bennett123
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YAL 1 Programme

Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:28 am

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/specialairmission/a/yal1laser.htm

I have not heard anything about the YAL since last year.

Is the prototype still flying?.

Also is the programme continuing, and has the technology been applied to other uses.

Many thanks.

David
 
PC12Fan
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RE: YAL 1 Programme

Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:46 pm

Program killed. Prototype in storage.

http://www.airborne-laser.com/
Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
 
Oroka
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RE: YAL 1 Programme

Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:49 am

Here she is in the boneyard.




[Edited 2012-12-08 16:50:08]
 
bennett123
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RE: YAL 1 Programme

Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:59 pm

Many thanks.

Hopefully they will find a new use for this aircraft.

However, as a one off, and the USAF not having any other B747-400F derived aircraft, it is not sounding good.

They could give it to a Museum. However, given that it was not a success, I suspect that parting, followed by the axe is more likely.

David
 
Newark727
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RE: YAL 1 Programme

Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:39 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 3):
Hopefully they will find a new use for this aircraft.

I say we just keep it around so we can still say we're the only country in the world to possess a 747-based laser-plane, whether or not we actually use it for anything is immaterial.

[joke.]
 
Oroka
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RE: YAL 1 Programme

Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:08 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 3):
However, as a one off, and the USAF not having any other B747-400F derived aircraft, it is not sounding good.

The airframe was heavily modified to accept the laser system and turret... other than some parts... it is a unique aircraft.

Now... where could a extremely low cycle, one off 747 be useful. My first thought would be a SOFIA replacement. Maybe with some work the laser turret could be used somehow...
 
MCIGuy
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RE: YAL 1 Programme

Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:42 am

The YAL-1A proved itself effective against both solid fueled and liquid fueled missiles and was successful in shooting them down. It was cancelled so the money could be used for "other things".  
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GDB
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RE: YAL 1 Programme

Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:08 am

Quote from Defence Secretary Gates, sourced from Wikipedia;

Secretary of Defense Gates said that "I don't know anybody at the Department of Defense, Mr. Tiahrt, who thinks that this program should, or would, ever be operationally deployed. The reality is that you would need a laser something like 20 to 30 times more powerful than the chemical laser in the plane right now to be able to get any distance from the launch site to fire."
"So, right now the ABL would have to orbit inside the borders of Iran in order to be able to try and use its laser to shoot down that missile in the boost phase. And if you were to operationalize this you would be looking at 10 to 20 747s, at a billion and a half dollars apiece, and $100 million a year to operate. And there's nobody in uniform that I know who believes that this is a workable concept."[18]
The Air Force did not request further funds for the Airborne Laser for 2010; Air Force Chief Schwartz has said that the system "does not reflect something that is operationally viable."[19][20] In December 2011, it was reported that the project was to be ended after 16 years of development and a cost of over $5 billion.[21]
 
Max Q
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RE: YAL 1 Programme

Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:29 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):


Secretary of Defense Gates said that "I don't know anybody at the Department of Defense, Mr. Tiahrt, who thinks that this program should, or would, ever be operationally deployed. The reality is that you would need a laser something like 20 to 30 times more powerful than the chemical laser in the plane right now to be able to get any distance from the launch site to fire."
"So, right now the ABL would have to orbit inside the borders of Iran in order to be able to try and use its laser to shoot down that missile in the boost phase. And if you were to operationalize this you would be looking at 10 to 20 747s, at a billion and a half dollars apiece, and $100 million a year to operate. And there's nobody in uniform that I know who believes that this is a workable concept."[18]
The Air Force did not request further funds for the Airborne Laser for 2010; Air Force Chief Schwartz has said that the system "does not reflect something that is operationally viable."[19][20] In December 2011, it was reported that the project was to be ended after 16 years of development and a cost of over $5 billion.[21]

Well, ok,



But it was waay cool..
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kc135topboom
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RE: YAL 1 Programme

Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:53 pm

The YAL-1A is in flyable storage. It could be used sometime in the future for a more mature laser program, or another program, both after the airframe is modified. She is a very young airframe, built in 2000, IIRC, and only flown on weekends by little old ladies to church (LOL). But in reality she has less than 2000 hours on her and maybe 50 cycles. If and when she comes out of storage, she will need a full heavy phase inspection (equal to a "D" inspection). This will probibly be done by Boeing and NG, the two prime contractors on the program as they know the airplane best and as stated the USAF doesn't fly the B-747-400F. In fact, the 6 B-747s the USAF does have (E-4B and VC-25A), Boeing does all 3 types of phase inspections on them.
 
L-188
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RE: YAL 1 Programme

Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:45 pm

The fact it is maintained in fly able storage is the one thing that gives me any indication that it may be used agin.

When they finally take the engines off that it when it will never fly again
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humanitarian
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RE: YAL 1 Programme

Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:09 am

The airframe and engines have 1043 hrs and 250 cycles. According to the AF the aircraft was placed in permanent storage.

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