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Postby Marlow » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:33 am

While they tried to keep the briefing low key it was obvious they felt superior in capabilities to anyone else in the world. I agree with that assessment.


Whoever thinks the F22 is a boondoggle just needs to picture himself in their flight boots. What machine do you want strapped to your butt when the whistle blows? And we all know it will - hopefully constrained to a tactical strike - but I for one am glad we have them.
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Postby gh » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:11 am

It's still a ludicrous boondoggle. Nothing will ever convince me of anything otherwise, particularly at a time when money is so tight.
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Postby Marlow » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:37 am

gh wrote:It's still a ludicrous boondoggle. Nothing will ever convince me of anything otherwise, particularly at a time when money is so tight.

To be cheesy and melodramatic, the cost of freedom is priceless. The exorbitant cost of the F-22 is mostly the R&D involved, not just how much it is to build one. The R&D started decades again, when we did not know what our priorities would be. I agree that the F-22 and the number ordered LOOKS like a waste of money we don't really have, but that is not something we could have determined before the fact, nor do we know what the world will look like in 5 years, when we might actually NEED these aircraft. This is the same dance we go through when the DoD wants a new $mega-billion submarine or aircraft carrier. The cynics say they are unnecessary, too costly, and will be obsolete by the time they are built, but even here in the 21st Century, we still need them.

National Defense cannot be second-guessed. That's one of the great lessons of history.
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Postby SQUACKEE » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:43 am

Marlow wrote:National Defense cannot be second-guessed. That's one of the great lessons of history.


I agree and with Iran most likely buying some "super jets" from Russia in the near future it is important we have a jet that can fly circles around it.
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Postby lonewolf » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:22 am

Marlow wrote:
gh wrote:It's still a ludicrous boondoggle. Nothing will ever convince me of anything otherwise, particularly at a time when money is so tight.

To be cheesy and melodramatic, the cost of freedom is priceless. The exorbitant cost of the F-22 is mostly the R&D involved, not just how much it is to build one. The R&D started decades again, when we did not know what our priorities would be. I agree that the F-22 and the number ordered LOOKS like a waste of money we don't really have, but that is not something we could have determined before the fact, nor do we know what the world will look like in 5 years, when we might actually NEED these aircraft. This is the same dance we go through when the DoD wants a new $mega-billion submarine or aircraft carrier. The cynics say they are unnecessary, too costly, and will be obsolete by the time they are built, but even here in the 21st Century, we still need them.

National Defense cannot be second-guessed. That's one of the great lessons of history.


I'm with Marlow. Despite his deplorable political leanings :) and eclectic taste in movies (not that that is a bad thing) he is right on this one.
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Postby gh » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:39 am

If the F22 is so essential to our national defense, how come it has yet to fly its first combat mission? (that is the case, isn't it?)

I'm not remotely agin military spending; I'm agin spending it on the wrong tools, and this is as wrong as it gets.
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Postby SQUACKEE » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:44 am

gh wrote:If the F22 is so essential to our national defense, how come it has yet to fly its first combat mission? (that is the case, isn't it?)

I'm not remotely agin military spending; I'm agin spending it on the wrong tools, and this is as wrong as it gets.


I thought you were against it because money is tight now, or is it because you dont think its as good as advertised or both?
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Postby Marlow » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:27 am

gh wrote:If the F22 is so essential to our national defense, how come it has yet to fly its first combat mission? (that is the case, isn't it?)
I'm not remotely agin military spending; I'm agin spending it on the wrong tools, and this is as wrong as it gets.


The F-22 is NOT essential to our national defense . . . right now . . . but neither I, nor anyone else, can predict whether it might not be VITALLY essential to our national defense in just a few short years. We have never used ANY of our nuclear arsenal in the last 60 years, so there's $Billions in R&D AND production that was deployed and then discarded, totally unused . . . but they were still 'essential'.
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Postby BruceFlorman » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:27 am

Marlow wrote:The F-22 is NOT essential to our national defense . . . right now . . . but neither I, nor anyone else, can predict whether it might not be VITALLY essential to our national defense in just a few short years.

Seems like this line of reasoning can be used to justify the development of absolutely any weapon system, regardless of cost or practicality.

gh wrote:This a multi-generation e-mailing that I got from a Marine pilot buddy:

Subject: F22 Briefing

Just a little more data on the greatest flying machine going. Except, maybe the F-35.

...

So if the F-22 is a boondoggle, what's the F-35?
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Postby Vince » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:38 am

BruceFlorman wrote:
Marlow wrote:The F-22 is NOT essential to our national defense . . . right now . . . but neither I, nor anyone else, can predict whether it might not be VITALLY essential to our national defense in just a few short years.

Seems like this line of reasoning can be used to justify the development of absolutely any weapon system, regardless of cost or practicality.

gh wrote:This a multi-generation e-mailing that I got from a Marine pilot buddy:

Subject: F22 Briefing

Just a little more data on the greatest flying machine going. Except, maybe the F-35.

...

So if the F-22 is a boondoggle, what's the F-35?


And what's the $750 billion banking, Insurance, Automaker, Wall street, etc. etc. hand out?
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Postby gh » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:25 am

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Postby BruceFlorman » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:00 am

Image
Yeah, these ads have been all over the Sports Illustrated website for at least a week. The F-22 isn't a boondoggle, it's a public works project. :roll:
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Postby Rob » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:08 am

The F-22 is a 'nice' enough aircraft, but the designers at Lockheed Martin put all their eggs into one basket - namely stealth.

As an example, the aircraft I am involved in designing pulls 9g subsonic and 7g supersonic and will maintain 6g all day long (rather than 5g of the F-22). It can supercruise as well as the F-22 (i.e. fly supersonically without the use of afterburner) and has inherent aerodynamic instability (i.e. centre of gravity positioned behind the centre of lift), which gives superior manoeuvrability.

The main problem with the F-22 (apart from it being a bit pricey) is that it relies entirely on Radar warfare to win the fight - its electronically scanned APG-77 Radar and internal AMRAAM carriage rely on not being seen, prior to launching a missile ("First look, first shot, first kill" mentality).

But the weapons bay doors take significantly longer than 1 second to open and close (= detection possible by an enemy fighter) and what about IRST (Infra-Red Search & Track)?? Unless your fighter has the ability to shroud its engine exhausts (like the F-117) in order to reduce IR from the jet pipe (which it doesn't, since this technique is geometrically incompatible with afterburning engines) or to cool its wing leading edges so that it blends in with the -56°C outside air temperature at 30,000 ft (which it doesn't, as it would require too much power), then the F-22 is vulnerable to sensitive infra-red attack sensors that are being fitted to other contemporary jet fighters. The F-22 itself is not fitted with such a sensor...

And when PAK-FA comes along (whether it be in the hands of the Russians or anyone else they've sold it to for hard currency) your gung-ho pilots who always think they're better than anyone else, will need to be very careful indeed.
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Postby Vince » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:08 am

Rob wrote:The F-22 is a 'nice' enough aircraft, but the designers at Lockheed Martin put all their eggs into one basket - namely stealth.

As an example, the aircraft I am involved in designing pulls 9g subsonic and 7g supersonic and will maintain 6g all day long (rather than 5g of the F-22). It can supercruise as well as the F-22 (i.e. fly supersonically without the use of afterburner) and has inherent aerodynamic instability (i.e. centre of gravity positioned behind the centre of lift), which gives superior manoeuvrability.

The main problem with the F-22 (apart from it being a bit pricey) is that it relies entirely on Radar warfare to win the fight - its electronically scanned APG-77 Radar and internal AMRAAM carriage rely on not being seen, prior to launching a missile ("First look, first shot, first kill" mentality).

But the weapons bay doors take significantly longer than 1 second to open and close (= detection possible by an enemy fighter) and what about IRST (Infra-Red Search & Track)?? Unless your fighter has the ability to shroud its engine exhausts (like the F-117) in order to reduce IR from the jet pipe (which it doesn't, since this technique is geometrically incompatible with afterburning engines) or to cool its wing leading edges so that it blends in with the -56°C outside air temperature at 30,000 ft (which it doesn't, as it would require too much power), then the F-22 is vulnerable to sensitive infra-red attack sensors that are being fitted to other contemporary jet fighters. The F-22 itself is not fitted with such a sensor...

And when PAK-FA comes along (whether it be in the hands of the Russians or anyone else they've sold it to for hard currency) your gung-ho pilots who always think they're better than anyone else, will need to be very careful indeed.


Nice plane, not cheap either. Whoever flies one better hope a F-22 isn't over the horizon because the 9gs they will be pulling are going to be straight down.
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Postby Rob » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:29 am

Not sure if it was clear, but the aircraft I was describing in most of my previous post is not the PAK-FA (which has yet to fly and is the product of Sukhoi), but the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The F-22's achilles heel is IR vulnerability - which of course used to mean within-visual-range combat (like the ubiquitous Sidewinder missile), but things have moved on. The infra-red technology now available in Germany can track a 15 ton piece of metal (which is all the F-22 is, physically speaking) through standard atmosphere at ranges similar to the F-22's Radar. And it has no defence against such sensors. Long range missiles such as Meteor, which have a greater range than the latest version of AMRAAM (AIM-120D) due to their ramjet engines that continue to operate once the rocket motor has burned out, flying passively and updated periodically by high speed datalink from the fighter's IRST, prior to going active in the terminal phase, are going to give an F-22 pilot all he can handle - and more.

But as long as you are happy to believe the propaganda coming out of the Pentagon (which obviously wants to protect the programme), then I guess you can be content that your dollars are being wisely invested.

And perhaps you can inform us why the USAF banned the use of IRST sensors on the Eurofighters that competed recently in the Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB? No doubt it was for all the 'right' reasons?? :roll:

Anyway, a couple of other, more pragmatic, issues to consider:

Even if your Radar manages to detect and track a target at the ranges claimed, limitations with the IFF (Interrogator Friend or Foe) preclude accurate target identification at such ranges, which then prevents a shot being taken (under NATO rules of engagement).

Secondly, an F-22 is unlikely ever to face a Eurofighter in real combat, so don't get too excited by the claims and counter claims.

In conclusion, the USAF needs the F-22 but you should not underestimate the threat from Sukhoi (Su-35BM and the later PAK-FA) - this threat is real and getting more serious to deal with - for both of us.
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Postby Vince » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:35 am

Rob wrote:Not sure if it was clear, but the aircraft I was describing in most of my previous post is not the PAK-FA (which has yet to fly and is the product of Sukhoi), but the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The F-22's achilles heel is IR vulnerability - which of course used to mean within-visual-range combat (like the ubiquitous Sidewinder missile), but things have moved on. The infra-red technology now available in Germany can track a 15 ton piece of metal (which is all the F-22 is, physically speaking) through standard atmosphere at ranges similar to the F-22's Radar. And it has no defence against such sensors. Long range missiles such as Meteor, which have a greater range than the latest version of AMRAAM (AIM-120D) due to their ramjet engines that continue to operate once the rocket motor has burned out, flying passively and updated periodically by high speed datalink from the fighter's IRST, prior to going active in the terminal phase, are going to give an F-22 pilot all he can handle - and more.

But as long as you are happy to believe the propaganda coming out of the Pentagon (which obviously wants to protect the programme), then I guess you can be content that your dollars are being wisely invested.

And perhaps you can inform us why the USAF banned the use of IRST sensors on the Eurofighters that competed recently in the Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB? No doubt it was for all the 'right' reasons?? :roll:

Anyway, a couple of other, more pragmatic, issues to consider:

Even if your Radar manages to detect and track a target at the ranges claimed, limitations with the IFF (Interrogator Friend or Foe) preclude accurate target identification at such ranges, which then prevents a shot being taken (under NATO rules of engagement).

Secondly, an F-22 is unlikely ever to face a Eurofighter in real combat, so don't get too excited by the claims and counter claims.

In conclusion, the USAF needs the F-22 but you should not underestimate the threat from Sukhoi (Su-35BM and the later PAK-FA) - this threat is real and getting more serious to deal with - for both of us.

Not sure about all the rules, but there was only limited Eurofighter participation. Don't furrow your Eurobrows about the USAF, the future generations of fighters will probably be unmanned and super fast(Mach10). See the throttle capable x-43 Scramjet.
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Postby Rob » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:07 pm

Mach 10 is fine - but it depends on where you want to go, and what you want to do. You do know what the turning circle is at Mach 10, even for a UAV - right?
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Postby Marlow » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:34 pm

Rob wrote:Mach 10 is fine - but it depends on where you want to go, and what you want to do. You do know what the turning circle is at Mach 10, even for a UAV - right?

Mach 10 is devastating for ingress, delivery and egress. Tactical maneuvering will typically still be performed at less than supersonic speeds.
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Postby Rob » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:53 pm

Exactly, so high speed strike is ok (assuming your bombs don't break up at high Mach number, as most of your current LGBs and PGMs would), but it isn't very useful for air combat, especially at the altitudes you would need to fly to achieve Mach 10.
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Postby Marlow » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:24 pm

Rob wrote:Exactly, so high speed strike is ok (assuming your bombs don't break up at high Mach number, as most of your current LGBs and PGMs would), but it isn't very useful for air combat, especially at the altitudes you would need to fly to achieve Mach 10.

Somehow I just can't see the necessity of dogfights in the future, Star Wars notwithstanding.
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Postby lonewolf » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:35 pm

Rob wrote:Mach 10 is fine - but it depends on where you want to go, and what you want to do. You do know what the turning circle is at Mach 10, even for a UAV - right?


Nope, for the uninitiated among us, what is the turning circle at Mach 10?

Isn't that over 6000 mph? What goes that fast, except in orbit?
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Postby Vince » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:28 pm

lonewolf wrote:
Rob wrote:Mach 10 is fine - but it depends on where you want to go, and what you want to do. You do know what the turning circle is at Mach 10, even for a UAV - right?


Nope, for the uninitiated among us, what is the turning circle at Mach 10?

Isn't that over 6000 mph? What goes that fast, except in orbit?


It depends on the altitude, but Mach 10 is around 7000 mph or a couple miles/second. The turning radius argument is somewhat of a red herring since it would not be necessary to fly at Mach 10 continuously. But a 2G turn would probably take between 750-1000 miles.
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Postby Marlow » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:16 pm

Vince wrote: a 2G turn would probably take between 750-1000 miles.

Making a targeting solution somewhat problematic! :shock: :D
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Postby Vince » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:19 pm

Marlow wrote:
Vince wrote: a 2G turn would probably take between 750-1000 miles.

Making a targeting solution somewhat problematic! :shock: :D


For whom, the predator or prey?
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Postby lonewolf » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:04 pm

Vince wrote:
lonewolf wrote:
Rob wrote:Mach 10 is fine - but it depends on where you want to go, and what you want to do. You do know what the turning circle is at Mach 10, even for a UAV - right?


Nope, for the uninitiated among us, what is the turning circle at Mach 10?

Isn't that over 6000 mph? What goes that fast, except in orbit?


It depends on the altitude, but Mach 10 is around 7000 mph or a couple miles/second. The turning radius argument is somewhat of a red herring since it would not be necessary to fly at Mach 10 continuously. But a 2G turn would probably take between 750-1000 miles.


Dang!!! At 7000 mph, if you missed your exit on I-10 that means you would to return on I-70 or I-90. :shock:
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Postby BruceFlorman » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:38 am

Marlow wrote:
Rob wrote:Exactly, so high speed strike is ok (assuming your bombs don't break up at high Mach number, as most of your current LGBs and PGMs would), but it isn't very useful for air combat, especially at the altitudes you would need to fly to achieve Mach 10.

Somehow I just can't see the necessity of dogfights in the future, Star Wars notwithstanding.

As I recall, the designers of the F-4 thought the same thing, so the initial models carried no gun, only missles. Dogfighting was so 'last war'... not something that would be needed in the modern world of the 1960's. But I guess even a clock that don't run is right twice a day, so if we keep making the same prediction, we're bound to be right someday. :P
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Postby Kevin Richardson » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:46 am

We have now touched on the key issue; the emergence of UAVs. I am intimately familiar with the rotary wing defense industry, and the writing is pretty much on the wall that unmanned vehicles are the future for scouting missions, and more, further down the pike. They are changing the discussion on future aircraft, both fixed wing and not.

The issue which should be considered is whether it is necessary to have both the F-22 and the F-35, given the costs of the two programs. The basic question is whether the F-22's tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) cannot be modified to assume the Raptor's role.

DoD currently has more programs on the books than it can afford, even at the current spending levels. Something has to give. While overkill is mandatory, how many orders of magnitude of overkill are required?

Spending is a critical element, here. If we overextend ourselves with buying and maintaining ever more expensive hardware, we do so at the cost of maintenance and training of aircrews. Trying to prepare for every possible contingency will surely lead us down an enormous fiscal hole which is totally unwarranted.
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Postby gh » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:46 am

On the need for a naval version of the Raptor


http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-230209-1.html
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Postby Kevin Richardson » Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:13 pm

It was only a matter of time. I work in US Army aviation and have seen on more than one occasion where one program becomes threatened by the existence of another (real or perceived). It usually gets ugly, with program management offices moving from defending their own program, to casting aspersions on the other one. Even when one eventually wins, it is is not looked upon as favorably as before.

Still, given the realities of government budgets, something has to give. Otherwise we will end up with an aircraft so expensive that the DoD will buy only one and allow the pilots to take turns flying it. :?
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Postby JRM » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:33 pm

Kevin Richardson wrote:We have now touched on the key issue; the emergence of UAVs.


On my annual excursion to the Nevada Test Site, we pass Indian Wells AFB, which is the home base of the Predator UAV. It's routine to see them making landings, touch-and-gos, and other practice aerial acrobatics. A fascinating tidbit is that the Predators are *piloted* from that location -- even if they are operating overseas, e.g. in the Middle East theatre.

I've heard interesting stories about "flight crews" who leave home and go to work, fly a bunch of missions in the ME (some deadly), and go home after their shifts for dinner with their families! Puts a new spin on the idea of 21st century warfare.
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Postby lonewolf » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:57 pm

JRM wrote:[
I've heard interesting stories about "flight crews" who leave home and go to work, fly a bunch of missions in the ME (some deadly), and go home after their shifts for dinner with their families! Puts a new spin on the idea of 21st century warfare.


A marked improvement over the days when wives and families accompanied the men to war.
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Postby Vince » Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:23 am

Looking to the future, NASA designates national hypersonic science centers in Texas, California and Virginia.

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/ma ... nters.html

Why are we wasting money on these centers? There is no enemy that has this technology!!
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Postby jhc68 » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:30 am

I guess the powers that be want to stay a step or two ahead of potential enemies. Anyway, it sounds like fun to travel at mach 5, and it is only a few tens of millions of bucks... less than the bonus that a manager at a failed investment bank might get !
Meanwhile people have gotten so far removed from the good ole Cold War realities that they don't recognize sonic booms when they happen anymore:
http://sciencedude.freedomblogging.com/ ... nty/20853/
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Postby BruceFlorman » Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:14 am

BruceFlorman wrote:So if the F-22 is a boondoggle, what's the F-35?

Perhaps (but just "perhaps") the F-35 is a more economical airplane. In an article here: http://www.airforce-technology.com/feat ... ture51242/ high-level pros and cons of the two aircraft are compared.

The Raptor unit production cost is around $140m for the most recent batch.
...
The USAF estimates the JSF's unit production cost at roughly $85m.
...
The Raptor / JSF choice represents the US military's clearest programmatic contrast between 'Cold War' and 'new war' technology.
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Postby lovetorun » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:40 pm

jhc68 wrote:I had two favorite planes: the Corsair fighter/bomber and the B-58 Hustler.

I stopped having new favorite planes about the time I lost the ability to identify the exact make, model and year every car I saw.


Hey Joe...one of my favorites too...the Corsair. In fifth grade my friend's Dad flew Corsair's out of El Toro Marine Base. He arranged for all us starry eyed fifth graders to see one in person. We walked up this ladder and looked into the cockpit...wow, all those cool gauges and stuff!
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Postby gh » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:29 pm

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Postby BruceFlorman » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:12 pm

From today's Washington Post...
Premier U.S. Fighter Jet Has Major Shortcomings

The United States' top fighter jet, the Lockheed Martin F-22, has recently required more than 30 hours of maintenance for every hour in the skies, pushing its hourly cost of flying to more than $44,000, a far higher figure than for the warplane it replaces, confidential Pentagon test results show.
...
While most aircraft fleets become easier and less costly to repair as they mature, key maintenance trends for the F-22 have been negative in recent years, and on average from October last year to this May, just 55 percent of the deployed F-22 fleet has been available to fulfill missions guarding U.S. airspace, the Defense Department acknowledged this week. The F-22 has never been flown over Iraq or Afghanistan.
...
Its troubles have been detailed in dozens of Government Accountability Office reports and Pentagon audits. But Pierre Sprey, a key designer in the 1970s and 1980s of the F-16 and A-10 warplanes, said that from the beginning, the Air Force designed it to be "too big to fail, that is, to be cancellation-proof."
...
John Hamre, the Pentagon's comptroller from 1993 to 1997, says the department approved the plane with a budget it knew was too low because projecting the real costs would have been politically unpalatable on Capitol Hill.
...
*SIGH* :roll:

Full article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... id=topnews
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Postby gh » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:52 am

Columnist muses on why the F-22 won't die:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 18QV19.DTL
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Re: Sonic boom rattles SoCal!

Postby gh » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:20 am

Got to see an F-22 in action yesterday (well, "action"=air show flite, that is!). What a mind-boggling piece of machinery. Still not worth the money, but high on the all-time toys list.

In a nice little fillip to the whole thing, during the Blue Angels portion of them got a little heavy on the throttle during a dive over the Bay and apparently did a teeny slip through the sound barrier. Rattled the big boat we were on nicely, set people a-shrieking.
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Re:

Postby cullman » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:14 pm

BruceFlorman wrote:So if the F-22 is a boondoggle, what's the F-35?

An expensive piece of useless crap.

Link: CBC's Fifth Estate - Exclusive New Revelations about the troubled F-35 program

"The military promises it's the best fighter jet available, but some critics are saying it's a turkey hatched from a bad idea: a do-it-all plane that might not do anything well-at-all."

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