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Is The F-35 Strike Fighter The Military Chevy Volt?
Investor's Business Daily ^ | February 27, 2012 | IBD staff

Posted on 02/27/2012 4:54:12 PM PST by raptor22

Defense: Pilots who arrived a year ago to train on the fighter of the future are still waiting as safety concerns, cost overruns and questions about the whole program's feasibility mount.

The F-35 is meant to be America's next-generation fighter, the heir to the Air Force's F-15 Eagle and the Navy's and Marines' F/A-18 Hornet. Those two aircraft have fulfilled their air superiority and ground-attack roles well, yet many are well beyond their expected life expectancy.

The F-35 would fill America's defense needs in an age of budget constraints, we were told. So far it has not been a smooth takeoff.

About 35 of the best fighter pilots from the Air Force, Marines and Navy who arrived in the Florida Panhandle last year to learn to fly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are still waiting. They've been limited to occasionally taxying them and firing up the engines.

Otherwise, their training is limited to three F-35 flight simulators, classroom work and flights in older-model jets. Only a handful of pilots get to fly the F-35s.

Concerns have arisen, ranging from improperly installed parachutes under the pilots' ejector seats to whether the aircraft have been adequately tested.

Production has been slow and delayed, and the cost has risen from $233 billion to $385 billion. Only 43 F-35s have been built, and an additional 2,443 have been ordered by the Pentagon.

Part of the problem is that the F-35 is a one-size-fits-all aircraft designed to fit roles from taking off a carrier's deck to hovering and landing in a confined space on a foreign battlefield. It's meant to be a ground-attack and air-superiority fighter. The question is whether it can adequately be both.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: aerospace; airforce; f22; f22raptor; f35; ibd; military; navair; savetheraptor; usaf
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1 posted on 02/27/2012 4:54:20 PM PST by raptor22
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To: raptor22

I don’t know of any new aircraft rollout that hasn’t been plagued by problems. Somehow we manage to get them in the air.


2 posted on 02/27/2012 4:58:01 PM PST by Nachoman (I HOPE we CHANGE presidents.)
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To: raptor22

When they cancelled the F22, they touted the F35 up the ying yang. At the time I said the F35 would be cancelled in time too. A lot of folks told me I was crazy.

Well, how crazy am I looking these days.

We should never have listened on the F22. It should still be in production today.


3 posted on 02/27/2012 5:00:57 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: raptor22

If there is a car equivalent, I’d say it’s more like the Edsel.

Nice, shiny, and complicated.


4 posted on 02/27/2012 5:02:13 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Nachoman

Exactly right. We never seem to learn that there are people out there that will ALWAYS find trouble with EVERY piece of military equipment.


5 posted on 02/27/2012 5:03:12 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: raptor22
Is The F-35 Strike Fighter The Military Chevy Volt?

Why wasn't this question posed BEFORE the F-22 was cancelled well before it's initial planned 750 unit buy?
6 posted on 02/27/2012 5:07:25 PM PST by Cheerio (Barry Hussein Soetoro-0bama=The Complete Destruction of American Capitalism)
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To: raptor22
The F-35 is meant to be America's next-generation fighter, the heir to the Air Force's F-15 Eagle and the Navy's and Marines' F/A-18 Hornet. Those two aircraft have fulfilled their air superiority and ground-attack roles well, yet many are well beyond their expected life expectancy.

IMHO, "next generation" should have been an X-29 style drone. The plane could cost 1/10 as much (when one considers the total logistical cost of piloted aircraft, including training, medical care, retirement, S&R infrastructure) and could pull Gs that would kill an F-35 pilot. Lighter, faster, more maneuverable and more easily mass produced.

7 posted on 02/27/2012 5:07:25 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The RNC would prefer Obama to a conservative nominee.)
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To: DoughtyOne

You got that right. The F-22 is the finest air superiority fighter in the world. There arem’t enough of them unfortunately.


8 posted on 02/27/2012 5:18:46 PM PST by raptor22 (Join me on Twitter @gerfingerpoken)
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To: Nachum; markomalley; Clairity; Carlucci; grey_whiskers; meyer; WL-law; Para-Ord.45; ...

Defense ping


9 posted on 02/27/2012 5:26:56 PM PST by raptor22 (Join me on Twitter @gerfingerpoken)
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To: Carry_Okie

Agreed, even if you could somehow null out inertia
the future of military aviation is unmanned.

Nice to see you, by the way.


10 posted on 02/27/2012 5:27:05 PM PST by fire and forget
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To: DoughtyOne

The F-22 should never have been cancelled, but I believe the F-35 will eventually turn out well, though more expensive than it should be.

I keep in mind the Abrams tank. Remember how absolutely vilified that tank was when it was being developed and built in the Seventies? The libs were squalling long, hard and loud...the engine would never work right, the gun was too small, it was too complicated, it would never work in a sandy environment, etc.

Best battle tested tank in the world. But we won’t hear a peep from a single detractor. As if it all went down the memory hole. Kind of like global cooling back in the Seventies.

If all this stuff weren’t so damned serious, it would be hilarious. I do think we will rue the day we cancelled the F-22 program.


11 posted on 02/27/2012 5:33:24 PM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: Carry_Okie

Agreed, even if you could somehow null out inertia
the future of military aviation is unmanned.

Nice to see you, by the way.


12 posted on 02/27/2012 5:33:33 PM PST by fire and forget
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To: raptor22

Absolutely right, on both counts.

A # 1
Too few


13 posted on 02/27/2012 5:34:57 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: raptor22
"...It's meant to be a ground-attack and air-superiority fighter. The question is whether it can adequately be both..."

It was never meant, nor designed to be both. Whether idiots in the DOD, the vendor or the politicians began to build it up as an air superiority option (knowing it wasn't) after the writing on the wall for the F-22 became apparent is a valid question.

14 posted on 02/27/2012 5:37:28 PM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: raptor22

Short answer, hell no.


15 posted on 02/27/2012 5:39:31 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: rlmorel

I agree with each of your thoughts here. That omage to the global cooling is one that reminds folks that the Leftists tried to scare the crap out of us back in the 70s, because the planet was cooling.

Then they got smart (as if you could call it that) by claiming the earth was warming, so they could hit everything in sight negatively, because it was adding to global warming.

I remember those days well, because they were also demanding folks in the U. S. to stop having so many children, because the earth couldn’t sustain them.

At the time, being a young kid full of mush, I didn’t realize what a pantload that was, so my wife and I decided to limit our family to two kids. Today I would have more like six to eight.

It as all about reducing northern European ancestry influence on the United States. It worked as least in part.


16 posted on 02/27/2012 5:40:55 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: Nachoman

Thats true,, aircraft rollouts have traditionally had bugs. But that was when we built planes from drawings with timeframes ranging from 6 months to 2 years.
The F-35 has been in one sort of development or another for almost 20 years.
The thing is a moonpig, that cannot outrun an F-16 or F-15.
It carries smaller loads, shorter distances. It carries fewer weapons. It is FAR slower than offerings from Europe and Russia. It’s supposedly better than average in stealth and computers,, but any advantages there gave us a few years at best. The rest of the world is living and breathing electronics and programming.
This thing is a monument to political procurement and it’s hard to believe this is the best our country can roll out.
It was always a weak sister,,,justified by the F-22s existence. Of course,, we are left with this as the main event.

Carriers with nothing but these (assuming they ever make the stealth tailhook work) are going to have less power projection than our carriers have ever fielded in the modern era.

Im waiting for the “D” model,,hoping they put a bubble canopy on it. They say that improvement worked well on Mustangs and Spitfires.


17 posted on 02/27/2012 6:05:23 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: raptor22

How soon we forget the long, troubled, and cost-overrun plagued developement of the F-22.


18 posted on 02/27/2012 6:15:10 PM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: magslinger

ping


19 posted on 02/27/2012 6:27:05 PM PST by Vroomfondel
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To: DoughtyOne
When they cancelled the F22, they touted the F35 up the ying yang. At the time I said the F35 would be cancelled in time too. A lot of folks told me I was crazy.

There were a lot of people who thought the F35 was a turkey. Including this guy.


20 posted on 02/27/2012 6:49:27 PM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan
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To: DesertRhino

You stick to SMEAC and leave tactical aviation to those in the know.


21 posted on 02/27/2012 7:31:29 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: fire and forget; DoughtyOne
Agreed, even if you could somehow null out inertia the future of military aviation is unmanned.

More on that. Imagine a dozen C-5's, each carrying a load of drones that turn so fast they'd kill a pilot, compared to one F-35.

22 posted on 02/27/2012 7:42:22 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The RNC would prefer Obama to a conservative nominee.)
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To: DoughtyOne
We should never have listened on the F22. It should still be in production today.

I hear you.

The next GOP president (although Romney's double win yesterday makes that look like a very distant, if-ever, event) needs to reopen the F-22 assembly lines and start cranking out a new generation of fleet air arm mounts as well, to replace the missing F-14.

23 posted on 02/28/2012 10:20:47 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: A.A. Cunningham; Donald Rumsfeld Fan; Vroomfondel; raptor22; magslinger; Yo-Yo; rlmorel; ...
[A A Cunningham]
You stick to SMEAC and leave tactical aviation to those in the know.

Okay, everybody -- there it is. Word has come down.

Everybody OFF THE THREAD ..... certified TACAIR experts only!

Everyone exit by the yellow door, please.

</s>

24 posted on 02/28/2012 10:36:56 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

Well, the F35 has been asked to do quite a bit. I don’t know a lot about it, but in time it may be a great aircraft for what it was designed to do.

That still doesn’t mean the F22 wasn’t needed.

I know you weren’t trying to make that point, and I appreciate you mentioning McInerney was not a big F35 fan. I’d like to think he’s wrong, but he may be dead on target.


25 posted on 02/28/2012 11:47:03 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: Carry_Okie

Carry_Okie, I like your thoughts on this. I’m not immune to the argument for unmanned aircraft. I am still not convinced you ever do away with all fighter aircraft.

I may be proven wrong on that point over time. And if I am, the F22 and F35 would be obsolete in short order.

There are a number of critical aspects of fighter aircraft and the roles they are asked to fulfill, their antagonists, and countermeasures to both that will have to be studied at length before a determination can be made.

Filling the air with hundreds of our manned aircraft while thousands of unmanned aircraft are launched against them sounds like a real buzz-kill for the manned aircraft. Trouble is, is it practical to launch 1000 unmanned aircraft if you can’t recover them, bring them back to base?

Yes G forces are not as big a threat to unmanned craft. Does that mean that weaknesses won’t be exploited to make unmanned aircraft a pipe dream that is defeated just as it’s promise is about to be realized?

Will our sleuths devise a way to take command of unmanned aircraft away from their owners, or will they find ways to commandeer ours?

In the short term, I don’t think we commit either direction. We keep adequate forces of conventional aircraft, and seek to develop the umanned aircraft to their full potential.

I will say, that if we put our eggs in the unmanned basked, and the command and control is compromised, we’re essentially defenseless in a matter of hours.

Talk about your doomsday scenario...


26 posted on 02/29/2012 12:00:32 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: lentulusgracchus

I agree. I might not roll out as many as we originally ordered, but I would sure roll out a lot more than we currently have.


27 posted on 02/29/2012 12:54:41 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: Vroomfondel; SC Swamp Fox; Fred Hayek; NY Attitude; P3_Acoustic; investigateworld; lowbuck; ...
SONOBUOY PING!

Photobucket

Click on pic for past Navair pings. Post or FReepmail me if you wish to be enlisted in or discharged from the Navair Pinglist. The only requirement for inclusion in the Navair Pinglist is an interest in Naval Aviation. This is a medium to low volume pinglist.

28 posted on 02/29/2012 4:47:26 AM PST by magslinger (If I wanted to vote for a Commie I would vote for Obammie. He has a chance of winning.)
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To: lentulusgracchus
"...Everybody OFF THE THREAD ..... certified TACAIR experts only! Everyone exit by the yellow door, please..."


29 posted on 02/29/2012 4:53:59 AM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: raptor22
Comparing an F-35 to a Volt is probably unfair to the Volt. The little electric is probably OK at what it is designed for: back and forth to work, quick trip to the liquor store, that kind of thing. Grocery shopping? Can you fit a weeks groceries for a family of four in one? With the driver?

Any engineering involves trade offs. If you want a maneuverable bird, there goes the stability. You want armor? There goes the speed, rate of climb and ceiling. Kick it the butt harder. You just lost range. More fuel? Back to the loss of speed. I think they are trying to make the F-35 do too much. A fairer automotive comparison would be to call it a family sports pickup. Think of how poor it would be at all three tasks not to mention the dismal fuel economy.

30 posted on 02/29/2012 5:22:05 AM PST by magslinger (If I wanted to vote for a Commie I would vote for Obammie. He has a chance of winning.)
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To: DoughtyOne
Well, the F35 has been asked to do quite a bit.

Too many tradeoffs, too many compromises.....it was painful....ugh. There is a dvd on the painful project's development.

A competition between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Fun to watch if you're an aerospace engineer


31 posted on 02/29/2012 5:24:25 AM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan
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To: magslinger

A 450 lb battery used to store the equivalent of a gallon of gas worth of energy. It doesn’t pass the laugh test.


32 posted on 02/29/2012 5:33:05 AM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

I just meant that it would fulfill it’s basic mission, something I highly doubt of the F-35. I did not mean the Volt is a good vehicle or that it’s flimsy butt has any business on a highway where even a minor altercation with an original VW Bug would put it badly in second place.


33 posted on 02/29/2012 6:21:22 AM PST by magslinger (If I wanted to vote for a Commie I would vote for Obammie. He has a chance of winning.)
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To: DoughtyOne
Trouble is, is it practical to launch 1000 unmanned aircraft if you can’t recover them, bring them back to base?

I was adding the C-5 scenario to drive out-of-the-box thinking. Obviously drones land now and would have longer range if they didn't have to carry all that weight to support the pilot. Still, if a pilot can land on a carrier deck, I don't think it impossible to land a plane into a C-5 in a manner analogous to parachute jumping or aerial refueling.

It's doable. The combination of speed and maneuverability those birds would have would make the current (and possibly then some) generation of enemy A2A missiles practically useless.

Does that mean that weaknesses won’t be exploited to make unmanned aircraft a pipe dream that is defeated just as it’s promise is about to be realized?

I don't understand the question.

Will our sleuths devise a way to take command of unmanned aircraft away from their owners, or will they find ways to commandeer ours?

With spread spectrum communications, that would be truly difficult. Think of it this way (and I was thinking this in 1985): one could load a random frequency switching sequence from the launcher. NOBODY would know that sequence in advance. The enemy would have to acquire it in-flight or from the actual system that generated the sequence at launch (which could be shared in drabs should the flight extend beyond communications range), which would require them to predict the future of a random number sequence. Any breach would initiate an auto-destruct.

In the short term, I don’t think we commit either direction. We keep adequate forces of conventional aircraft, and seek to develop the umanned aircraft to their full potential.

I like the idea of finishing off the F-22 run while we do it. The X-29 project was enough ground work to make such a drone a slam dunk, that is, unless the contractors decide to make a money pot out of it. (Can't stand those people.)

I will say, that if we put our eggs in the unmanned basked, and the command and control is compromised, we’re essentially defenseless in a matter of hours.

Talk about your doomsday scenario...

With as much fly-by-wire and target management technology we have in those birds now, practically, we're already there.

34 posted on 02/29/2012 6:45:00 AM PST by Carry_Okie (The RNC would prefer Obama to a conservative nominee.)
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To: Carry_Okie
Still, if a pilot can land on a carrier deck, I don't think it impossible to land a plane into a C-5 in a manner analogous to parachute jumping or aerial refueling.

Landing into a C-5 would be a lot easier than a carrier landing. Much lower relative speed.

35 posted on 02/29/2012 7:06:56 AM PST by magslinger (If I wanted to vote for a Commie I would vote for Obammie. He has a chance of winning.)
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To: magslinger; DoughtyOne
Landing into a C-5 would be a lot easier than a carrier landing. Much lower relative speed.

True, but the "shock absorber" means would be a downer in an aircraft, so to speak. Yes, I do think the system is doable and it addresses both our need for more transports and tankers. As to close combat air support, I think fighters are a poor tool. I'm a Warthog guy there.

36 posted on 02/29/2012 8:03:37 AM PST by Carry_Okie (The RNC would prefer Obama to a conservative nominee.)
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To: rlmorel

And the number to call is BR-549.


37 posted on 02/29/2012 10:23:18 AM PST by Ole Okie
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

Thanks for the mention. I should probably go out and see if I can dig up a copy.


38 posted on 02/29/2012 10:33:52 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: DoughtyOne

You can watch it on netflix. It IS interesting to watch, too.


39 posted on 02/29/2012 10:52:28 AM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: Carry_Okie; magslinger

I would have a serious concern for trying to combat the air flow cast off by a C-5 aircraft, penetrating that safely to land on aboard.

Beyond that, the air flow mechanics involved with the transition of exterior to interior air flow would seem to me to make this impossible.

Lift disappears when you transition from 150 to 250 mph exterior wind flow, to 5 to 10 mph interior atmosphere.

Perhaps you folks can explain away my misgivings, but I think that would be quite difficult.


40 posted on 02/29/2012 12:59:42 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: Carry_Okie; magslinger

I would have a serious concern for trying to combat the air flow cast off by a C-5 aircraft, penetrating that safely to land on aboard.

Beyond that, the air flow mechanics involved with the transition of exterior to interior air flow would seem to me to make this impossible.

Lift disappears when you transition from 150 to 250 mph exterior wind flow, to 5 to 10 mph interior atmosphere.

Perhaps you folks can explain away my misgivings, but I think that would be quite difficult.


41 posted on 02/29/2012 1:05:01 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: DoughtyOne

Sorry for the duplication. I’m getting a strange sign-in pop up when I post.


42 posted on 02/29/2012 1:06:24 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: rlmorel

Oh great. Thanks.


43 posted on 02/29/2012 1:07:53 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: Carry_Okie
Any breach would initiate an auto-destruct

Kewl, so for my air defense countermeasure, all I have to do is try to hack into your drones, and they self destruct?

We have air-to-air drones already. They're called AIM-120 AMMRAMs.

The Achilles' Heal to any drone is the control link. It doesn't have to be hacked. All the enemy needs to do is to jam the entire band. And especially with an air-to-air drone, your drone is a lot closer to my aircraft's ECM jammer than your drone is to your control satellite.

44 posted on 02/29/2012 2:03:01 PM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Carry_Okie
Your C-5 scenario was fine.  The ability to fly in a fleet of additional aircraft would be good.

If anyone's comment was bad, it was mine with this doozie, "Trouble is, is it practical to launch 1000 unmanned aircraft if you can’t recover them, bring them back to base?"  Okay, I'm going to go sit in the corner the rest of the day...  Out of self-interest I should allow you to think your C-5 comment caused this response.  It didn't.

The range of the X-47b is 2,100 miles. ? PDF  If our aircraft can leave the carrier battle group and hit their targets, land based drones could easily go out to the carrier group, conduct business, and return to base.  It was silly of me to address the drone as if it couldn't do this.  That one should go in my permanent personnel file.  ;^)

Imagine being able to station 900 miles off the coast of an adversarial nation, fly in the X-47b, do your business, and return the aircraft to the carrier battle group.  Nice!

I may be too much of a relic.  My gutt still says we need the F22.  You having agreed that we should extend the production, we're pretty much in agreement.  I'm not against the unmanned aircraft in total.  It's a fact they've been quite useful to us even at this stage of development.  What comes next, is anyone's guess, but the future does look bright.

I'm not quite as sure that they will as easily replace the traditional fighter, but we'll see.  They may in fact do so.  That's why I still support more F22s, but probably not the orginal figure.  By the end of their life span, we'll undoubtedly have something far superior, unless our nation implodes first.

I can easily see them (unmanned aircraft) conducting long range bombing missions.  It would seem to me that they could become the go-to choice for loitering off station for hours or days, with a nuclear deterent. ? records ? page bottom


It's doable. The combination of speed and maneuverability those birds would have would make the current (and possibly then some) generation of enemy A2A missiles practically useless.

I think that's a reasonble assumption.

Does that mean that weaknesses won’t be exploited to make unmanned aircraft a pipe dream that is defeated just as it’s promise is about to be realized?

I don't understand the question.

I have concerns about what took place with the aircraft downed in Iran.  There must not be a broad vulnerability or more aircraft would have been downed, and our fleet would be grounded.  It's still very troubling that we didn't think it necessary to destroy this aircraft.  I do not want to see China gifted this technology.

Will our sleuths devise a way to take command of unmanned aircraft away from their owners, or will they find ways to commandeer ours?


With spread spectrum communications, that would be truly difficult. Think of it this way (and I was thinking this in 1985): one could load a random frequency switching sequence from the launcher. NOBODY would know that sequence in advance. The enemy would have to acquire it in-flight or from the actual system that generated the sequence at launch (which could be shared in drabs should the flight extend beyond communications range), which would require them to predict the future of a random number sequence. Any breach would initiate an auto-destruct.

I like your premise.  The Iran downing leaves me wondering how close to this model we are actually incorporating into our equipment.

In the short term, I don’t think we commit either direction. We keep adequate forces of conventional aircraft, and seek to develop the umanned aircraft to their full potential.

I like the idea of finishing off the F-22 run while we do it. The X-29 project was enough ground work to make such a drone a slam dunk, that is, unless the contractors decide to make a money pot out of it. (Can't stand those people.)

I will admit that when it comes to the private sector corporations/contractors it does look like the costs are elevated to facilitate a better bottom line.

This is an industry that I don't attempt to second guess though.  The R&D, trouble shooting, and span of project involved, leaves me woefully inadequate to address with certainty what's really taking place.  It is easily discrenable that the costs look much worse when you do all the R&D, you begin manufacturing, and the government pulls the legs out before production is completed.  The R&D takes a long time.  Over those years, a lot of funds are spent.  Then as the numbers of aircraft roll of the line, the cost per unit declines.  Spread that cost for180 aircraft and it's bound to be a lot more than if we ran a full 800 unit production.

It also bothers me when we destroy all that tooling so it's harder to restart production.  It also bothers me to think that aviation companies may find the federal government to be such a bad business partner that they would simply refuse to be a part of the process for future aircraft.  If we truly do stop all F22 production, destroy our tooling, it will be thirty years before we have another aircraft of this complexity and value.  It's possible we never could.  The stepping stone aspects of building on from here are also immeasurably damaged.  Knowledge base vaporizes as people in the know move on or retire.


I will say, that if we put our eggs in the unmanned basked, and the command and control is compromised, we’re essentially defenseless in a matter of hours.

Talk about your doomsday scenario...

With as much fly-by-wire and target management technology we have in those birds now, practically, we're already there.

I'll admit to giving that some thought while developing my prior comments.

 - - - - - - -

I know you understand all this, but for conversation's sake I include it for those who don't.


45 posted on 02/29/2012 2:03:34 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: DoughtyOne
Daring young drone on the flying trapeze?

This isn't new tech.

46 posted on 02/29/2012 3:42:00 PM PST by magslinger (If I wanted to vote for a Commie I would vote for Obammie. He has a chance of winning.)
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To: magslinger; Carry_Okie

That’s true, but even here there was a real difficulty in getting the hook-up idea to work. And here, the aircraft remained in an exterior direct air flow situation.

Turbulence remains a serious issue.

If I understand correctly the intention here was to fly drones into the C-5 cargo compartment. If not, please correct me. No other explanation was offered.


47 posted on 02/29/2012 4:36:59 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: DoughtyOne; Yo-Yo
I would have a serious concern for trying to combat the air flow cast off by a C-5 aircraft, penetrating that safely to land on aboard... Lift disappears when you transition from 150 to 250 mph exterior wind flow, to 5 to 10 mph interior atmosphere.

First of all, one could tow drones and have them hook to a powered and fueled tether much as air refueling is currently done, but second, how about dragging a conveyor? Hook on and reel in. I don't think it would take that much model shop and tunnel time to cook up a working idea.

Don't get me started on AMRAAM. Not only is there a huge difference between a rocket and a jet, but I have really bad memories about that program.

48 posted on 02/29/2012 6:28:30 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The RNC would prefer Obama to a conservative nominee.)
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To: Carry_Okie

Perhaps a rigid conveyor could be devised to catch or hook-up with non human occupied aircraft. I still have a hard time seeing it, but I’m not an expert in the area.

I like thinking outside the box. The prospect of an airborne aircraft carrier is appealing. With the range of non human occupied aircraft improving significantly, the need may diminish in short order.

Here are my concerns.

1. The vortex coming off the C-5 body would be very turbulent. This would negatively affect control surfaces, causing severe buffeting and effective flight path bouncing and veering.

2. Aircraft flying into a C-5 bay would have to transition from 200 mph apx. airflow to that of a 1 to 2 mile airflow inside the vortex and bay.

3. A flexible conveyance would reel in the aircraft from outside the vortex to inside it and into the bay. All may work well until the aircraft is reeled within the vortex where wind speed drops drastically. At this point the aircraft looses lift and drops out. When it drops out, it falls below the level of the aircraft body, catching severe airflow and the resultant whipping or flapping in the winds. At that point the teather, the aircraft, and the C-5 in the vicinity of the reeled in aircraft becomes vulnerable.

4. A rigid conveyance would have to latch on to an aircraft that was being buffeted. Prior to and while hooking up, a negative impact could cause damage to the conveyor and or the trailing aircraft. If hookup could be achieved, the conveyance would be vulnerable to severe buffeting as a result of the dynamics hitting the aircraft as it was latched on and reeled in. With a heavy (relatively) body on the end of the conveyance, tremendous torquing would result.

I think it might be worthy of looking into trying to ingress aircraft from a newly created hole in the belly of the aircraft, forward enough that it would allow simultaneous activity in the back of the C-5 bay.

A leading flap might be necessary to prevent severe winds pouring into the C-5 bay.

The ‘landing’ aircraft could fly into a lowered catcher, that could grasp it and raise it into the interior.


49 posted on 03/01/2012 7:48:20 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Abortion? No. Gov't heath care? No. Gore on warming? No. McCain on immigration? No.)
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To: DoughtyOne
I think it might be worthy of looking into trying to ingress aircraft from a newly created hole in the belly of the aircraft, forward enough that it would allow simultaneous activity in the back of the C-5 bay.

Exactly what I was thinking. Make a carburetor throat out of it.

50 posted on 03/01/2012 8:09:59 AM PST by Carry_Okie (The RNC would prefer Obama to a conservative nominee.)
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