Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
estorilm
Topic Author
Posts: 787
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:35 pm

https://defence-blog.com/aviation/u-s-navys-blue-angels-receive-newer-larger-f-18e-f-super-hornet.html

I know they had initiated a study in 2016, but Boeing has formally received a $17m contract to convert 9 aircraft for use with the demo team.

Think about that for a second - this team unveiled the F/A-18 Hornet for the first time in 1986! While still a "variant" - this is the first "new" aircraft for the Blue Angels since I was two years old. :lol:

Pretty exciting - will this be one of the larger aircraft they've ever used? How will performance be impacted? Obviously ferry flights should be a LOT EASIER, as will maintenance I'd imagine.

Will they pull random frames like the past, or will they grab new-builds off the production line for retrofit? It would be nice to get them some NEW (new) equipment.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:52 pm

Nothing beat the Phantom show! Larger and far noisier than Hornets.

Ferry flights shouldn’t be any different, the E/F have similar ranges and if an C/D needed tanker support, so will the new ones. They’ll be in-service fleet frames reassigned the Blues.

GF
 
texl1649
Posts: 1744
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:58 pm

Nothing can ever replicate the A-4.

They had little choice in this. An air show with the f-35 would be quite dull. T6 or some super Tucano would be cool tho.
 
estorilm
Topic Author
Posts: 787
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:05 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nothing beat the Phantom show! Larger and far noisier than Hornets.

Ferry flights shouldn’t be any different, the E/F have similar ranges and if an C/D needed tanker support, so will the new ones. They’ll be in-service fleet frames reassigned the Blues.

GF

Aren't they a couple thousand pounds heavier and ~6' wider wingspan than the F4? I'm sure the Phantom was far noisier though. :lol:

Also I can't find range numbers off the top of my head, but the E/F carry ~4,000lbs additional fuel, surely (even with larger engines) they should have a significant advantage when traveling to different airshows. They'll always need refueling support for some shows, but this could cut it down significantly.

Can anyone tell me if they use the high capacity fuel tanks used with the operational fighters, when traveling abroad and such? I guess a lot of that stuff gets ripped out to save weight and maintenance.
 
estorilm
Topic Author
Posts: 787
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:08 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Nothing can ever replicate the A-4.

They had little choice in this. An air show with the f-35 would be quite dull. T6 or some super Tucano would be cool tho.

Sorry, but a "sneak pass" or whatever it's called, in a turboprop, is the definition of dull lol.

I've seen the F-35 do some low-pass stuff and it's LOUDDDDDD. Anyways the cost is ridiculous and it would be a massive waste.. 95% of what the aircraft was designed to do.

At least with these legacy aircraft they can basically strip them down to the basic airframes / engines and have some fun. :)
 
426Shadow
Posts: 244
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:13 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:10 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Nothing can ever replicate the A-4.

They had little choice in this. An air show with the f-35 would be quite dull. T6 or some super Tucano would be cool tho.



Ok either you haven't seen the F-35 demo on YouTube, you don't like loud noises and speed, or you aren't from the USA (or a combination of more than one of these).

Most airshow fanatics in the USA like loud noise and speed. When the Snowbirds performed at my local airshow there was a mad dash to leave after 5 minutes of them performing and I was among them.

So I think you would be in the minority if you think seeing blue and yellow painted F-35's flying inches apart and zooming over the crowd at damn near the speed of sound is dull.
We are all just fanboys, our opinions don't make or break businesses.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:22 am

Yeah, the extra range might eliminate a few fuel stops flying to show in North America, but that’s hardly an huge deal—there are plenty of bases and they VIP treatment. And about two hours in a fighter droning is enough. I did a 10.2 in an A-10. The show schedule tries to avoid long legs between venues for time on airframe sake. Overseas they’ll always use a USAF tanker, but they just hop it around the US.

GF
 
Ozair
Posts: 5582
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:54 am

Nice that this is happening and makes sense given the reduction and eventual removal of classic Hornets from the USN although the USN is struggling to field enough airframes already. No reason they can’t reroll some of the older Blk I airframes and keep the later builds for fleet use.

Not sure why the F-35C should come into this though? The SH dominates USN naval fighter strength for the next twenty years and the plan has always been for the USN to acquire twice the SH that it does F-35C. You would think that numbers alone would ensure the SH keeps this position for a long time to come.
 
jupiter2
Posts: 1739
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2001 11:30 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:21 am

texl1649 wrote:
Nothing can ever replicate the A-4.

They had little choice in this. An air show with the f-35 would be quite dull. T6 or some super Tucano would be cool tho.


The RAAF Roulettes use PC9s and as far as I'm concerned have become the Borettes. That roar, oh wait, that drone as they scurry past is just so exciting :shhh:
 
estorilm
Topic Author
Posts: 787
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:19 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Yeah, the extra range might eliminate a few fuel stops flying to show in North America, but that’s hardly an huge deal—there are plenty of bases and they VIP treatment. And about two hours in a fighter droning is enough. I did a 10.2 in an A-10. The show schedule tries to avoid long legs between venues for time on airframe sake. Overseas they’ll always use a USAF tanker, but they just hop it around the US.

GF

True but they've also flown in almost every European state/capital including Russia. It's not a big deal on a per-show basis, but it is significant in the long-term, when factoring in wear and tear / fuel costs of the tankers as well as an overall efficiency boost on a per-mile basis as well. They tend to have a fairly busy schedule, and I'm sure it adds up quickly.
 
itchief
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:15 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:47 pm

The most amazing thing about this article is the time line.
This has been studied since 2016 and reading the article is says the aircraft will not be ready until 2021. The article also states that it only takes 72 hours to convert them back to combat aircraft but it will take 3 years to make them into demonstration aircraft. Oh how I love government efficiency.
 
User avatar
Moose135
Posts: 3232
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:27 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:03 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Yeah, the extra range might eliminate a few fuel stops flying to show in North America, but that’s hardly an huge deal—there are plenty of bases and they VIP treatment. And about two hours in a fighter droning is enough. I did a 10.2 in an A-10. The show schedule tries to avoid long legs between venues for time on airframe sake. Overseas they’ll always use a USAF tanker, but they just hop it around the US.

GF

Interestingly enough, they have a post on their Facebook page today with photos of their flight back to Pensacola from Abbotsford, British Columbia earlier this week. They included several photos of the team being refueled by a KC-10 out of the 305th AMW.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:10 pm

Apparently, the Blues have extra budget money to get tanker support. Navy is usually pretty tight on funds. Yes, the receiver does pay unless the tanker unit has “O&M” training time. I’d guess the -10 was at the show and returning to McGuire, so likely training time. Nice show Abbotsford!

GF
 
dragon6172
Posts: 1139
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:37 am

I read that it was 11 aircraft being modified. Also, they did move from the A to the C model Hornet at some point. So this will be the 3rd Hornet type the Blues have flown
Phrogs Phorever
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 3883
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:14 pm

itchief wrote:
The article also states that it only takes 72 hours to convert them back to combat aircraft but it will take 3 years to make them into demonstration aircraft. Oh how I love government efficiency.


Do not be too eager to flame . . .

It takes 3 years to mod the number of air frames. They would not do it all at once . . . probably 2 or 3 at a time. The 3 years includes Engineering, purchasing and mod. Figuring about 6-12 months for Engineering, 6-12 months for ordering lead time and 1-2 years to sequentially modify the air frames, 3 years is about right.

The 72 hours to convert them back to a combat aircraft just means that they will not strip off the combat capabilities off the airplane. So taking off all the external gear relating the the airshow and repaint the frame would make up that 72 hrs. But the internal plumbing for the airshow would probably remain.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
itchief
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:15 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:47 pm

bikerthai wrote:
itchief wrote:
The article also states that it only takes 72 hours to convert them back to combat aircraft but it will take 3 years to make them into demonstration aircraft. Oh how I love government efficiency.


Do not be too eager to flame . . .

It takes 3 years to mod the number of air frames. They would not do it all at once . . . probably 2 or 3 at a time. The 3 years includes Engineering, purchasing and mod. Figuring about 6-12 months for Engineering, 6-12 months for ordering lead time and 1-2 years to sequentially modify the air frames, 3 years is about right.

The 72 hours to convert them back to a combat aircraft just means that they will not strip off the combat capabilities off the airplane. So taking off all the external gear relating the the airshow and repaint the frame would make up that 72 hrs. But the internal plumbing for the airshow would probably remain.

bt


I am not trying to flame you with my comments.....I love the Blues, never get tired of watching them and they are great ambassadors of the USN(25 years of service in the USN for me). You are say that at $1.5 million per aircraft it should really take 3 years to add a spring to the yolk, a smoke generator and a good looking blue and yellow paint job? You admit they will not be removing much and just adding a couple of things......I will stick with my "government efficiency" statement....or maybe I should have gone with Boeing milking the government.

I know this is aviation and things need to be tested and certified but 3 years is just a jobs program for a bunch of Boeing engineers. These are my opinions and no one else's.
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:27 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Nothing can ever replicate the A-4.

They had little choice in this. An air show with the f-35 would be quite dull. T6 or some super Tucano would be cool tho.


F-35:

"Ladies and gentlemen, the F-35 is 80 miles away and has identified his targets and launched guided munitions."
"Ladies and gentlemen, the war is over. Thank you for coming."
 
71Zulu
Posts: 1932
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:42 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:45 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nothing beat the Phantom show! Larger and far noisier than Hornets.

The 1984 performance at NAS New Orleans, the Blue Angels still in their A-4's and the Louisiana ANG 159th Tactical Fighter Group flying their F-4 Phantoms for the last time, they would be the first ANG to transition to the F-15 the next year, well let me tell you, the 159th put on a show that blew the Blue Angels away! Still vividly remember it to this day, nothing and I mean nothing that I had seen before or since ever came close to that experience of the Phantoms, they were just the loudest most obnoxious things and we loved every minute of them! Those guys really stole the show. Here's hoping to put more of that kind of excitement into the shows of the future.




Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
 
User avatar
keesje
Posts: 14258
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:50 pm

$647.000.000
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
checksixx
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:09 pm

itchief wrote:
I am not trying to flame you with my comments.....I love the Blues, never get tired of watching them and they are great ambassadors of the USN(25 years of service in the USN for me). You are say that at $1.5 million per aircraft it should really take 3 years to add a spring to the yolk, a smoke generator and a good looking blue and yellow paint job? You admit they will not be removing much and just adding a couple of things......I will stick with my "government efficiency" statement....or maybe I should have gone with Boeing milking the government.

I know this is aviation and things need to be tested and certified but 3 years is just a jobs program for a bunch of Boeing engineers. These are my opinions and no one else's.


No worries...we all know there's always one or two in the group that think this stuff happens overnight.
 
itchief
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:15 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:19 pm

checksixx wrote:
itchief wrote:
I am not trying to flame you with my comments.....I love the Blues, never get tired of watching them and they are great ambassadors of the USN(25 years of service in the USN for me). You are say that at $1.5 million per aircraft it should really take 3 years to add a spring to the yolk, a smoke generator and a good looking blue and yellow paint job? You admit they will not be removing much and just adding a couple of things......I will stick with my "government efficiency" statement....or maybe I should have gone with Boeing milking the government.

I know this is aviation and things need to be tested and certified but 3 years is just a jobs program for a bunch of Boeing engineers. These are my opinions and no one else's.


No worries...we all know there's always one or two in the group that think this stuff happens overnight.


Yes that is what my post says, they should be here tomorrow :banghead:
 
checksixx
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:06 am

You know exactly what I mean bud...so does everyone else. LoL
 
itchief
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:15 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:40 pm

checksixx wrote:
You know exactly what I mean bud...so does everyone else. LoL


Yes I know exactly what you mean "bud". And I am sure everyone else knows what I am saying in my post.

Maybe you can explain how Boeing can perform life extensions on 40 to 50 Super Hornets a year, a program this is just starting and complete them in 12 to 18 months(Boeing numbers). This is something that will requirer much more work and is way more complicated. Doing the mods on 11 Super Hornets to preform demonstration flights is not some brand new technology, it has been done before on many different aircraft. They are not building the F-35 here with unproven tech. These are simple mods that have been done over and over to many aircraft.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:09 pm

You obviously haven’t dealt with government contracting and priorities. They probably stretched out the contracts over three budget years. AMC, once MAC, fiddled over modifying VHF NAV to incorporate FM immunity, without which in EU one can’t fly an ILS for 20 years as the host nations provided a program to substitute. When the EU decided only the military needed the civil method, AMC was facing a shutdown of airlift. Within six months problem solved for transports, might still be for tactical air. It took 20 years to mod the C-5. And that was a high priority project.

GF
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 3883
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:50 pm

Here is some more info:

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... lue-angels

Details of what modifications are to be performed have not been revealed, but if previous "Blue Angel" aircraft are anything to go by, the Super Hornets will have some operational equipment removed, such as the 20 mm Vulcan cannon, and will have modifications to the fuel system for prolonged inverted flight. The flight controls of the current Hornet aircraft are adjusted so that they require slight back pressure on the stick to maintain level flight, a feature adopted for the very tight formation flying that is the team’s trademark. The Super Hornets are likely to gain an oil tank and plumbing for the smoke system, a new canopy, and rear-facing “look-back” cameras.


The modification to the fuel system and the flight controls is probably what drives the cost.

A second contract is expected soon for Boeing to perform the actual work, which will be undertaken at the St. Louis, Missouri, factory where the aircraft were built. There has been no time frame announced for the team’s conversion from its current F/A-18C/D, but the contract stipulates that work is to be completed by December 2021.


So the initial contract is just for the retrofit kits. The actual mod contract have not been issued.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2177
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:26 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Yeah, the extra range might eliminate a few fuel stops flying to show in North America, but that’s hardly an huge deal—there are plenty of bases and they VIP treatment. And about two hours in a fighter droning is enough. I did a 10.2 in an A-10. The show schedule tries to avoid long legs between venues for time on airframe sake. Overseas they’ll always use a USAF tanker, but they just hop it around the US.

GF


I've seen plenty of videos of the Blues and TBirds tanking up in the air on domestic flights between shows. Not sure what determines whether they tank or stop on the way, perhaps proficiency at air to air refueling for the teams?
 
meecrob
Posts: 294
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:15 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:21 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
They probably stretched out the contracts over three budget years.


Precisely. The Blues get X amount of dollars per year and they could either stop performing completely, and have these planes modified in the timeframe itchief thinks is reasonable, or they can gradually toss a few (million) dollars at it a year and keep up a full schedule in the meantime.

Itchief - it will cost more to re-train the Blue Angel pilots (think fuel, maintenance, etc. over hundreds of flights to re-acquire skills that lay dormant) after a hiatus of that long vs how much Boeing is fleecing the Navy. These aren't regular combat maneuvers they are performing, even though the announcer says they are. Think of it like the performing arts or the Olympics/pro sports. You use it or lose it. Ask any pilot on this forum. Would you get on a 737 and fly into JFK with a 737 pilot who has only flown a Cessna from their local 2000' uncontrolled strip for a few years (yes, I am exaggerating, but only to make my point clearer)?


Sorry for that, back to topic - any guesses on if they will change the show up with the new jets? I think I've heard on this forum and elsewhere the super hornet has better acceleration and sustained turn rate at lower speeds, but I might be confusing this with something else.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1744
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:28 am

On a related matter, wouldn’t the thunderbirds need to convert to f35s in the next decade?
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:44 pm

HaveBlue wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Yeah, the extra range might eliminate a few fuel stops flying to show in North America, but that’s hardly an huge deal—there are plenty of bases and they VIP treatment. And about two hours in a fighter droning is enough. I did a 10.2 in an A-10. The show schedule tries to avoid long legs between venues for time on airframe sake. Overseas they’ll always use a USAF tanker, but they just hop it around the US.

GF


I've seen plenty of videos of the Blues and TBirds tanking up in the air on domestic flights between shows. Not sure what determines whether they tank or stop on the way, perhaps proficiency at air to air refueling for the teams?


True enough and I’d bet every tanker was ANG or Reserves flying on O&M money, not out of the Blues budget. I’ve flown to shows in a lowly F-100 or A-10 and been refueled. The teams are classic low priority/high profile operations—4B1 priority.

GF
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 3883
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:44 pm

itchief wrote:
Maybe you can explain how Boeing can perform life extensions on 40 to 50 Super Hornets a year, a program this is just starting and complete them in 12 to 18 months(Boeing numbers).


It's all in the details. 12 to 18 months for the actual physical work is reasonable. But does the number include the Engineering schedule to to the mod itself? That would take up another 12 to 18 months. And what all involves in the life extension effort?

Adding additional fuel pumps to the F-18 (to allow for extended inverted flight) is no easy task. You have to get into the wing tanks to install the pumps and do the necessary plumbing and wiring. I would say that would be more complicated than any life extension work (unless of course if you are replacing wing or body structures in the life extension work).

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
estorilm
Topic Author
Posts: 787
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:42 pm

texl1649 wrote:
On a related matter, wouldn’t the thunderbirds need to convert to f35s in the next decade?

I seeeeeriously doubt it, those planes are going to be a hot commodity within all branches of the military for decades to come. Combine that with all of the public scrutiny and general perception of the program and expense - there's no way. People don't want one of the most expensive govt. contracts in history flying aerobatics at air shows indefinitely.

It's also a waste of the aircraft - I see their current block F-16s as basically a stripped-down hot rod designed to be a lightweight / cheap ACM-oriented jet - PERFECT for airshows and performances. You're leveraging almost everything that makes the F-16 great, and what it was designed to do.

The F-35 is the opposite - you're leveraging essentially nothing that the plane was designed to do, except for "good" performance/handling, but still nearly on-par with the F-16 - except you're lugging around truckloads of computers and advanced systems, in a stealth airframe that contributes zero to the show and performances.

I love the F-35, and have always been so-so about the F-16, but wow - I really think the Falcon is perfectly suited to the Thunderbirds use. It's about the purest form of no-frills agility you can find in any 3rd/4th gen fighter.

I think they were due to be out of service by 2025, but they just completed the first SLEP on an F-16 a few months ago - and have 300 to go. Apparently the SLEP will allow the aircraft to remain in service till 2050. Doesn't look like the Thunderbirds will be getting new toys any time soon. :)
 
angad84
Posts: 2113
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:28 pm

estorilm wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
On a related matter, wouldn’t the thunderbirds need to convert to f35s in the next decade?

I seeeeeriously doubt it, those planes are going to be a hot commodity within all branches of the military for decades to come. Combine that with all of the public scrutiny and general perception of the program and expense - there's no way. People don't want one of the most expensive govt. contracts in history flying aerobatics at air shows indefinitely.

It's also a waste of the aircraft - I see their current block F-16s as basically a stripped-down hot rod designed to be a lightweight / cheap ACM-oriented jet - PERFECT for airshows and performances. You're leveraging almost everything that makes the F-16 great, and what it was designed to do.

The F-35 is the opposite - you're leveraging essentially nothing that the plane was designed to do, except for "good" performance/handling, but still nearly on-par with the F-16 - except you're lugging around truckloads of computers and advanced systems, in a stealth airframe that contributes zero to the show and performances.

I love the F-35, and have always been so-so about the F-16, but wow - I really think the Falcon is perfectly suited to the Thunderbirds use. It's about the purest form of no-frills agility you can find in any 3rd/4th gen fighter.

I think they were due to be out of service by 2025, but they just completed the first SLEP on an F-16 a few months ago - and have 300 to go. Apparently the SLEP will allow the aircraft to remain in service till 2050. Doesn't look like the Thunderbirds will be getting new toys any time soon. :)

And if the Thunderbirds do switch, it will probably be to whatever aircraft is selected for T-X, unless they REALLY want to stick with a frontline jet for image/prestige reasons.
 
estorilm
Topic Author
Posts: 787
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:23 pm

angad84 wrote:
estorilm wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
On a related matter, wouldn’t the thunderbirds need to convert to f35s in the next decade?

I seeeeeriously doubt it, those planes are going to be a hot commodity within all branches of the military for decades to come. Combine that with all of the public scrutiny and general perception of the program and expense - there's no way. People don't want one of the most expensive govt. contracts in history flying aerobatics at air shows indefinitely.

It's also a waste of the aircraft - I see their current block F-16s as basically a stripped-down hot rod designed to be a lightweight / cheap ACM-oriented jet - PERFECT for airshows and performances. You're leveraging almost everything that makes the F-16 great, and what it was designed to do.

The F-35 is the opposite - you're leveraging essentially nothing that the plane was designed to do, except for "good" performance/handling, but still nearly on-par with the F-16 - except you're lugging around truckloads of computers and advanced systems, in a stealth airframe that contributes zero to the show and performances.

I love the F-35, and have always been so-so about the F-16, but wow - I really think the Falcon is perfectly suited to the Thunderbirds use. It's about the purest form of no-frills agility you can find in any 3rd/4th gen fighter.

I think they were due to be out of service by 2025, but they just completed the first SLEP on an F-16 a few months ago - and have 300 to go. Apparently the SLEP will allow the aircraft to remain in service till 2050. Doesn't look like the Thunderbirds will be getting new toys any time soon. :)

And if the Thunderbirds do switch, it will probably be to whatever aircraft is selected for T-X, unless they REALLY want to stick with a frontline jet for image/prestige reasons.

I'm sure precision would be fun with them, but they've got to be pretty quiet. :(
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 3883
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:29 pm

Wouldn't it be funny one day if the Blues and the Birds switch over to the F-35. The Blues with the vertical fan can add a few new tricks to their repertoire. :faint:

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
DarkKnight5
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:36 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:18 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Wouldn't it be funny one day if the Blues and the Birds switch over to the F-35. The Blues with the vertical fan can add a few new tricks to their repertoire. :faint:

bt

Only one of the six would have the vertical lift fan. And the person driving it would wear a slightly different garrison cover than the others.
 
EBJ68
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:20 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:41 pm

Estorilm, I'm very much inclined to agree with you. The Thunderbirds next airplane will likely be the new Boeing trainer. Outstanding performance, for a trainer, smart looks, probably far less expensive to operate than the F-35 and likely less expensive than the F-16, yet it represents cutting edge technology, at least so far as training aircraft goes, and likely has as much or more potential than the F-16 to enhance recruiting prospects.
 
checksixx
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:36 am

DarkKnight5 wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
Wouldn't it be funny one day if the Blues and the Birds switch over to the F-35. The Blues with the vertical fan can add a few new tricks to their repertoire. :faint:

bt

Only one of the six would have the vertical lift fan. And the person driving it would wear a slightly different garrison cover than the others.


Nah...they'd just use one of the Marine C models. Of course, either team switching to a F-35 platform will most likely never happen...at least in my lifetime.
 
DarkKnight5
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:36 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:54 am

checksixx wrote:
DarkKnight5 wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
Wouldn't it be funny one day if the Blues and the Birds switch over to the F-35. The Blues with the vertical fan can add a few new tricks to their repertoire. :faint:

bt

Only one of the six would have the vertical lift fan. And the person driving it would wear a slightly different garrison cover than the others.


Nah...they'd just use one of the Marine C models. Of course, either team switching to a F-35 platform will most likely never happen...at least in my lifetime.


My vaguely stated point was the Navy has no B’s to fly.
 
checksixx
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:39 pm

Re: Contract awarded - Blue Angels to receive F/A-18E & F Super Hornets

Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:01 am

DarkKnight5 wrote:
checksixx wrote:
DarkKnight5 wrote:
Only one of the six would have the vertical lift fan. And the person driving it would wear a slightly different garrison cover than the others.


Nah...they'd just use one of the Marine C models. Of course, either team switching to a F-35 platform will most likely never happen...at least in my lifetime.


My vaguely stated point was the Navy has no B’s to fly.


Hence my reply. Re-read if needed.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: STT757 and 25 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos