Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Faux-22 Raptor

Airframe and engines of the original. Budget: Fifty million a plane... but
  [vote for,

...we'll buy 500 of them.

They need to do the following:

1- Work.

2- Win 2 out of 3 dogfights with existing deployed Chinese and Russian aircraft.

We'll upgrade the aircraft as necessary following the model of the B-52, an aircraft that's been in service for decades. Supplementation of the basic aircraft may include:

Affordable versions of all the features the original F22 had.

Outrigger unmanned attack aircraft controlled by the "mother ship"

Any other magic we come up with budget permitting.

It does not need to possess VTOL, go underwater or turn a sandwich into a banquet. It's an air superiority fighter. It needs to beat up competing fighter planes, give them wedgies and take their lunch money. Nothing more.

If the Chinese or Russians come up with something better we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

doctorremulac3, Jul 31 2014

Concorde thread http://www.pprune.o...corde-question.html
[bs0u0155, Aug 01 2014]

Obscure confusing tumbleweed reference Tumbleweed_20Emoticon
Had to be there. [doctorremulac3, Aug 01 2014]


       $10.02 million per F119 engine. $29.96 million left.
bs0u0155, Jul 31 2014

       How much is the airframe?   

       LOL. I'm picturing the math leading to this:   

       "We have enough money left to drop a used Subaru Outback into the airframe. Actual flight may not be advisable."   

       The Faux Raptor will still have the raptor mascot but the drawing on the rudders will show him clipping coupons.
doctorremulac3, Jul 31 2014

       OK. How about this. The flyaway cost of an F104G is about $1.42 million in 1960 USD. So, a quick google suggests that's around $20 million in 2014. Which I think we can all agree is the development costs for the computer model of the wheel nut test jig on the F35.   

       Now, the F104 had a couple of well know problems, mainly a Dutch roll characteristic induced by the T-tail being nearly as big as the wings. So we're going to trim the tail down a bit*. Pilots may look a little worried at this point, but it's OK because we're going to fit the thrust vectored version of the EJ200 engine out of the Eurofighter to maintain pitch control (and trim during transonic center of lift changes).   

       Say that engine is $8 million (smaller/older than the F119). It gives us more 14% more dry and 14% more wet thrust** at 20%/16% less specific fuel consumption respectively. Even better, it's 760kg lighter.   

       So, we improved thrust to weight from 0.78 > 1.1 while dropping wing loading from 680 to 597 kg/m2 (ballpark F35).   

       Now, there's a great big chunk of fuselage behind the cockpit in the F104 that wasn't there on the prototype XF104. They filled it with the clockwork/steam powered spinning wheels necessary for computing something, anyhow that's now being taken care of by a smartphone taped to the pilot's helmet. In addition, the new engine's shorter.   

       So there's space, about 3 metres/9ft. How about a half fuel/half internal weapons bay? Should be able to fit some sidewinders in there, while increasing the internal fuel. Should be able to take the Combat/Ferry range up to 500/1900 miles.   

       Now, let's spend $10 million on Avionics, a couple more on some composite bits to handle the new higher top speed. Hopefully we can get some savings by reducing the component numbers, those 5D cnc milling machines can make all sorts of shapes.   

       There, faster, cheaper (10 fold), longer legs than the F35. Similar turning performance. All the problems are known. The F104 had a tiny RCS to start with. Now we've buried a smaller engine deeper in the plane and splashed some radar absorbing paint on it.   

       *should make it a Gnat's faster   

       **faster still
bs0u0155, Jul 31 2014

       Something else to add to the specs:   

       "The enemy should not know if they're dealing with a Faux-22 or the more capable F-22 until it's too late."   

       Joke: The Faux-22 is the one that sounds like a 68 Buick with a bad muffler. End of joke.   

       By the way, I say we bring back the F-104 for some jobs. You just want to go look at something and brandish a couple of air to air missiles, that'll get you there at mach 2. If you just want to spook a Tupolev Bear that's prowling too close to your beaches, they work just fine. Paint it with skulls and and stuff to make it scary looking. Or better yet, paint it with pandas and teddy bears to make them think we're crazy.
doctorremulac3, Jul 31 2014

       We might want to replace the F104's ejection seat too, I heard they don't work so well.   

       This is non-military related, but the idea of taking a classic, well performing aircraft and updating it with modern materials has been done. The Piper Comanche is a very popular plane for its range, efficiency and payload. There was a project to modernize it, which resulted in the Ravin 500. No doubt it's one of the best planes ever made, but it hardly saves any money. It's about 5x as much, and I suspect the same thing would happen if you updated the F104.
DIYMatt, Jul 31 2014

       They'd fixed the ejection seat by the end.   

       //It's about 5x as much, and I suspect the same thing would happen if you updated the F104//   

       5x would save about $100 million a plane, with no expensive surprises down the road.
bs0u0155, Jul 31 2014

       Concorde would be a great air superiority fighter.   

       It's max speed is limited only by temperature. Nothing a little titanium can't sort out. It had faster super cruise 40 years before the Raptor. It's range is about 4 fold more than any fighter. Lots of space for a big radar and internal weapons carriage.   

       The crew accommodation is such that no special flying suits would be required, and the availability of tea and biscuits would bring much needed calm to BVR engagements.
bs0u0155, Jul 31 2014

       //Concorde would be a great air superiority fighter.//   

       Baked, B1B Lancer
DIYMatt, Jul 31 2014

       The development cost was folded into the unit cost. If you separate the two you can easily churn out a thousand of them for 50 million a pop. I'm not sure about 500 but it seems at least feasible.

It's a HUGE advantage in old-style military industrial capacity that people don't think about when bemoaning the cost. If the US actually got into a fight with, say, Russia the plans for the most kickass fighter ever developed are sunk cost. We could make as many as needed for only the cost of manufacturing.

Voice, Jul 31 2014

       //F119// //EJ200// turbofans, pretty limited to Mach 1.6'ish, no ?
FlyingToaster, Jul 31 2014

       So, what's the cost of the support team that you need to maintain in order to trade off the VTOL capability? You know, the aircraft carrier upkeep, manning, maintenance, supporting fleet, home bases...   

       A couple hundred more F16's should do the trick nicely.
RayfordSteele, Jul 31 2014

       //Baked, B1B Lancer//   

       Except it's not, that was supposed to be the B1A. They never got the intakes right enough and as such it was limited to Mach 1.6 and couldn't cruise at high speed with anywhere near the efficiency. They eventually gave up on the B1A's high altitude role, the Gary Powers situation compounded the development issues. There's a great thread <link> on Concorde if you have a free afternoon.
bs0u0155, Aug 01 2014

       //turbofans, pretty limited to Mach 1.6'ish, no ?//   

       well, the F22 and the Eurofighter are happy at Mach 2. These are low bypass, and feature clever intake designs, pure turbojets are better at sustained supersonic speeds if you tune the intake. Again, see Concorde.
bs0u0155, Aug 01 2014

       While we're at it, bring back the English Electric Lightning, surely the most Awesome Jet Fighter Of All Time.
hippo, Aug 01 2014

       bs0u0155, dang dude, you seem too knowledgable about this stuff to be an amateur. You in the biz? My uncle was in the aircraft design business then worked for North American Rockwell on the Apollo command module. I hold aerospace pros in high regard. If you're part of the royal order, come out and take a bow.   

       And if not kudos anyway.   

       Me? I used to design model rockets when I was a kid....   


       Dang, how'd that tumbleweed get in here?
doctorremulac3, Aug 01 2014

       //If you're part of the royal order, come out and take a bow//   

       Nah, just a VERY enthusiastic amateur, albeit with family that worked for BAC and the RAF. Also got drunk in a NYC bar with an ex Concorde pilot once, was tremendous fun.
bs0u0155, Aug 01 2014

       I've mentioned it before, but I've got a silver Concorde money clip from somebody who actually flew on it. They gave them away free with purchase of the seven thousand dollar ticket. In other words, I'm a bit light on credentials myself. Just a fan of the art.
doctorremulac3, Aug 01 2014

       To save money, you could make them really small and just put them really, really close to the enemy.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 01 2014

       or far away and very very very big, on a pole, out of concrete. Concrete aircraft are very low maintenance.
bs0u0155, Aug 01 2014

       Perhaps it would make sense to develop drones with laser projectors to convince pilots that they are being attacked by very expensive planes.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 01 2014

       //we're going to fit the thrust vectored version of the EJ200 engine out of the Eurofighter //   

       No, you're not. They're ours, all of them, and we're keeping them. You want something like them, go make your own.
8th of 7, Aug 01 2014

       Well, the F35 B has a great big shaft sticking out the front of the engine delivering 29,000 odd horsepower to turn the lift fan. In the F35A/C this space is just an auxiliary fuel tank. Some have speculated that 29,000 odd horsepower could be turned into very much electricity. Some have proposed uses for this electricity. Such as MW class lasers. I think they'll use it to power a MaxCo laser projector. On entering an air to air engagement, the F35 will be able to project a convincing image of a much better fighter jet, and the opposition will run away.
bs0u0155, Aug 01 2014

       Simpler to project an image of whatever the opposition's flying, thus causing immense confusion.
8th of 7, Aug 01 2014

       //You want something like them, go make your own.// Shirley the US has developed VTOL jets? (And no, I don't mean that weird thing in the 1960s that took off and landed pointing upwards.)   

       //MaxCo laser projector// We are currently in the pre- antepenultimate phase of initial discussions concerning the future possibility of subsequent preliminary evaluations.   

       Actually, surely the most efficient use of lasers would be be to blind the enemy pilot? I mean, how hard can it be for an onboard computer to figure out where the enemy pilot is, and sweep the area? Kilowatts, rather than megawatts of laser would do it; multiple such lasers could be mounted on different parts of the attacking aircraft, to get the best chance of a "laser-to-eyeball" hit. The only defence against this would be to have cameras give the pilot a virtual, rather than direct view of the world.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 01 2014

       // They're ours, all of them//   

       It's Borg engine? I thought it was mostly Rolls Royce*?   

       * Of course, I joke. It was the Eurojet consortium. It's not like Rolls Royce designed, built and tested the whole thing and then a couple of European firms were allowed to decide the colour of the service manual binder, oh no.
bs0u0155, Aug 01 2014

       //The only defence against//   

       Actually, if you have a good idea about the wavelength you can just get some laser safety specs.   

       //this would be to have cameras give the pilot a virtual, rather than direct view of the world//   

       The F35 actually* has this.   

       The other use of a good energy weapon is to ruin the day of the average heat seeking missile.   

       * in theory
bs0u0155, Aug 01 2014

       //Actually, if you have a good idea about the wavelength you can just get some laser safety specs.//   

       Well, there are lasers whose frequency can be shifted.   

       But, in any case, there's a limit to what laser specs can do. If you want an OD much above 10 at a chosen wavelength (which you'd need, and more) they're going to seriously impair vision throughout the spectrum.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 01 2014

       100,000 radio-controlled foam models of the f-22, at $50 each, could provide a cost-effective alternative for many applications.
sninctown, Aug 01 2014


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