THE KNUCK

THE KNUCKLEHEAD SALOON => THE SHOTGUN BAR => Topic started by: Wallacey on April 10, 2015, 03:03:56 PM

Title: White Elephant?
Post by: Wallacey 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
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: LordDread 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 .
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Smokey on April 10, 2015, 06:41:10 PM
Pffft, according to my Facebook " buddy's"  there will be UFO's  landing soon.  ::s
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Rybags 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.
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman 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 :)

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Wallacey 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?
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman 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







Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Rybags 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)


(http://www.ausairpower.net/VVS/Sukhoi-T-50-PAK-FA-KnAAPO-2S.jpg)

(http://www.vostokstation.com.au/aircraft/images/PAK-FA_T-50_3.jpg)

(http://media.defenceindustrydaily.com/images/AIR_F-22A_Upside-down_lg.jpg)
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman 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

Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Rybags 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.
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman 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 :)
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Rybags 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.
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman 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.

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Wallacey on April 14, 2015, 05:03:22 PM
See if this works, the same image attached and linked from photobucket.



(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v160/Wallacey/aircraft-f22-raptor-fighter-jets-2515805-1920x1200_zpswjvsgems.jpg)
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman 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.

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Wallacey on April 14, 2015, 05:35:25 PM
Weird, the pic you couldn't post worked for me. (edited previous post)

 :-*
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Rybags 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.
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Wallacey 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.
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman 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 :)

 







Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Rybags 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.
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Richo on April 29, 2015, 05:34:17 PM
Looks like a shit hot modern F-14 Tomcat ...
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman 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....

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Rybags 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.
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman 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 :)

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman 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










Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Wallacey on June 26, 2015, 02:45:35 PM
Interesting comments- thanks for keeping the thread up to date :)




 :-*
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on June 26, 2015, 03:43:14 PM
:)

The next few months are going to be critical I think, first live squadron, multi-national training workups, and tight defense budgets everywhere.

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on June 27, 2015, 04:04:18 PM
Knew this article was around somewhere, in general interesting but read the last paragraph :)

http://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/truth-about-mig-29-180952403/?page=3

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on June 28, 2015, 01:34:15 PM
And related to the above this turned up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN8OoefnUPM

It may be Russian but this is an aircraft that the RAAF could actually defend Australia with :)

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Wallacey on July 01, 2015, 02:42:27 PM
It just gets better!

http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/the-us-defence-force-has-discovered-its-f-35-program-is-a-trillion-dollar-blunder/story-fnpjxnlk-1227423586922
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on July 01, 2015, 07:52:41 PM
Yeah,

I'm really not very surprised by that, the F-16 still owns the knife-fight-in a-phone-box.

The argument of course is that it will never come down to a merge, that brilliant missiles will do all shoot downs - been hearing that since the 60s, still don't believe it.

The comment about the helmet is interesting, it's SUPPOSED to give BETTER all-round situational awareness...

I wonder if they are brave enough to play some DACT with true competition in the modern fighter world, like the Typhoon II ?

However just how any opinion from Abbott can have any credence is beyond me, I'd never volunteer to take that idiot for a test-flight, you'd never get the stink out of the cockpit...

Cheers



Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on July 02, 2015, 01:05:47 PM
The follow on article:

http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/pentagon-lockheed-martin-defend-f-35-lightning-iis-lack-of-dogfighting-performance/story-fnpjxnlk-1227424702476

The list of things this aircraft can't do is getting longer than what it can....

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on August 04, 2015, 04:19:43 PM
Hmm,

This is long but worth it, an experienced Marine pilot explaining why the F-35 is really better than it seems:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxK6O5--9Z0

I can accept the network centric nature of the -35, doesn't really deal with the engineering issues and other more fundamental concerns though...

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on August 10, 2015, 02:09:59 PM
The latest on the T-50 - video is a bit glitchy.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/video-shows-russias-next-generation-warplane-the-t-50-being-put-through-its-paces/story-fnpjxnlk-1227477206789

The argument about the F-35 changing the face of dogfighting really is getting laughable, as Shaw's classic "Fighter Combat" the bible of the craft and what the vast majority of fighter pilots learn from teaches the dogfight is controlled by the tactics of advantage and won by the better pilot but the quality of the aircraft does have a bearing.

The T-50 is not so clear however, Russia as the article notes have cut the order to a mere dozen and India as a partner and potential client don't seem too impressed.

The report of the IAF roundly defeating Typhoon IIs is more than a beat up though, the particular exercise was set up that way and even the IAF agree.

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on October 06, 2015, 04:42:04 PM
Hmm,

The F-35C, bigger wing non-VSTOL naval version for the USN is undergoing sea-trials right now on the Eisenhower, seems to be doing ok and in less than millpond weather.

Not much has really been said about that variant, it carries more fuel has a beefed up tail to handle the hook and so far has sort of slipped under the radar. It actually looks like it will be pretty much ok for the Navy except that the same bugs the USAF is having to grapple with in the -A version, mostly code and cockpit are right there.

It still has an at the moment useless void behind the cockpit where the -B airframe demands space for the fan though, Navy are apparently saying get it to us that way and we'll stick some fuel in there...

Still one clusterfuck of a programme...

Cheers

Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on October 24, 2015, 06:40:37 PM
This is going to hurt but the new leader in Canada is absolutely correct:

http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/f-35-stealth-fighter-under-intense-attack/story-fnpjxnlk-1227579827067

The reality is the defense needs of Canada are not really much different to ours.

This programme is going to be in huge trouble soon, the problem is that Lockheed cannot be allowed to go under, too many in -service airframes to support and too much other perfectly good stuff running. Besides, who wants Boeing to be the only manufacturer in the US ? :)

It's a little ironic though that currently Russia and China have as much team diversity as the US....

Cheers

Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Richo on October 26, 2015, 02:11:34 PM
And now they're going to cost us an extra 1 million per plane....

Canada woke up and pulled out of the multi nation buying consortium.
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on October 26, 2015, 04:02:08 PM
Hmm,


The new Government of Canada is not sworn in until 4/11, a lot can happen in politics in that time but if their new PM is anything like his dad he'll stick to his guns.

It's not so much the extra money though, over life of programme that could go either way, it's that Canada is breaking ranks for all the right reasons, it is not a suitable aircraft for their role which is purely air defense. We should probably look at it that way ourselves.

It's notable as well that Canada has never not bought American in the Jet Age - they may still do with Super Hornets or F-15s but it is to be an open competition and Saab, Eurofighter and Dassault will most likely all bid.

I'd love to see Sukhoi make an offer - actually I'd love to be in Washington if they did ;)

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on January 22, 2016, 02:04:49 PM
Going to put this here.

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/how-to-win-in-a-dogfight-stories-from-a-pilot-who-flew-1682723379

It's a rather long interview with a retired USAF fighter pilot whom I have a lot of time for, very interesting in its own right but towards the end see what he has to say about the F-35...

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: LordDread on January 22, 2016, 02:30:13 PM
i say we need to remake a modern f-111, lets get an old one and marry it to a warthog ... now that would be something special, and very scary :p
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on January 22, 2016, 02:57:10 PM
:)

Swing wings are not in vogue at all, but Sukhoi (as usual) have an option:

http://allaboutkits.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Sukhoi-Su-47-wallpaper.jpg

The -47 has not thus far gone past experimental and details of its performance are veiled in secrecy but FSW designs have extraordinary flight capabilities including low and slow with plenty of weaponry so could perform both air-to-air and CAS rather well.

Need to remember though that the A-10 was not just damned effective and highly survivable it was also cheap which a multi-role would not be :)

Fantasyland would be a swing wing that could swing forward as well as back :)

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on February 02, 2016, 02:23:26 PM
Hmm,

The bad press doesn't get any better:

http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/military/pentagon-official-declares-f35-joint-strike-fighter-not-capable-of-unsupported-combat/news-story/d4c120babe07e2549dd5fe159d1b57c0?sv=3797550962c0828362efa5646312a997

Does seem to be very much focusing in on the B though, which only a minority of customers want, RN and US Marines in the end.

Cheers

Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on June 23, 2016, 12:00:34 PM
I wondered when this would happen:

http://www.news.com.au/technology/zombie-combat-jets-pressed-into-service/news-story/17ad6847d31bff1554adca5b71ed5329

The Marine -18s in particular have been being hammered of late.

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on August 03, 2016, 11:24:23 AM
It is just becoming more and more of a farce:

http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/the-f35-strike-fighter-has-been-declared-combat-capable-but-is-it/news-story/7556110762b1aec3f73b49949651507b

So essentially all of these partner nations, us included, have put in funding for a project that has gone way over time and budget and now it is being delivered crippled and with reduced fighting capability?

What a joke...

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Wallacey on August 03, 2016, 05:19:06 PM
Agreed.

Maybe the next generation...

Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on August 03, 2016, 06:56:16 PM
Maybe,

Some friends at the Pentagon have told me it's just a temporary thing, the code is not well secured, whatever that means.

Ordinarily I'm sort of chomping at the bit to get to fly a new jet, not that I always get the opportunity, but this one I think I'll pass on for now. The first couple are supposed to arrive at Pearce airbase just a few miles from me before end of year, I'll probably go take a look but it's pretty bloody underwhelming for all the time and money - most unusual for a Lockheed project.

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on December 12, 2016, 10:19:24 AM
And the bad news keeps coming:

http://www.news.com.au/world/pentagon-chief-weapon-tester-says-reports-about-f35-performance-are-misleading-ambiguous-ignore-facts/news-story/5f39430af4e059cd24d6e14ac9b99a9e

V/STOL is not much use if it melts your deck....

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Wallacey on December 12, 2016, 03:26:25 PM
Still a prototype with lots of bugs, after 10 years and lots of money  ;zn
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on December 12, 2016, 06:03:18 PM
 :)

You know myself and a couple of friends figured out the other day that  including full R&D we created the full Harrier dev units for less than the cost of one these pieces of shit - in real dollar terms....

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Rybags on December 12, 2016, 06:24:58 PM
10 years?  Try closer to 25.

1993 - initial studies and submissions by 4 manufacturers.
1995 - UK first overseas partner, Canada joins in 1997.
1996 - development contracts awarded to Boeing and Lockheed-Martin (the "real" work starts to begin)
2001 - flyoff between Boeing and Lockheed, system development and demonstration contract awarded to L-M.
2008 - first weight optimised F-35A produced
2010 - production started.

Fair enough, it's a drawn out program to not concentrate the budget black hole in a few years and the F-16 and Super Hornet were still fairly relevant and competitive well into the 2000s but it's getting ridiculous.
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on December 12, 2016, 08:04:58 PM
Heh,

It became ridiculous years ago, and still dismays me.

Damn thing looks like a toy - very un Lockheed .

I'm just tired of it TBH...

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on December 13, 2016, 01:45:14 PM
 :)

This damned near had me on the floor laughing.

A very old mate of mine was one of the early F-22 test pilots, loved the thing. Then Boeing snared him for a few years and he did work on some stealthy version of the F-15 that has yet to see the light of day.

Then the Pentagon asked hm via Boeing if they could borrow him to go do a round robin eval of current jets - I doubt there is a better qualified pilot on earth to do that.

So off he goes., Sukhoi were very accommodating, although I doubt they advised the Kremlin, says the SU-35 is everything everyone has said of it, ie. brilliant although he thinks the F-22 would probably still have an edge.

The French could not wait to show the Rafale, which, like any French aircraft is sort of alluring - I understand, believe me I do. :)

They also fed him so much wine he decided to wait a day or two before heading up to Saab. Loved the Grippen - I'm really not surprised, I always have loved Saab aircraft, last I flew was the Viggen. I think I told that tale before - span it when it was still in prototype, very laconic chase pilot said after "it's not actually cleared for that yet, how was it ?" Span and recovered fine but canard spin characteristics were a little unexplored back then.  Saab cars on the other hand - yuck...

Then off to the UK and was utterly delighted by the Typhoon II, he believes it would in every way except stealth equal the F-22.

So finally he goes back to the States and hops into an F-35 - he used to fly the Harrier so V/STOL was nothing new to him.

"Well, ? So how is it?" I asked

"Could not wait to get out of the bloody thing" was his reply - "piece of crap."

When a test pilot of over 25 years and 10 years line and combat time before that makes that comment I guess you need to listen...

On the up side he thinks it can be fixed, but they are going to have to unlock some of the -22 system code - could get interesting, Lockheed have felt like they have been fumbling in the dark with their hands tied for quite a while because of that.

Cheers

Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Smokey on December 13, 2016, 03:08:20 PM
Then along comes trump, With one tweet and wipes billions off lockheads worth.  ::p
The Australian defence Minister saying,,,, "It's still good, It's still good" "Its a seppo problem, Not ours"
Not ours?  Australia Invested in this piece of shit. ITS OUR PROBLEM  ;qz
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on December 13, 2016, 03:31:15 PM
Then along comes trump, With one tweet and wipes billions off lockheads worth.  ::p
The Australian defence Minister saying,,,, "It's still good, It's still good" "Its a seppo problem, Not ours"
Not ours?  Australia Invested in this piece of shit. ITS OUR PROBLEM  ;qz

:)

In real terms we didn't put THAT much in, just we have a purchase commitment.

I really fail to understand, all political bullshit in the end, it is not the right aircraft for Australian defense, we have unique needs but despite my frequent mentions of such we are not going to be buying Sukhoi :)

I think the best alternative is the Typhoon II but it's a long time since the RAAF had UK aircraft on inventory, so they are a bit nervous - I do understand, the engineering has its foibles :)  (So does American by the way, crawling around inside an F-15 is apparently not fun :) )

Cheers


Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Rybags on December 14, 2016, 01:39:15 AM
If they shitcan it we might end up saving money.  Problem is, go chasing something else and it probably means late 20s before it arrives.
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on December 14, 2016, 02:01:41 AM
If they shitcan it we might end up saving money.  Problem is, go chasing something else and it probably means late 20s before it arrives.

 Rafale we could have next week, Typhoon week after, F-15S in a month, all proven designs, I've personally only flown one of those, the first, was a delight, but if my mates like the others I'm happy :)

Strangely, and I have not flown it, but mention the F-18 and they all go "meh"

Very opinionated people are fighter pilots :)

Cheers

Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Rybags on December 14, 2016, 08:16:58 AM
A modernised stealthier F-15 is just so obvious, improves on F-18C and fills the void left by the F-111 better than most, but we've been over that before.
Stupid modern attitude with just about everything is just because something's newer it must be better.

With the money saved by not going the ridiculous path with the F-35, the US probably could have had a manned mission to Mars by now.  In fact probably a dozen of them.
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on December 26, 2016, 01:46:34 PM
Yes, very likely.

I don't talk to him often but I had a Christmas call from a guy I know at Lockheed - he's been lurking the thread for a while - wondered about that IP.

I asked him about the -35, he doesn't work on it, busy with -22 upgrades but his opinion was somewhat unprintable :)

I dunno, apparently there are now two due up the road at Pierce in the next few weeks - I just requested and will receive this week the interim manuals - maybe I'll go con a ride, curiosity might yet kill the cat but not if the seat works :)

I really am getting way too old for this, and my body keeps telling me that, but as my grandfather used to say you keep on living until you die, you do not wait for it to happen :) He made it to 96, so I have quite a bit left in me.

Being I'm supposed to fly a Mirage in a few weeks I guess I better go do a bit of revision - been a while :)

Now to figure out how to hide that from the wife - she already thinks I'm crazy, no need to confirm it :)

Eh, a Mirage doesn't scare me at all, love the lady, -35, hmm, we'll see..

Cheers



Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on January 15, 2017, 11:37:04 AM
Doesn't seem to be getting any better:

http://www.news.com.au/technology/f35-has-long-list-of-deficiencies-says-pentagon-operation-testing-and-evaluation-office/news-story/d188a16c3c48ba7409804e01b22de14c

A mate is part of the first deployment, told me last week he hates the thing.

Cheers

Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on March 28, 2017, 03:33:24 PM
...

And still it gets worse:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3430571/From-ejector-seats-kill-computer-pilots-t-log-Pentagon-F-35-fighter-jet-report-reveals-massive-problems-facing-expensive-weapon-history.html

I had overlooked that that troublesome cannon has less than 200 rounds at load-out - ridiculous, you'd go through those in no time flat. Then what do you do in a close in fight?

Oh, and it has also been revealed it can't currently fly in rain and is a ludicrous amount over-budget.

Piece of garbage but I am going up to take a look end of April, my doc might even clear me for flying by then :)

Cheers



Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on July 02, 2017, 06:51:29 PM
 :)

Now I'm really conflicted - had to go to Adelaide in a rush two or so weeks ago, lots of health issues in the family and my younger sister was carrying too big a load, so went to help.

Not too bad, but mother has leukemia, older sister is in recovery from two cancers, but prognosis looks good, brother busted an arm,  I cannot believe it is his first bone break, he is so accident prone -I've busted just about everything, but I have lived a bit more adventurous life than a painter and decorator. :)

I didn't even bother to mention my sore back, trivial by comparison, but after day two here I am in my old home town and I REALLY needed to go chase clouds - my way to unwind, so gave a mate a call, see what might be around."A car will be with you in 30 mins" I get told " Need your opinion on something, "

Bit odd but ok, I need some distraction.

An immaculate mil driver turns up, fortunately at my hotel, at my mother's place that would have been the Spanish Inquisition, I'm in jeans and a t but he still saluted me - I suppose I do have some silly high rank but i told him to take it easy, I'm just a civvy these days.

Where are we going ? Edinburgh AFB - makes sense, primary RAAF testing base but I've still no clue what is in store.

Then I get introduced to an F-35B, the V/STOl version, he wanted my opinion because of all my Harrier time, but like most I didn't even know they had one - spreading the test schedule around, but why we get that one,  anybody's guess.

No way I just fly a new airplane, especially one I have suspicions of, so crawl all through the thing all day with an old friend crew chief, and did become impressed.

Take the manuals back to my hotel, do an RTFM evening, it really did not look too big a problem , but, well, I've flown aircraft that try to kill you before you even light the fires :)

Next morning I get picked up again and go suit up - chase was an old mate in an F/'A 18.

It was just so easy, taxi out with a board so intuitive it was a glance was enough , line up and go - no VTOL stuff on a first lift-off but it hardly mattered, talk about acceleration :)

I spent a few minutes feeling her out, did what I asked so headed into the free--fly zone, out over the ocean, jeez, talk about acceleration - my mate laughed, said I was as big a speed freak as ever and orbited to wait for me to come back.

To be honest I had a ball, but I've flown so many aircraft perhaps it was just  a bit of absence :)

So we get to touch-down and I figure if this new VTOL concept is awkward it doesn't matter, with that acceleration I'll just power out of here and do it again.

No need - it was as easy as :)

So now I'm a bit conflicted, it has taken too long, costs too much, but damn is it nice to fly  :)

I'd like to try some DACT i would like - might happen, we'll see, I made the offer, I think I'm about the last living pilot in Oz who has seen actual combat, dropping bombs is different,

Dunno, the crewies were a bit bemused when I came out with a walking stick - less so when I did a 30 foot runway bypass to wake myself up :)

I fly, simple as that, but after that run this airplane has me confused :)

Cheers


:)



Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Wallacey on July 04, 2017, 05:10:52 PM
Very interesting!

Maybe not flogging a dead horse now?

Good health to you and your family.

 :-*
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on July 07, 2017, 01:06:52 AM
 :)

I honestly do not know Wallacey.

We are due one here next month and I'm slotted into the schedule, it will be an A, so a bit different. I do wish someone would pay me for this charity time - might have to have a few chats :)

As an aircraft, fine, the price and delays - ridiculous....

Cheers

Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: LordDread on July 10, 2017, 08:45:39 PM
you know the old saying, pics or it didnt happen :p  rofl
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on July 12, 2017, 12:19:11 AM
you know the old saying, pics or it didnt happen :p  rofl

:)

It may not happen - been grounded by a medical condition that whilst not fatal or even so far as I can see has an impact on flying, is frowned upon by some flight surgeons.

No cameras allowed out at Pearce though so unless, if I get a run, I can have someone snap me in the air and then how would you know if it was me, it is not going to happen.

I'm being braced to be told my flying days may be over - that's just plain depressing....

Cheers
Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: Hardman on July 14, 2017, 04:13:09 AM
... Cerebelum Ataxia... essentially a balance issue, we all have this little organ left side of head, it's sort of a part of the brain but has more to do with keeping you from falling over :)

I ended up being diagnosed with it two weeks ago although my doc suspected it somewhat earlier, it can have a variety of affects but in my case is just affecting walking - I can still drive happily and so far as I'm concerned fly fine as well, but that will be up to the flight surgeons.

Like every doctor on the earth he tells me it must be because I drink - bullshit - I go off and get a bunch of second opinions and do some reading - not Dr Google, med library. Last year as I think I've mentioned I had Epstein Barr that erupted as Glandular fever, it and head trauma are the commonest causes of this condition, which is good news really, means the cerebellum is just inflamed, not damaged.

I had a bit of a fight with EB, but believe it or not most all of you likely have it, it just is benign in most people, not me unfortunately, but as it reduces so may the cerebulum symptoms. Head trauma, well, yes, but not for a lot of years and a CT scan showed no damage so I doubt that.

I don't know - my own long retired flight surgeon actually knows pilots, in the mil, with this condition, if it only affects your walking balance who cares? You fly sitting down :) But, it can have other impacts like memory issues so they do ramp up the med tests a bit, that's next week for me.

Delights of getting older I guess, they are holding a slot for me on the -35, moving it in the schedule as the medicos pontificate, as is their wont :)

I can understand, expensive and currently rare aircraft here and I'd prefer to keep breathing anyway, but perhaps If I go chuck an A-4 around in front of the docs out there, flew one just a few weeks ago, they might understand this is not messing with my interface with an aircraft :)

The annoying thing is that there is no treatment, it gets better, it stabilises, or it gets worse, my doc stuck me on thiamin, B2 in other words, that's because he is convinced, or he was before I pointed a few things out to him, that it was my drinking habits. I drink wine, in relative moderation, near all the time, the past few weeks I've lured a few docs into telling me what THEY drink - mostly hard stuff - my old flight surgeon does not think it has been a good day if he can't relax with a jug of margaritas and watch the sun set on the Pacific off Venice Beach :)

I stopped thinking of that as the cause weeks ago, pretty certain it is the EB and I just have to ride it out - may screw up my ride in the -35 for a while but...

I'm pretty sanguine about it - I've flown it, would like to again, but my flying days are near over I think - bit annoying...

You know the oddest thing about flight surgeons ? Few of them can actually fly... My one does, Cessnas, years ago had him back seat in an F-4, he was too shaky after to even sign my clearance - even though he loved it ;)

We'll see, I am not getting younger, but it beats the alternative :)

Cheers




Title: Re: White Elephant?
Post by: LogicprObe on July 27, 2017, 07:23:10 PM

I can only wish you good luck.................but the older we get, the more we fall apart!