Cougars, DT-2 Buckeye, DF-8F Crusader, DP-2 Neptune.

Yep, and also DC-130As that were used to launch Ryan Firebee target drones.

The USAF also had a good run, using QF-80, QF-86, QF-100, QF-102 and QF-106 fleets before the Phantom.

I'm actually surprised that nobody saw a market for all of the ex WP MiG-21/23s rusting in the weeds as low cost target drones.
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Venus6971
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:34 pm

I don't know why the just used F-4E's and G's and not the the C and D's. I know the Navy droned up J's and S's.
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Spacepope
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:04 pm

Quoting venus6971 (Reply 12):
I don't know why the just used F-4E's and G's and not the the C and D's. I know the Navy droned up J's and S's.

Dunno. They're all out of G/Es now, and have gone over to the RF-4C fleet, but even those are running out.

Isn't South Korea the only ones that still use F-4Ds? Well, besides Iran?
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bennett123
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:00 pm

How many QF4 or unconverted F4 does the USAF have?.

What about USN/USMC?.
 
Max Q
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:47 am

The 'Meatbag'




Seriously.... ?!!!
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sprout5199
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:55 pm

Ryan Firebee target drones

Don't forget Talos missiles used in the Vandal exercises, my ship (an FFG) shot two down in 1989, much to the suprise of the tico- class CG captains that couldn't fire.

Dan in Jupiter

[Edited 2010-03-11 04:57:34]
 
mechatnew
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:22 pm

The US Navy F-4 Phantom drone program was 1972-2004 They started with QF-4Bs, then QF-4N/Ss. I think there was only one QF-4J. Not sure of the total number, maybe 100. The US Navy was also using QF-86F/H from the early 1970s, to the early 1990s.

The USAF F-4 Drone program started is 1991, to replace the QF-106. The number is over 250, with a few more QRF-4Cs to be converted.
 
Spacepope
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:38 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 15):
The 'Meatbag'

Seriously.... ?!!!


No not seriously, just invoking the zombie spirit of Bender.
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ebj1248650
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:02 pm

I have to wonder why there never were any QF-105s or QF-101s.
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zanl188
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:36 pm

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 19):
I have to wonder why there never were any QF-105s or QF-101s.

Not sure about the F-101 but many F-105s were lost in Vietnam - probably not worthwhile to convert the survivors.
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L-188
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:49 am

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 20):
but many F-105s were lost in Vietnam - probably not worthwhile to convert the survivors.

about 75% of them.

At the time those frames would have been available, there where a lot moore F-100's still around.
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zanl188
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:02 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 21):
about 75% of them.

At the time those frames would have been available, there where a lot moore F-100's still around.

Not to mention the F-105 was designed for the nuclear strike mission - not terribly manueverable as a result. The lack of manueverability was less than desireable for a target.
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Spacepope
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RE: And So It Begins: The QF-16

Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:15 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 22):
The lack of manueverability was less than desireable for a target.

Is that really much of a criteria back then? The F-102 wasn't too much of a turnin' n burnin' fighter either, nor was the F-106.
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