Author Topic: White Elephant?  (Read 5898 times)

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Offline Wallacey

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White Elephant?
« on: April 10, 2015, 03:03:56 PM »
Everything I've read about this machine makes me think it's a ridiculous dud.
I hope not.

What do you think?

http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/us-air-force-general-wants-to-upgrade-f-35-avionics-engines-payload/story-fnpjxnlk-1227296438427
Whatever

Offline LordDread

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 05:26:21 PM »
yes well *cough* what retard buys a series 1 ???? *cough*


that t-50 looks shit hot but .

Offline Smokey

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2015, 06:41:10 PM »
Pffft, according to my Facebook " buddy's"  there will be UFO's  landing soon.  ::s

Offline Rybags

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2015, 06:51:58 PM »
Bit of a joke... keep the remaining partners onboard by improving on specifications that they're already struggling to meet.

Offline Hardman

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2015, 07:35:31 PM »
I'd like to say it's Lockheed, it will work out but it's been one hell of a long delay.

T-50 looks good, but the order was just cut to 12.....

Meanwhile aircraft like the Typhoon II, Grippen, Rafale, Sukhoi 30 series, all in service and over the learning curve to reliability.

The entire concept of the JSF was always a case of "dude, you've tried that before, it only works by accident." The F-111 was supposed to be a multi-role multi service aircraft, nope, others never even made it past concept, F4 Phantom II ended up flying in every service and over 5,000 produced but nobody wanted it at first.

The specification is, simply put, just too ambitious, and compromised by the V/STOL requirement which only the Marines and the Royal Navy insist upon.

Not exactly a well thought out project when you get down to it :)

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Offline Wallacey

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2015, 04:49:33 PM »
Always interesting replies from the dudworld crew!

The T50 looks a lot more traditional than the F35, which mystifies me a bit.
How can planes that are supposed to compete with each other look so different?
Whatever

Offline Hardman

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2015, 06:05:31 PM »
:)

 The general consensus in the aviation community Wallacey is that the T50 is a solid example of the re-emergence of the Pravda phenomenon from Russia. If you are going to tell a lie, make it a big one.

It claims a lot of everything and given how good some Russian engineering is these days aspects are believable. For example super-cruise, high AoA maneuvering, range, payload.

Stealth however ?

Just no, close up shots of Sukhois even at very recent events show just how rough their surface engineering is, it is not really improving.

Passive stealth is an awful lot about in-service attention to detail, both Mig and Sukhoi know, that is not going to happen at line level in the Russian air force so why try ?

They do not have the edge the West does in active stealth, they may not even really have a project.

From a stealth perspective put it this way : I do not think Sukhoi would volunteer any of their airframes to be put on the RCS pillar that Lockheed and Northrop use :)

That said in the real-world stealth is mostly a piece of crap and the untold billions being wasted on it boggles the mind.

For a very small number of airframes it has, and I stress past tense, made sense - The F-117s were able to get over Baghdad undetected for a few nights in 93, but it took a massive logistical effort to keep their sig low.

The, since one loss I think 21 fleet of B-2s have a very, very specialised pair of missions, either utter surprise rain of destruction on third world nations getting uppity or Armageddon. They get lavish maintenance to always be as ghost-like as possible.

The F-22 has, at huge expense, a very, very low RCS that can sustain several basic maintenance rotations without much degradation. But, it's a pure interceptor, frankly who fucking cares ? Anything coming at you with evil intent is going to expect incoming.

Made sense in the Cold War, sort of, irrelevant now.

The F-35 is mostly a case of demonstrating just how massive the inertia of a big military project can be, and if it happens to lose momentum massive economic pressure gets it back up to speed. The MIC did a rather good job of putting the risk global so that pressure keeps being applied.

I was reminded of it very much today in talking to a mate who is just now retiring from the USAF.

He's done his last two tours utterly unscathed on A-10s in Afghanistan.

The clueless upper echelons of the USAF want to retire the Warthog and replace it with the F-35.

I've heard some stupid stuff from the Pentagon but that is purest, purest bullshit.

There is nothing about the -35 that makes it in any way suited to the CAS mission, in particular it's too fucking expensive and too vulnerable to ever put where an A-10 would stroll in kick ass and go get a few dents hammered out.

USAF just received funding to retain most of the A-10s another year, no one has publicly said it yet so I will - the cost of doing that is less than the cost of ONE fucking F-35 before operating costs and believe me to operate an A-10 compared to an F-35 is like comparing running a pushbike to running a Ferrari.

The real problem is that these projects take so long that it is way, way too late to cancel the -35, unless of course the US was to eat huge humble pie and make a massive buy of Typhoon II and restart the Harrier....

Yeah....

Unless you know a way to saturate Washington in some extremely interesting and targeted mind altering substance not going to happen :)

I'd suggest the reality is that both the US and Russia have hit the limits of manned fighters - being I grew up flying them that can make me kinda sad, but, we don't seem to ride into battle on armored four legged creatures any more either.

Times move on :)

Cheers







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Offline Rybags

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2015, 09:36:30 PM »
T-50 does look a little stealthy, it almost looks like a transition in progress between an Su-27 and F-22.

The engines - very exposed, seems to be little to no attempt to shield the IR signature, likewise nothing in the way of altering it's radar reflection.
Intakes, similar look to the F-22 and some others, but it looks like there's a straight path from intake to turbine blades, F-22 has some offset there which would assist with stealth.
The overall shape - abundant straight surfaces which lower radar scatter but look at the underneath view compared to F-22.  F-22 is so much cleaner, the T-50 has the engines every bit as prominent as a 1970s fighter such as the F-14.

(added images) - first two T-50.  Compare the below shot with the F-22 (last pic)







« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 08:30:15 AM by Rybags »

Offline Hardman

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2015, 08:18:56 AM »
Yeah,

In a cosmetic sense they have some of the stealth traits but as you note Ry the engines from all aspects will have a huge RCS.

Other simple things that greatly increase the RCS, exposed antennas, the FLIT protuberance, undercarriage door edges and joins.

It's obsessive attention to detail with those small things that make the difference.

Cheers

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Offline Rybags

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2015, 08:32:42 AM »
Weird, I just loaded the page and the last (F-22) image wasn't there.  Edited and it came back.

Also weird, by filling in that gap between the engines to make everything uniform they make more room for stuff like internal weapons and fuel.
Maybe they're planning to do all the smoothing work once the rest of the aircraft is finished.  A weird way to do things but possible when you see the stealth claim but glaring omissions that count against it.

Offline Hardman

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2015, 04:33:38 PM »
:)

The -22 pic is not visible to me.

The best guess of the aviation observers is that the Sukhoi understanding of stealth is rudimentary, mostly imitation, it certainly seems so with the T-50.

The engine inlets are probably the most telling clue, the trick that both the -22 and the -35 have used is to NOT have the turbine face directly exposed to radar but to rather trap the radar energy within the inlet both inbound and out. By contrast on the T50 it would be just a very large reflector and spinning turbine blades are a very good radar target indeed.

My more heretical comment though is that I tend to think stealth is now vastly over-rated and very defeatable.

It's interesting that Sukhoi have been for a long, long time including both large aperture FLIR and IRST on their designs, along with a capable radar, the first two are one very effective way to overcome stealth.

Cheers

Edit:

:)

I don't think the forum likes -22 images for some reason - just tried to post one underside dirty - ah well, point was again, detail, the -22 is to rephrase an old joke, a Rolex, the T-50 is a Bali copy, but if it stops ticking good chance if you whack it it will start again :)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 07:35:42 PM by Hardman »
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Offline Rybags

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2015, 10:53:14 PM »
I'm not sure what's going on, it might be the hosting site redirects hotlink to a blank pic or something.

Offline Hardman

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2015, 02:24:24 PM »
:)

I was attaching a pic from my local drive :)

Very odd, maybe that attachment issue we had a couple of weeks ago is not yet completely resolved.

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Offline Wallacey

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2015, 05:03:22 PM »
See if this works, the same image attached and linked from photobucket.



Whatever

Offline Hardman

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2015, 05:12:18 PM »
:)

That's the same image that failed for me, not sure if same location though, I just went to have a look and was about to post the link because it's very high res and zooms well without breaking up.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/F-22_Raptor_shows_its_weapon_bay.jpg

You really can see in that view the attention to stealth detail that the T-50 lacks, note the dog-tooth door edges, the tight panel fits the inlet detail. Russian aircraft are just not that big on finish.

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Offline Wallacey

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2015, 05:35:25 PM »
Weird, the pic you couldn't post worked for me. (edited previous post)

 :-*
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 06:37:07 PM by Wallacey »
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Offline Rybags

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2015, 06:06:16 PM »
Yep, F-22 it's similar deal to the F-117 where they paid attention to every little detail.
117 even so far as items inside the cockpit, wouldn't be surprised if the F-22 is a similar story.

Wouldn't be the first time Russia has been mostly hot air about an aircraft program, though the ones that failed to deliver were typically pre Mig-29 era.

Offline Wallacey

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2015, 06:45:25 PM »
The fit up looks pretty good externally, the wiring in that open bay doesn't look as neat as what I thought an aircraft would have.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 07:19:00 PM by Wallacey »
Whatever

Offline Hardman

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2015, 07:04:20 PM »
Yeah,

The evolution of the -117 to the -22 was actually quite dramatic if over a long learning curve, the prep pre-flight to a -22 to keep it at stealth parameters is orders of magnitude below the -117. Then again the -117 was very first gen. so much changed, the -117 was incredibly unstable, without CCV forget it, the -22 is nothing more than relaxed stability as result of all the lessons learned.

Then again the -117 was in many ways a prototype that went to limited production and if it had not been for GWI was very close to being retired as a useful exercise and nothing more. Having an aircraft that could get into downtown Baghdad undetected with a couple of pretty devastating smart bombs changed strategic thinking at the Pentagon over ground attack aircraft completely and paved the way for the B-2.

That's a slight over-statement, the B-2 was an already running programme but if it had not been for the success of the -117 in combat it is quite possible those incredibly expensive aircraft would have been cancelled.

It's worth remembering though that in some ways the -117, and somewhat the B-2 but for different reasons are the most stealthy of the stealth platforms. The -117 was a case of make it invisible, the B-2 a case of this aircraft is so damned expensive it better be invulnerable. Real world showed that some careful mission planning, pilot awareness of threat vectors and radars and how to align to them and the mantra of speed make the -22 a highly survivable aircraft against any radar guided SAM or vectored interceptor even though it does not have quite the low RCS of the -117 and of course the -35 is a little less stealthy again.

It's all grist for why I just don't get too excited over stealth, at least not passive stealth. But you are quite right the obsessive engineers at the SkunkWorks went right into the cockpit of the -117 to identify and remove radar reflectors - apparently in the end the most reflective part of the aircraft was the pilot's helmet and there was not a lot they could do about that :)

The Russian military aircraft record is strange really, in their obsession to match the West Mig as the ubiquitous fighter supplier took quite a while to get it right. The -21 was really their first truly successful aircraft, the 15 was forgivable first gen, the 17 was mostly just plain rugged and heavily armed, the 19 was a piece of shit but the 21 was  a very, very good aircraft. Then they sort of slipped with the 23 and the 25 was totally focused on a threat that never eventuated. 27, eh, 29, very good aircraft, too short on range, the Migs since have not been really anything special, just fast.

Sukhoi's history is really very different, their early aircraft whilst less than stellar were pretty rugged and pilots all liked them but they seemed to have a very quiet agenda of just providing what was asked for whilst evolving their own ideas of fighter aircraft. That pretty much exploded into prominence with the SU-27 and they have been exploring that path, with a few wild excursions ever since.

Fighter side the other bureaus have pretty much disappeared whilst if people are honest and ignore political boundaries Sukhoi has been producing some of the best fighter aircraft ever for a long time now - they just are not especially stealthy :)

I tend to think that is rather sensible - take the -22, production now complete, and the -35, in a lot of trouble, out of the mix and no one else is really that obsessed by stealth but are getting aircraft into service much sooner and in quantity.

Stealth is just an example of weapons decadence really, huge cost, dubious real return and always the threat of being overcome.

The -22 is pure and simple one incredible aircraft, but was it, as an interceptor really that necessary ?

I'd say not.

The -35 has somewhat more justification, being multi-role, an attack aircraft does have a reason to be stealthy, there are limited reasons for it to be a necessity on an interceptor and cheaper ways to get the same outcome -ie. your aircraft still in the air the other guy a crater.

Chief amongst those are really good early detection and super efficient BVR weapons with a fall-back to high-maneuverability and good guns.

So, given the Sukhoi philosophy is to persist with indifferent stealth but very good detection without reliance upon radar on an extremely maneuverable airframe that has low energy bleed, very high energy recovery and from the missile developers in Russia and the gun guys some damned good weapons who really has the clearest picture of air combat if it hits the fan ?

Pains me to say it but I'm not convinced it is Lockheed Martin.

Might just be the Europeans have more clue :)

Cheers

Edit: Wiring in the easily accessible bays on a fighter is usually a bit messy Wallacey, and very exposed, doesn't look good but it is very quick to service and troubleshoot so long as a rigid colour code is observed and you vet for colour-blind mechs :)

 







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Offline Rybags

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2015, 07:38:20 PM »
Weapons bay clutter isn't much of an issue, there's a few videos around of them letting off missiles.  Blink and you miss the door open/close sequence.

But yeah, probably a mixture of make it easy to service + added afterthoughts which generally makes things look untidier than they are.

Offline Richo

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2015, 05:34:17 PM »
Looks like a shit hot modern F-14 Tomcat ...
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Offline Hardman

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2015, 05:58:36 PM »
Looks like a shit hot modern F-14 Tomcat ...

:)

Oh that it were :)

Tomcat had the RCS of a barn, forget the door, but it really didn't matter, the amount of ordnance that bird could heft whilst coming in at Mach 2 was quite enough to give pause to any adversary. Trouble was that 60s design was getting high maintenance.

The -22 is actually not exactly cutting edge any more but its maintenance load has shifted from systems - minimal- to stealth - I really find that a suspect profile that an adversary could exploit.

I really think I'd rather have a hot non-stealthy ship packing heaps and reliable than these very expensive suspect experiments if I was sitting in the seat....

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Offline Rybags

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2015, 08:33:02 PM »
Some Russian aircraft from Mig-29, Su-27 onwards have very strong hints of F-14.

Apparently they had their hands on them not too long after Iran bought them from the US.

Offline Hardman

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2015, 09:58:27 AM »
So the -35 is going live....

http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/f-35-stealth-fighter-reaches-key-deadline-with-ongoing-doubts-over-its-capabilities/story-fnpjxnlk-1227392452031

It will most certainly not be the first time an aircraft is forced into service whilst still clouded in doubt - it hasn't worked out too well in the past, I do hope the ejector seat is really, really good :)

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Offline Hardman

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Re: White Elephant?
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2015, 07:01:51 PM »
Heh,

I do just occasionally feel my age - guy I used to fly F-4s with was on-line today, we are roughly the same age, I think he's about three older than me - one of his GRANDSONS has just been posted to fly this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Eurofighter_Typhoon

Lucky bastard, will see if I can connect.

Gotta wonder though, with all the problems the Typhoon II went through it is out there, operational, seen limited combat, serving with multiple nations and the pilots absolutely love it - kind of a stark reminder of how fucked up the -35 programme has been.

The Typhoon really looks the goods, and that always sort of counts, but more than anything it was not asked to do everything from day one and nobody said we want V/STOL they just said we want multi-role, starting with intercept and grow into the rest.

Read the Wiki and you'll see that that did lose a couple of export orders but you know what ? An effective combat aircraft for Europe, maybe friendlies in the Middle East, might prove less than ideal in Asia anyway. I'd really hate to try to establish the specification for a useful fighter for Singapore - probably long legs to withdraw to Perth/Pierce whilst we sort out the Singapore D-Day and cover for Navy/Army. (Actually it is interesting that their -16s seem to be over my house a lot :) )

What I find the most laughable is that the UK, short of cash, short of common-sense, has floated out two bloody big carriers, not US big but biggest the UK has ever launched and if the -35 fucks up they wont have any aircraft to put on the decks...

There are a multitude of reasons why I don't live in the UK despite being born there, and flying in the RAF, but the most significant one is becoming so tired of inbred stupidity to the point where I could go postal in Whitehall with automatic weapons that it was best I go elsewhere.

V/STOL aircraft are extremely useful, the UK did not invent them but they fielded the only really successful one to date, the Harrier, which I flew.

The Harrier was never meant to be a production aircraft, but it was kind of beyond effective in a ridiculous little war. I'm pretty unconvinced that the supposed production version, P1154, would have really done what it promised, at least not without melting runways, but the fact remains the UK has the experience to do V/SOL, the contenders for the JSF had SFA background.

So what do the fuckwits in Whitehall do?

They commission two fucking enormous carriers that are utterly dependent upon a V/STOL aircraft, they don't have catapults or arrestor systems, they retire their own V/STOL capability en masse and lose all the skills, they do not look to their own utterly savaged but still there Aerospace industry to produce an aircraft to operate off those decks, they cow-tow to Washington.

Fuckwits.

All due respect to Australia, lovely place, I should have emigrated to Sweden, they grok defense.

Yeah, I'm just a leedle pissed off with every new update that appears about the -35, that hum is probably Kelly and Ben spinning in their graves....

Goes beyond that, Whitehall... needs to be re-zoned as moron territory...

Cheers










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