Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Nickname The New Joint Strike Fighter "The F-35 Baby Seal"

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Kind of ranty.

Ok I'm done.

doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014

America and it's allies give up the air superiority it's enjoyed since WW2 http://www.wired.co...09/us-stealth-figh/
A jet designed by bureaucracies [doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014]

F35 program cost http://www.reuters....USBRE82S03L20120329
[bs0u0155, Jul 30 2014]

War Costs (modern dollar equivalents included) http://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS22926.pdf
[bs0u0155, Jul 30 2014]

This guy's my hero. http://www.youtube....watch?v=Um0VCH3Z044
Designer of the F16/A-10 and now he makes jazz records. Really. [doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014]

Tail art for the F-14 http://www.williamm...mReapersTailArt.htm
Our old image [doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014]

Tail art for the F35 http://www.hdwallpa...13/01/Baby_Seal.jpg
Our new image [doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014]

More of the man on the subject http://www.youtube....watch?v=UQB4W8C0rZI
Keep in mind, this guy gave us two of the finest aircraft in the service. A very interesting interview. [doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014]

Air Superiority http://en.wikipedia...Atomics_MQ-9_Reaper
You really think it's going to involve manned aircraft? [MechE, Jul 30 2014]

The definitive scene on the utility of jet fighters http://www.youtube....watch?v=E47vdhGuRcc
[theircompetitor, Jul 30 2014]

F35 will dominate the skies http://www.theblaze...21st-century-skies/
[bs0u0155, Jul 31 2014]

But, but, the avionics are so coool! https://www.youtube...watch?v=Ay6g66FbkmQ
Nevermind that the real life avionics aren't working yet, so they had to fake the video. [DIYMatt, Jul 31 2014]

Early US canard design. data:image/jpeg;bas...PDGHHPkQAD44rl6AP/Z
[bs0u0155, Aug 04 2014]

Royal Naval traditions ... http://www.winstonc...-falsely-attributed
... some of which are more than a bit doubtful. [8th of 7, Aug 04 2014]

F-35 vs Typhoon http://www.business...-eurofighter-2013-2
[Voice, Aug 04 2014]

F-35 vs Typhoon http://www.aviatia....eurofighter-vs-f35/
The Eurofighter has better basic capabilities, the F-35 has better stealth and avionics. [Voice, Aug 04 2014]

Japanese F35 http://newsonjapan..../article/109015.php
[not_morrison_rm, Aug 13 2014]

Light Attack Aircraft http://www.defensei...-its-allies-010548/
[bs0u0155, Aug 13 2014]

(?) 1.2 million jet plane http://sportjetair.com/
[doctorremulac3, Aug 13 2014]

Well I'll be darned http://www.f-16.net...57a151b3a&mode=view
Semi baked. They call it the fighting seal, but same basic idea. [doctorremulac3, Nov 26 2014]

Head of US military kit-testing slams F-35, http://www.theregis...ming_the_f35_again/
says it's scarcely fit to fly [Loris, Apr 03 2017]

If the pilot is unconscious, they won't try silly high G turns... https://www.theregi...ots_report_hypoxia/
[bs0u0155, Jun 14 2017]

Just found this article https://www.navalga...e-Case-for-the-F-35
The Case for the F-35 [Loris, Jan 02 2023]

F-35 vs. F-16: The real truth about the infamous dogfight trials https://www.youtube...watch?v=R_aID6_naNU
[Voice, Jan 02 2023]

Let's see the F-35 going up against the F-22. https://www.operati...s-f-35-differences/
Ain't gonna see no 20 to 1 kill ratios. [doctorremulac3, Jan 02 2023]

Pierre Spray https://en.wikipedi...g/wiki/Pierre_Sprey
Pierre Michel Sprey was a record producer and a defense analyst. Working together with John Boyd and Thomas P. Christie at the Pentagon, he was a member of the self-dubbed 'Fighter Mafia', which advocated the use of energy–maneuverability theory in fighter jet design. [a1, Jan 02 2023]

And why does this gorgeous airplane get its name stolen? https://www.deviant...Lightning-258462295
Wasn't just beautiful, was respected and feared by its foes. Earned the nickname "Fork tailed devil". [doctorremulac3, Jan 07 2023]

I hear "Lightning Two" and this is what I picture. https://www.artstation.com/artwork/5XXgLW
[doctorremulac3, Jan 07 2023]

Another interesting mini documentary on the F-35 https://www.youtube...watch?v=ojPnp2hwqaE
[doctorremulac3, Jan 07 2023]

Mirror Coated F22 https://www.thedriv...g-out-of-nellis-afb
[bs0u0155, Jan 10 2023]

Flying sub https://www.youtube...watch?v=t9t_wFk0r_k
[doctorremulac3, Jan 12 2023]

Submarine aircraft carrier https://www.youtube...watch?v=y1DUxM-FtZ8
[doctorremulac3, Jan 12 2023]

Here's the design the F-22 won out over. https://www.youtube...watch?v=cNU0lixwwGw
[doctorremulac3, Jan 12 2023]

Very anti A-10 review. https://www.youtube...watch?v=jBzNKS-1ztU
Yea, except the tanks did all go to tank heaven. [doctorremulac3, Jan 12 2023]

What happens to a nuked tank https://tankhistori...169041-atomic-tank/
[bs0u0155, Jan 13 2023]

Customized A-10 https://www.faceboo...t=a.500584375531743
[doctorremulac3, Feb 11 2023]


       I'm sick of people being such Debbie-Downers on the F35. Just because the program is predicted to cost more than the Korean War, Vietnam War and Gulf War Mk 1 combined people assume it's expensive. But think about the capability it delivers. It's next level.   

       Take the F35C Navy variant for example, It represents clear progress. Back in the 70's the F14 was a Mach 2.3 air superiority fighter with a 500 mile combat radius and an AA missile that could go another 100 miles. By the 90's we replaced that heap of junk with the F/A-18 super hornet. Engineers used newer technology to clip the combat radius to 390 miles and speed to Mach 1.8. By thoughtfully replacing the missile systems with shorter range slower versions, the total interception range went down. The F35C is a Mach 1.6 aircraft that represents an amazing engineering feat: reducing range, speed, sustained turn rate, load capacity and visibility over the F14, in a package that provides unprecedented levels of uncertainty and frustration. It's not ALL about the money.
bs0u0155, Jul 30 2014

       The baby seal should keep the scythe. You know, continuity.
bungston, Jul 30 2014

       Now the A10, there's an aircraft.
bs0u0155, Jul 30 2014

       //The baby seal should keep the scythe. You know, continuity//   

       Unfortunately, the external carriage of weapons systems will compromise the inherently low radar cross section of the Baby Seal.
bs0u0155, Jul 30 2014

       You're ignoring stealth, turning radius, avionics, maintenance cost, unit manufacturing cost, future needs, situational awareness, rate of climb, and manufacturing flexibility but don't let me stop you.
Voice, Jul 30 2014

       I'm not ignoring those, Lockheed is.   

       Stealth is great until you get into close proximity, then it's an old fashioned dogfight. The fact that they've put a gun on this thing means they know that a dogfight is something it might get involved in. The F-35 with it's weight and small wings turns like a drunk cow. Can't turn, can't climb, can't run.   

       As far as flexibility, the jack of all trades, master of none axiom applies here.   

       My point is that we've put all of our eggs in a horrible basket. It's a great fighter that will come in a close second in any battle in engages in.   

       Not sure if you're kidding or not. Is anybody defending the F-35 at this point?
doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014

       [doc] when the military talks about meeting future needs, they mean limited operations in middle eastern countries where the F35 is very unlikely to get into dogfights with superior aircraft. With its avionics and radar it should be able to shoot down an old MiG-23 before they get into dogfighting range. Still, if they were planning for the future you would think that they would give it a longer range and better close air support capability, since that's basically all we do now.
DIYMatt, Jul 30 2014

       The problem with future needs is we don't really know what they are. Flexibilty would be helpful. Instead of a range of platforms with diverse characteristics, we have a single platform.   

       Because of all the demands, it's late and over budget. Because it's late, the tech is compromised. Both by Chinese espionage and by virtue of time.   

       Because of it's stealth, it's airworthiness is compromised. If you can see it then any good current fighter can catch it and kill it.
bs0u0155, Jul 30 2014

       F-35 costs $191 million minimum.   

       The MQ-9 Reaper costs $16.9 million, and can carry pretty much the same armament.   

       Yes, the UAVs aren't real great dog-fighters, or real fast, but they've got incredible range, and with 11 of them covering the same airspace as a single fighter, who do you think is going to win?
MechE, Jul 30 2014

       What's the saying about logistics vs tactics? Something like: the experienced commander considers logistics not just strategy and tactics." Seems like being able to afford this front line fighter in useful numbers should be weighed into the mix here.   

       If your enemy can buy 20 fighters for the cost of your one, you better be sure your one super quality fighter can shoot down about 20 in a confrontation. Seems like this thing might not even be able to win a 1 on 1.   

       I'm not an armchair general, just an armchair lieutenant colonel, so I defer to the experts on this. What they're saying about this thing has an ominous tone.   

       Probably time to go un-manned as MechE suggested.
doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014

       I just can't get over the STAGGERING cost. I think you'd be able to win a lot of air to air encounters by making it widely known that there's a $10 million cash prize and a green card for ejecting first.
bs0u0155, Jul 30 2014

       //$10 million cash prize and a green card for ejecting first//   

       That's how we got our hands on the vaunted Mig-25 Foxbat. I forget who it was who defected with one but I seem to remember he claimed to have not known about the reward. I also don't remember hearing anything about him turning down the reward when he heard about it.
doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014

       Viktor Belenko. Flew to Japan.
bs0u0155, Jul 30 2014

       We really are totally and utterly parasitized by the military industrial complex. The sickening thing is we know that we are unwell, we feel the drain, the creeping poverty, the diminishing resources, the constant unethical craving for conflict, but the thing has reached such an extent in our national body that to kill it would likely kill the organism itself so full of necrosis and pathogenesis it would be. If the American program is to build the most dangerous expensive munitions at any cost, then we will have to find some way to use them and at that point the government deserves to be put down like a rabid dog.
WcW, Jul 30 2014

       //most dangerous expensive munitions at any cost//   

       But it's not even that good. Worse, the program was started in '96, the prototype flew in '00. It won't be ready until 2016 at the earliest. 20 full years to develop a fighter jet. That's more time than it took us to fight both the Second World War and Korea. I just hope it's a cover for 25 super cool black projects or it's just the most ridiculous thing ever.
bs0u0155, Jul 30 2014

       For comparison, our front line fighter in 1945 was the P-51 Mustang. Two years later the amazing F-86 Sabre made its first flight. 6 years later we had our first supersonic fighter, the F-100 and the introduction of the century series fighters where we put out a new design every year or so.   

       I know this 5th generation stuff is pretty high tech, but I don't think it's just the technology that's the problem, I think it's the common sense that's lacking. All the cliche problems with bloated bureaucracies trying to do something. Mission drift, lack of focus, division even corruption. The bad guys might have these issues too but they're not as deep into their investments in new war tech as we are. Plus the R & D program for their stuff consists of paying relatively cheap spies to steal our ideas so being on the cutting edge as we are has it's drawback there too.
doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014

       The F-35 only has one advantage over drones, it being the pilot can get a duty free allowance, the drone being unmanned doesn't qualify.   

       From a revenue point of view, I'd recommend the drones, as the crew can take off the missiles and then fly ganja over the border, so recouping development costs much quicker than the F-35.   

       I can't imagine how much heroin the F-35 would have to sneak out of Afghanistan to make a reasonable contribution to whatever black-budget operations are going on.
not_morrison_rm, Jul 30 2014

       From an outsider perspective it looks less like an arms race and more like a badly misunderstood game of chicken; either we failed to realize that we are the last person standing on the tracks or we think the point of the game is to get hit by the train. 17 trillion dollars in national debt isn't line itemized to military adventures and hardware but there is an uncanny similarity between our national credit overrun and the cost of military spending since 1980. In point of fact the entire national deficit appears to be due to military spending alone. We have been putting it on our tab since Reagan.
WcW, Jul 30 2014

       Pretty easy to check that one. The vast mojority of government spending is entitlements.   

       Medicare/Medicade 25%   

       Social Security 24%   

       Income security (whatever that is, I'm pretty sure I get to pay for it but not receive it) 15%   

       Defense 18%   

       Interest on the debt to make sure the idle rich get more idle and richer 6%   

       So unless you're blaming Reagan for social programs and entitlements, not his fault.There are various pie charts out there but they all say about the same thing more or less.
doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014

       Who cares what else we spend on? If cutting per capta defense spending in half or even down to 1/4 (Russian levels) would have made us solvent in every year since 1980 then it's reasonable to point that out.
WcW, Jul 30 2014

       Erm, as an outsider (being non-American) I side with WCW...   

       I look back on pre-1941 America and it did seem to have its head much better screwed on......   

       Pretty much every military action after that didn't exactly end in victory, and overall a huge waste of cash and man-hours.
not_morrison_rm, Jul 30 2014

       //If cutting per capta defense spending in half or even down to 1/4 (Russian levels) would have made us solvent in every year since 1980...//   

       Not even close.   

       The budget deficit is 19%, defense spending is 18%.   

       I'm a fan of Eisenhower. He kicked Nazi ass but still called out the military industrial complex. I don't think being strong on defense means being mindless and we have done some stupid things.   

       But when judging with hindsight, gotta be careful in saying "I would have made all the right decisions." Was Korea a bad war? Same exact situation as Vietnam. If we had lost that the pschos in charge of the north would have enslaved the now free and prosperous country of South Korea.   

       Gets tricky.   

       The F-35 question however, is not in my opinion. We spend all our air defense dollars on this turkey we've got a real problem. And by the way, I'd love to support this thing, I can't even find anything saying good stuff about it. Some guy from the company making it said something like "We don't listen to guys who live in their mother's basement and wear slippers to work." Like the man behind the Warthog and the F-16? Didn't even defend the plane, just launched into an ad hominem attack against it's critics.   

       My mom doesn't have a basement and I don't even own a pair of slippers. As a 4 star armchair general I don't have to stand for that.
doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2014

doctorremulac3, Jul 31 2014

       //The Korean War was a proxy war and look at the results now// - Not sure if you're saying the NK regime is good, or the SK regime s bad, or what you're saying. I would argue that the Korean war, and the outcome now, was one of the (few) honourable conflicts entered into, although it wasn't exactly finished, was it?   

       //Like the man behind the Warthog and the F-16? Didn't even defend the plane, just launched into an ad hominem attack against it's critics.// Pretty sure I saw that same guy do like a 45 minute expose' on everything that is wrong with the F35 design, goals, project management, etc. Are we talking about the same guy that was referring to stealth technology being susceptible to older style lower frequency radar? If so he wa very much against the F35.
Custardguts, Jul 31 2014

       The F16 guy's the critic of the F35. The guy calling names was the head of the F35 program.
doctorremulac3, Jul 31 2014

       Presumably the F16 guy was criticised by the F4 guy, and so on back to flint knapping...
not_morrison_rm, Jul 31 2014

       Thank goodness the F22 worked out, at least we have one fighter that guarantee air superiority.
DIYMatt, Jul 31 2014

       The "F16 guy" is Pierre Sprey. He has some pretty mean things to say about the F4 actually (paraphrasing: "every feature of that plane is a fix for poor original design." About the Riverdale wings, anhedral tail and dorsal strakes ) He's got his own axes to grind, and his reputation isn't perfect (If someone could get Kelly Johnson's opinion, that would be helpful.... Seance?) However it's hard to disagree with his points about the fundamentals, esp regarding pilot experience. The F35 camp has one argument for everything: "it's slow"..... "Doesn't matter... Stealth and Super cool avionics" "it can't turn".... "Doesn't matter, stealth and super cool avionics". The argument suffers a little because they aren't working. 20 years in, and two Vietnam wars worth of cash and we have an airframe that is Vietnam-era in terms of performance. IF the stealth and avionics don't work out, then it will never be allowed anywhere dangerous, a fat ugly hangar queen. Even more worrying is the current capability. The F35 was supposed to be ready. It isn't. Maintenance costs for the F15/16 fleets will go through the roof as they age. I wonder if they factor that into the $1.4 trillion program cost.
bs0u0155, Jul 31 2014

       ////If cutting per capta defense spending in half or even down to 1/4 (Russian levels) would have made us solvent in every year since 1980...//   

       //Not even close.
The budget deficit is 19%, defense spending is 18%.//

       Hmmm. 3/4 of 18% is 13.5%, so you'd need an extra 5.5%. You've stated that 6% of the budget is servicing the national debt, and as that's grown you're obviously paying more. (All other things being equal - obviously they're not, but I suspect they're actually worse...)   

       Looking at a randomly chosen chart online, the US national debt has gone up from a smidge under 2 trillion in 1980 to something over 7 trillion dollars (using year 2000 inflation corrected dollars). If you'd not overspent in the early 80s then you'd now be saving at least 5/7*6% ~= 4.3% .   

       Obviously there are a lot of variables not accounted for, but it looks rather close to me.
Loris, Jul 31 2014

       Well, as far as the budget, the "we're broke because of Reagan" concept can be addressed by numbers, the first one being over half of our expenditures are on entitlements 1/5th on defense. Kind of silly to go beyond that. Might want to check how much the national debt has gone up under our current non- Regan president. Do all discussions come full circle to Democrat vs Republican? They both spend too much, that's one of many reasons I'm a Libertarian.   

       //a fat ugly hangar queen// LOL. Well put.   

       Isn't there some way we can dumb down the F-22 and make it financially viable? Maybe that should be the next post. It's got a spectacular airframe. Super cruise, very maneuverable, beautiful. Can't this thing be salvaged? Can we get it without the leather seats and walnut dashboard?
doctorremulac3, Jul 31 2014

       ///If cutting per capta defense spending in half or even down to 1/4 (Russian levels) would have made us solvent in every year since 1980...//   

       //Not even close.   

       At the risk of paranoia...if you include all the black bag projects, then add on not paying Snowden his bonus this year...
not_morrison_rm, Jul 31 2014

       LOL. That's a funny-ass link TC.   

       "What are the chances of war between the two sides?"   

       "Very good sir."
doctorremulac3, Jul 31 2014

       //we can dumb down the F-22 and make it financially viable//   

       Well, you could probably cover it in less fragile/expensive paint at the expense of stealth, delete the thrust vectoring, turn the wick down on the engines for lifespan. Then you'll end up with a very capable slightly cheaper plane. Trouble is, you've made an F15, and they already exist. And you'll never get an F15/22 off a carrier.
bs0u0155, Jul 31 2014

       //Well, as far as the budget, the "we're broke because of Reagan" concept can be addressed by numbers, the first one being over half of our expenditures are on entitlements 1/5th on defense. Kind of silly to go beyond that.//   

       Since that looks like it's addressed at me I'd point out that I'm not making any sort of party-political point.
The fraction of other portions the total are irrelevant - what matters to me is whether WcW's claim is correct or not.
To be completely clear : How much money was spent in the US federal budget elsewhere is not at issue. It don't matter whether it's more or less.

       here is the relevant part of WcW's comment:
:: cutting per capta defense spending in half or even down to 1/4 (Russian levels) would have made us solvent in every year since 1980::

       I interpret this:   

       Suppose we reduced US military spending to 1/4 of the known figures for the years 1980..2014, and make no other budget changes (except to deal with any leftover money by paying off debt) - would this have reduced the budget deficit to zero (or less) every year?   

       This is actually a tricky question. To begin with, it seems reasonable to me to reduce the debt for each subsequent year because of the money saved on interest payments.   

       I'm not going to look at the figures any more right now - partly because I found a website listing quite different values for the year 2013 (actual spending on military was 24% or so and seemed to generally increase the further back I went).   

       It seems clear to me that this wouldn't actually happen; politicians tend to spend money for their successors to owe. But still, it seems like a reasonable point about military spending. One can easily make a similar point about healthcare vs your debt - but that's not strictly relevant to very expensive fighter planes.   

       (Just in case you're wondering, I live in the UK, which also has a growing national debt and pisses away ridiculous amounts of money on crappy military hardware.
We bought aircraft carriers on the never-never which need to be refitted to launch your delux F-35s at a cost of more than the original price.)
Loris, Jul 31 2014

       //Might want to check how much the national debt has gone up under our current non- Regan president.//   

       If you do, make sure to look at the first derivative as well. (Hint, the deficit has been shrinking more quickly than any previous president, after growing more quickly than any previous under the prior one).   

       Oh, and the US could cut it's military spending in half, and still be spending 16% more than Russia and China (the next two) combined. I believe you can safely argue that military spending is not responsible for all of our debt, but it's hard to argue that it's justified in today's world. Especially if you figure what the same amount spent on pure R&D would do to both our GDP and war fighting capability if it came to it.
MechE, Jul 31 2014

       Now, a fleet of new-build F14s could work. Throw in the F119 engines from the F22 and you gain at least 12,000lb more thrust. A couple of composite panels here, diverterless inlet there, some off the shelf avionics of the more recent F15 vintage. Done. You'd have a faster aircraft with about 10% more range from the engine alone. The increased thrust would make is a better dogfighter, you could fit pretty much any radar on it and hang pretty much any weapon off it.
bs0u0155, Jul 31 2014

       //you gain at least 12,000lb more thrust//   

       You might have to reinforce the air-frame a bit.
MechE, Jul 31 2014

       //(Hint, the deficit has been shrinking more quickly than any previous president, after growing more quickly than any previous under the prior one).//   


       Anyway, the F22 had about the shortest service life of any deployed fighter. I think about six years. I propose we depoloy the F35 tomorrow and retire it next week to great fanfare talking about how it swept the skies free of enemy fighters for the period from July 31st 2014 to August 6th 2014. Call it the "Week of Aerial Domination!". (pronounce it with an echo like in all star wrestling. "DOMINATION-ATion-ation!   

       Then we do the same thing with the F-22 that we did with the B-52. Take a sound airframe and update as necessary (hell, hollow it out except for the engines and stick an F-18 in it) and get some shelf life from this thing. Like you say, the engines alone are worth working around.   

       I'm only half kidding with this idea.
doctorremulac3, Jul 31 2014

       //You might have to reinforce the air-frame a bit//   

       Not really, it's not a very big percentage jump. Engine upgrades in jets rarely need structural changes, look at the F104. The J79 grew in thrust by 30% between versions A and G.   

       The F14 is tough because it was designed as a carrier aircraft. Catapult launches, and hard landings, they're bad for airframes, a few thousand pounds of smooth tourque-free thrust will just mean the nosewheel will be pulled more gently by the catapult.
bs0u0155, Jul 31 2014

       Some pro F35 propaganda for balance. <link>.   

       I particularly like the "blazing" top speed of Mach 1.6... " It’s named after the World War II twin-prop Lockheed P-38 Lightning." Because mentioning the English Electric Lightning (which it's also kind of named after) would reveal it's blazingly crap top speed.
bs0u0155, Jul 31 2014

       Under the new Draft Your Own Government program, I choose you guys to run the nation and manage our air fleet. Carry on.   

       Your pay is largely incentive based, and mostly back loaded based on long term performance of key criteria.
normzone, Jul 31 2014

       I need a 6 week vacation starting today and a raise retroactive to when I was born.
doctorremulac3, Jul 31 2014

       I'm going to need my own jet. Got to have first hand experience of the equipment.
bs0u0155, Jul 31 2014

       Oh yea, me too.
doctorremulac3, Jul 31 2014

       A selection of previous-generations' offerings from various countries for comparisons.   

       "Honey, should I take the Starfighter or the Foxbat today ? I know you wanted to go grocery-shopping ..."   

       ... and a Vulcan for carpooling when everybody's schedules line up; can't be too environmentally conscious.
FlyingToaster, Jul 31 2014

       From what I remember, maybe 80 billion of our defense budget is r&d, with another 150 billion for procurement. Salaries, maintenance, and ops make up the lion's share of the 600 billion. As far as cutting that in half, I don't know that you want to model your personnel salaries on the practices of China or Russia.
RayfordSteele, Jul 31 2014

       Lockheed Martin have been chosen as the sole contractor* for the T-16 Skyhopper. They will begin assembling all known knowledge on the subject of Skyhopper type vehicles into a big folder marked "conventional wisdom". They will burn it. Then, they will spend a trillion dollars and 10 years beating the flawed prototype with a big hammer marked "engineering" until it works.   

       *because... er... stealth!!
bs0u0155, Aug 04 2014

       The: "It's got stealth, it doesn't need to be good in a dogfight." axiom is eerily similar to the "It's got stand-off air to air missiles, it doesn't need a gun for dogfights." boner of the 1960s. After this ivory tower smarty pants concept met the real world, they put a gun pod on the F4 on the off chance that it actually might go into combat. Unfortunately, there's no add on to give a plane a tighter turning radius and faster rate of climb. Start improving the ejector seat I suppose.   

       Did I say the two ideas are similar? It's the exact same concept. "We'll win every fight before the enemy even gets close." It's like a boxer practicing only to win the fight with the first punch. That's great unless that first punch misses. Then you might want to have some footwork, defensive moves and stamina in case the fight lasts more than ten seconds.
doctorremulac3, Aug 04 2014

       Have you all considered buying Eurofighters instead?   

       Admittedly, the Eurofighter suffers from a 30% greater speed, better avionics, greater supersonic acceleration and better turning than the F-35, not to mention the fact that it may one day be blighted by VTOL capability. Oh, and it's also cursed by being available and operational. But, on the plus side, I believe it's available with a burr-walnut dash and Connolly leather ejector seat.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 04 2014

       4th generation, no stealth. I make fun of stealth when it's put on crappy planes but it's still a necessity for modern aircraft.   

       Pretty though.
doctorremulac3, Aug 04 2014

       Well, if nobody knows it's there, what's the point in having it?   

       But cancel that - I just discovered that the Eurofighter is about 2/3rds of the currently- expected price of the F-35. Clearly, this is undesirable - after all, you don't want to look cheap, do you?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 04 2014

       You see what you get for 2/3rds the price though? Some wag has gone and put the tailfins on the front of the plane.
RayfordSteele, Aug 04 2014

       //Some wag has gone and put the tailfins on the front of the plane//   

       We learned from the best.... <link>
bs0u0155, Aug 04 2014

       //We learned from the best.... <link>//   

       Yet another case of a cost saving measure. You see, they really weren't sure which way was front, and doing two separate tests would have been much more expensive.
MechE, Aug 04 2014

       //Have you all considered buying Eurofighters instead?//   

       It's actually staggering that the Eurofighter ended up being a good aircraft. It followed the classical route to military procurement disaster, namely involving lots of different people with lots of different priorities and requirements, then CHANGING those repeatedly.   

       No amount of wishful thinking will ever get a Typhoon off a carrier though.
bs0u0155, Aug 04 2014

       //No amount of wishful thinking will ever get a Typhoon off a carrier though.//   

       The existing Typhoon can already take off from a carrier with a "ski-jump" ramp (as often used by Harriers). And with a full weapons load.   

       If the vectored thrust variant is produced (which, apparently, depends on demand), it'll be able to land too.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 04 2014

       The next time we get in a serious shooting war with someone who's aircraft are actually a serious threat, we'll have absolutely top line fighters coming off the lines about two years after it's over.
MechE, Aug 04 2014

       Getting aircraft off and back onto an aircraft carrier reliably is really hard. The USN, for all it's faults* is VERY good at it. Practice is the key element. If you repeatedly slam an aicraft into a solid surface, you will break it. If the aircraft was not designed for such slamming, you will break it very fast. There's no retrofitting slam-suitability. For a case study, see the Seafire. It often works the other way around, Buccaneer, F14 etc.   

       Ski jumps aren't magic. If you want a fully loaded fighter jet to fly, it needs a couple of hundred knots of air over it's wings. The boats gets you 30+ of those the rest is better coming from a catapult. If you don't want the catapult, then the trick is to under load. You can do that with quite a bit of weaponry. But you take off with no fuel, then meet your tanker in the sky. That is however, quite a lot of faffing around. The catapult gets your plane, weapons and fuel all headed in the right direction.   

       * mainly their institutionalized anti-gin stance.
bs0u0155, Aug 04 2014

       //institutionalized anti-gin stance. //   

       Errr, <cough>, that only tends to apply to enlisted crew, err, the attitude in some wardrooms is a little more, err <cough>, flexible ... <cough>.   

       // If you repeatedly slam an aicraft into a solid surface, you will break it. //   

       This is undeniably true. Also, if you do it with someone else's aircraft, they can become really quite tetchy.
8th of 7, Aug 04 2014

       //gin// horrible stuff that; like paint remover, but without the piquant bouquet. Rum, on the other hand...
FlyingToaster, Aug 04 2014

       Ah, rum ... one of the more socially acceptable traditions of the RN ...   

8th of 7, Aug 04 2014

       // like paint remover// You do? You really must try gin.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 04 2014

       [MechE] If history is to judge that's a painful truth. Although to be fair we never know which attributes will be most valuable and neither will they. If I had money it would be on autonomous UAV fighters.
Voice, Aug 04 2014


       "Human beings are too intrinsically unreliable to ever be effectively replaced by machines"*   

       The fact that humans sometimes do bizarre, illogical things that "seem like a good idea at the time" mean that it's going to be a very, very long time before autonomous UAVs become useful.   

       There are autonomous fire-and-forget missiles, and they often miss. Programming a set of algorithms for flying a fast fighter, including integrating all the sensor inputs, then building a processor system small enough and cool-running enough to fit in a fighter airframe and still fast enough to run the code in real time is a challenge that many air forces have been contemplating for decades.   

       The primary benefit is that an automated system can pull more g.   

       The Mk. 1 human averages around 75 kilos mass, and is quite inexpensive to manufacture, as well as being expendable. That's the target you've got to beat.   

       *A very small prize may (but probably won't be) awarded to the reader who successfully identifies the origin of that quote.
8th of 7, Aug 04 2014

       I object to your characterization of a combat pilot as a mark one human. Not only is he evolved past at least five stages of protohumans also able to wield tools, the social progress required to create him involved the development of formal education, more advanced education techniques, writing, advanced math, nutrition, hygiene, information technology, advanced governments, flight, and flight simulation. Furthermore she is uniquely capable among other humans.   

       The development of a modern fighter pilot has involved numerous revolutions far beyond the mark one human that once scratched in the dirt.
Voice, Aug 05 2014

       //advanced education techniques, writing, advanced math, nutrition, hygiene, information technology,//   

       Hygiene? They pee right there in the cockpit.
bs0u0155, Aug 05 2014

       And if the combat situation is sufficiently intense, other functions involving sphincter relaxation as well …
8th of 7, Aug 05 2014

       I guess we shouldn't be too hard on the F-35 - it was a jolly good effort. And let's not forget that it was Americans who invented the jet engine, radar and all those other things, as [8th] will confirm.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 05 2014

       He's not going to fall for that one...   

       //Eurofighter has better basic capabilities, the F-35 has better stealth   

       Aha, so a Eurofighter with a false beard would be the perfect solution..   

       //Hygiene? They pee right there in the cockpit.   

       Hmm, so a coin-operated urinal might help re-coup some of the costs?
not_morrison_rm, Aug 05 2014

       // a Eurofighter with a false beard would be the perfect solution. //   

       Only if you're in a hurry. A Eurofighter with a real beard, glasses, and a change of hair cut and colour would be even better, plus you could sort out some fake ID.   

       // Americans who invented the jet engine, radar and all those other things, as [8th] will confirm. //   

       <Steam pressure 35 Bar and rising rapidly>
8th of 7, Aug 06 2014

       //Steam pressure//   

       The harnessing of which is yet another entry in the logbook of American innovation.
bs0u0155, Aug 06 2014

       Yes, amazing they had time really, after all they must have been quite busy winning WW1 and WW2 single-handed ...
8th of 7, Aug 06 2014

       //WW1 and WW2 single-handed ...   

       Fairs fair, I believe they may have used both hands at some point.   

       Weird isn't it, if they fight alongside someone, it more or less tends to work out, whereas the solo trips eg Vietnam, Mogadishu, Gulf War II do tend to go pear-shaped very quickly....
not_morrison_rm, Aug 06 2014

       Pretty sure Vietnam started as fighting alongside the French.
MechE, Aug 06 2014

       The words "case" and "rest" spring to mind there.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 06 2014

       //Weird isn't it, if they fight alongside someone, it more or less tends to work out,//   

       Ugh, tired nonsense.   

       Korea had a whole bunch of people involved, Gulf War 1 and 2 both had significant contributions from UK, Australian, NZ and Polish troops among others. Basically the same teams for both wars with different results.   

       Gulf War 1 was very interesting with regard to it's effects. The Soviet Union watched with great interest as the 4th largest army in the world with Soviet equipment, direct Soviet training, Soviet doctrine, on home soil with genuine combat experience (Iran-Iraq war) lined up against a coalition expeditionary force.   

       They got rolled up in a week, the speed of the advance was limited only by how fast the tanks could go. Casualties were about what you'd expect for a training exercise. At that point the USSR military knew the jig was totally up. USSR lasts a few more months.
bs0u0155, Aug 06 2014

       // I believe they may have used both hands at some point. //   

       Indeed, it's well documented; they used them to pull their pants up after they were caught with them down at Pearl Harbour. After that, they kept at least one hand in a back pocket at all times, lest they lose track of where their buttocks are.   

       // if they fight alongside someone, it more or less tends to work out, //   

       <sotto voce>   

       Montgomery ... Montgomery... Montgomery ... <snigger>   

       </sotto voce>   


       // alongside the French. //   

       "alongside" ... yup, there's your mistake, right there. You need to make sure you're behind that bunch of smelly perfidious cowardly cheese- munching arse-bandits, so that they don't either (a) run away or (b) (more likely) take you from behind at an inopportune moment, although if you keep a few goats and camels around you're fairly safe. As to the repulsive smell, well, the goats and camels will just have to learn to put up with it.   

       It's a truism that it's better to have them inside the tent, pissing out. The problem is actually teaching them to piss outside the tent at all, which is Lesson 15 to 27 in the Advanced course, Lesson 1 to 14 being exclusively devoted to Learning Not To Shit On Your Own Doorstep (Most of them never even make it to the Advanced course).
8th of 7, Aug 06 2014

       It's fun, isn't it, to revise history?   

       No one seriously thinks the US singlehandedly won the world wars. No one seriously thinks the US military has never lost a war. But you're trying to vastly inflate relatively minor losses in order to claim the US military is actually incompetent.   

       To get back to reality: holding land in a faraway place against the will of the populous is a difficult proposition for any military and as far as doing so with minimal loss of life and with focus on achieving its ultimate goals the US does at least as well as other countries Not well at all, but relative to other countries performances just fine. Do you REALLY want to talk about the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Spanish occupation of Mexico, the British occupation of Africa, or other (snicker) colonies?   

       I know you UK chaps are bitter about being shown how imperialism is done in the modern era but revising history only makes you look weaker.
Voice, Aug 06 2014

       // No on seriously thinks the US singlehandedly won the world wars //   

       Well, fair enough, no-one outside Hollywood seriously thinks the US singlehandedly won the world wars ...   

       // the US military is actually incompetent. //   

       ... but in reality no worse and in many ways better than every other military force on your planet, without exception.   

       // Do you REALLY want to talk about the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Spanish occupation of Mexico, //   

       Ooooh, yes please .... "Compare and contrast the methodologies of succesive colonial powers in the Phillipine Archipelago..."   

       // the British occupation of Africa, //   

       ... which really rather well for the British ...   

       // how imperialism is done in the modern era //   

       You mean "badly" ?
8th of 7, Aug 06 2014

       Why yes, I suppose depending on your definitions you could characterize US imperialism to be done badly. I mean as long as your sole metric is maximizing of pain and death.   

       The British method was shortsighted, required excessive force to maintain, and cost too much. You certainly wrote the book on how to conquer the world but the ending chapters were pretty sad as far as political power goes. Oh sure Canada officially bows to the Queen but Chinese children have spent 30 years making trinkets for the US. Africa sent coal, iron, and gold to dear old England but Japan sent their very best automobiles to the US, at the end of a production chain spanning the world. When the US and UK both wanted middle eastern oil who got the shorter end of the stick? Where does Canadian oil go?   

       You may have stolen a potato crop or two from Ireland but Mexicans willingly risk their very lives to cross the border and pick vegetables for the US. No guns are needed. Imperialism by monetary control is more effective, more efficient, easier to maintain, and cheaper than the British brand of blatant thuggery. Our thuggery is a hundred times better.   

       The US wields pens where the UK once wielded swords. THAT's the difference.
Voice, Aug 06 2014

       British imperialism was avowedly capitalistic. You might argue in fact that the real reason it failed was the same reason it, for a short time, succeeded: it was an empire of transition carved by a combination of soon-to-be outmoded militarism and under developed capitalism. The Americans rode the wave better later, for a number of reasons.
calum, Aug 06 2014

       // Where does Canadian oil go? //   

       Analysis using a gas chromatograph - mass spectrometer conclusively shows that it's mixed 2:1 with regular houserhold bleach and then packaged in bottles labelled "Canadian Club".   

       Collation of reports from pathologists and coroners prove that the tailings from the process are sealed into cans labeled "Molson" and airfreighted to the retail outets to allow the product a short self- life before the contents eat their way through the metal of the can.
8th of 7, Aug 06 2014

       //Canadian Club// granted ; the phosphoric acid in colas does help keep the BOD down to manageable levels, though. Stir well, plug nose.   

       //Molson// Because Yer S'posed To Keep It Refrigerated, idjits: the palate kicks in at the same time ice crystals do. Warm beer is for teenagers with neither self respect, nor tastebuds.
FlyingToaster, Aug 06 2014

       //claim the US military is actually incompetent.   

       Just a little over-optimistic. With a fatal attraction to being in countries with porous border, and a population who aren't onside.   

       It's kind of like the Japanese, getting into the military colonialism bit far too late, yes, financial colonialism is a lot more effective.
not_morrison_rm, Aug 06 2014

       Cultural imperialism is even better, and you can actually make money from it.   

       Thanks to television, movies and the internet, the number one choice for a second language in non-English speaking countries is English. Teaching "English as a foreign language" is a huge business worldwide, and there's still a gigantic untapped market where millions of people can understand some English, but can't speak it.   

       It's called "The U.S.A." ...
8th of 7, Aug 07 2014

       And on which city block anywhere in the Isles do you consider the local dialect as 'English?' And how does this linguistic gold standard differ from the French attitude and approach?   

       However, America, at present, is stymied by nothing more than the arrival of a few thousand children at its doorstep, and the rise of the ignorant and proud to power.   

       Finally, given the choice at the time, I would rather have been under British colonialism than French, Spanish, Portugese, or Dutch.
RayfordSteele, Aug 08 2014

       Just a quick one.. Japan is making its own version of the f35....complete with tatami in the cockpit and green tea machine..see link.   

       Suspect this might do a Detroit on GE, or whoever it is that makes the F35.
not_morrison_rm, Aug 13 2014

       Re link: The video shows an F-16 knockoff. I think it even have F16 on the side with the 16 crossed out and a 28 written in next to it.   

       Did I just click the wrong video?   

       It also occurred to me the same minds that came up with this piece of junk came up with the name. "Let's call it the Lightning!" "There's already a plane called that." "Oh, then that would be stupid. Let's call it the Lightening two!".   

       Although it must be said, a 300 million stealth flying dump truck is just what we need to fight terrorists in the streets which is what we're looking at doing for the next hundred years.
doctorremulac3, Aug 13 2014

       //I would rather have been under British colonialism than French, Spanish, Portugese, or Dutch//   

       [8th] you handle the paperwork, I'll get a pen.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 13 2014

       A pleasure, [MB].   

       // Japan is making its own version of the f35 //   

       Unsurprisingly, it has a modified navigation system, optimised for crashing at full speed into U.S. aircraft carriers …
8th of 7, Aug 13 2014

       I bet it has an upgraded camera system too.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 13 2014

       //optimised for crashing at full speed into U.S. aircraft carriers//   

       I'd have gone with: "Structural modifications to enable carrier landings" Tomaytoe/Tomahto
bs0u0155, Aug 13 2014

       // Structural modifications //   

       ... as in sharpening the nose cone, replacing the radar with a block of RDX, disabling the "undercarriage down" function, and fitting a hachimaki dispenser in the cockpit ?
8th of 7, Aug 13 2014

       //Although it must be said, a 300 million stealth flying dump truck is just what we need to fight terrorists in the streets which is what we're looking at doing for the next hundred years//   

       Actually, that's where light attack aircraft come in. The US are getting a bunch <link>. Very unglamerous stuff, but whenever the US has had a light attack aircraft they find shedloads of uses for them. From the A1 skyraider to the Super Tucano they do a great job of getting the fancy munitions to where they need to be in a robust, cheap, easy-to-fly package. The RAF should get a bunch too. We already fly the old Tucano as a trainer.
bs0u0155, Aug 13 2014

       //Very unglamerous stuff//   

       I love cheap and effective. Minimum money necessary to do the job.   

       Heck, check out the link with the 1.2 million jet. Throw a minigun in the nose and a couple of hard points on these bad boys and give 'em to the Kurds for instance.
doctorremulac3, Aug 13 2014

       //Nickname The New Joint Strike Fighter "The F-35 Baby Seal"   

       Read that as "...the f-35 baby seat"..due to lack of coffee this morning.   

       it would be nice to see this kind of thing to help working mothers pursue a career in the military.
not_morrison_rm, Aug 13 2014

       Just found out this is somewhat baked.   

       At least we've got a sense of humor in leu of air superiority. (see link)
doctorremulac3, Nov 26 2014

       //a 300 million stealth flying dump truck is just what we need   

       cuts to driver walking around, arms outstretched trying to find the damn truck again..
not_morrison_rm, Nov 26 2014

       1972: F-15: 1,650 mph.   

       2006: F-35: 1,199 mph.   

       Shouldn't we be going the other direction here?   

       And I guess that extra mile per hour to make it an even 1,200 would have cost an extra billion.   

       Ok, that's enough F-35 bashing, I just wanted to put up the cute logo they created for it that I found.
doctorremulac3, Nov 27 2014

       //1972: F-15: 1,650 mph.   

       2006: F-35: 1,199 mph.   

       Shouldn't we be going the other direction here? //   

       you missed important details:   

       1972: F-15: 1,650 mph   

       1976: Concorde: 1,350 mph (dry thrust mach 2 supercruise w/Champagne)   

       TBD: F-35: 1,199*   

       *engine fires permitting
bs0u0155, Dec 02 2014

       //1976: Concorde: 1,350 mph (dry thrust mach 2 supercruise w/Champagne)//   

       United States state of the art space vehicle 1969: Apollo lunar lander/Saturn 5, capable of manned round trip to the moon.   

       United States state of the art manned space vehicle 2014: Not sure, but it's made in Russia.
doctorremulac3, Dec 02 2014

       Well at least SpaceX is using its own made in the USA rocket engines. And it sounds like their plans with the Falcon Heavy could eventually put the USA back in the lead for space launch capability.   

       I'm a little torn about having the leader in space be a private company rather than being controlled by the citizens of the USA, but at least I feel I understand the motives of private industry (money and pride), as apposed to political wrangling and trying to please the voters. I expect that SpaceX is managed more efficiently than NASA is.
scad mientist, Dec 02 2014

       // controlled by the citizens of the USA //   

       Sp. "Controlled by the Military-industrial complex, the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Mormons, Majestic-7 and the Disney corporation …"
8th of 7, Dec 02 2014

       //a little torn about having the leader in space be a private company   

       It is very Heinlein though, all his stuff was capitalism-orientated...
not_morrison_rm, Dec 02 2014

       Well, something's got to replace NASA. They don't do space any more. They should change their name to NAA. Not an acronym, just as an answer to the question "Are you guys planning on ever doing anything useful ever again?"   

       Actually the National Administration Association would be an appropriate title for this useless beaurocracy. "What do you guys administrate?" "The association." "The association of what?" "Administrators."
doctorremulac3, Dec 03 2014

       Actually, thinking about this more, I'm fully in support of rockets being built by private industry. That actually makes more sense than the "Baby Seal" being built by private industry. I don't think it's even allowed for a private citizen or corporation to buy a fighter jet, but with proper regulatory approvals any corporation or individual could contract with SpaceX to launch a communication satellite. Since the government isn't the only customer for SpaceX, they have the option of saying no to the government, possibly resulting in good designs instead of Baby Seals.   

       If the government decides to fund space research (probably managed through NASA), using "off the shelf" commercial rockets, that sounds pretty reasonable.
scad mientist, Dec 03 2014

       ALL dogfights take place under supersonic speed, and efficient maneuvering is as important as fast turning.
Voice, Jan 02 2023

       Thank you for the link V, I had also seen that. Good stuff.   

       This isn't new, during the Vietnam war stand off weapons were said to be the wave of the future and dogfights relegated to WW1 movies about the Red Baron. The F4 Phantom was equipped with missiles but no gun, because, the future.   

       Then they went into combat. An F4 that shot all it's missiles was a sitting duck, at the pilots insistence a gun pod and later an incorporated gun was included in the design.   

       I see no difference with this system. It'll work great until it doesn't. I think it's a great design that'll come in a solid second place every time.   

       I'm reminded of Mike Tyson's great quote that's very applicable here: "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."   

       The F-22 should have been the last 5th generation fighter before moving into mass / semi autonomous drone warfare. Cheap and impossible to shoot down simply because there's a thousand more where that came from.   

       I hear that in the failed F35 trials they basically sent up a turd on purpose, but that's an expensive turd thats' gonna get its ass whipped when it goes against a swarm of a million CCP attack drones.   

       Hate to be a negative Nelly but I hate this thing.   

       I'm reminded of back when the British Navy thought battleships were the backbone of naval power and subs were lowly cheaters with jolly bad form.   

       Let's see an F-22 vs F-35 test, although in my drone swarm match they both get annihilated. Unfortunately.
doctorremulac3, Jan 02 2023

       Doc, did you see my link above that, which is what initially churned this? Regarding the all-drone concept, it argues against.
Loris, Jan 02 2023

       I'll check it out, stand by...   

       Okay, very good, I'm familiar with this info, and very good link, thank you, but I've still got concerns.   

       One is that they're repeating a mistake I've seen before, "a jack of all trades, master of none" like was seen with the F-111 that was supposed to be a ground attack aircraft, a strategic bomber, even an air to air combat capable aircraft that didn't do any of those things well.   

       My hero (and person I refer to on such matters) is the guy who designed the F-16 and Warthog. Big believer in having specific roll aircrafts. By the way, he's not a fan of the F-22 and runs a jazz record label now which I also think is very cool.   

       I'm of course hoping for the best, but I think things like expensive manned aircraft and billion dollar aircraft carriers are just targets in the AI combat future.   

       Regarding the latter, a very smart famous military guy is quoted as saying "There are two kinds of ships in naval warfare, submarines and targets."   

       Different subject, but same concern about lack of foresight in planning new technologies.   

       In my opinion.
doctorremulac3, Jan 02 2023

       // (Pierre Spray) … runs a jazz label … //   

       Sorry doc, he died a little over a year ago.   

       Mind your tenses.
a1, Jan 02 2023

       The F-22 is as specialized as it gets... what's his problem with it?
Voice, Jan 07 2023

       I strongly disagreed with him on that. F-22 did the job amazingly well. You don't want to send bombers or fighters into an airspace patrolled by F-22s.   

       He said the same thing that Lame Brain McCain said. "It didn't have a mission".   

       Neither did the Spitfire.
doctorremulac3, Jan 07 2023

       Technically, the Spitfire *did* have a primary mission, namely, to contest air superiority with the new closed-cockpit monoplane German fighters. It turned out, it could do other things as well, but that mission was what drove the original design, IIRC.
pertinax, Jan 07 2023

       It’s first mission was to win races. Then they took the pontoons off and put guns on it.
doctorremulac3, Jan 07 2023

       OK, that's different from the story I heard.
pertinax, Jan 07 2023

       // that's different from the story I heard.//   

       It’s sorta true. R.J. Mitchell designed the Spitfire after the S.6B and a few earlier planes that won the Schneider Trophy. The Spitfire evolved from those racers - but it’s not just an S.6B sans pontoons. Mitchell designed the Spitfire for the Air Ministry as a fast and modern fighter. He went through a few iterative (read: not quite good enough) designs before he got to the Spitfire.   

       It’s times like this that I really miss 8th. He’d go on for pages about flush rivets, propellor pitch, wing chord - cross reference it to other aircraft - and he would make it FUNNY. I can pull up all the same facts, but you’d fall asleep during my telling.
a1, Jan 07 2023

       So pert, the Spitfire in its race plane iteration was two things: 1- A ground breaking aerodynamic airframe and: 2- the first such airframe to carry the Rolls Royce Merlin engine that turns good planes into rulers of the sky.   

       Same thing happened when they replaced the Mustang's Allison engine with one of those.   

       Obviously some adjustments were needed to make a race plane into a front line fighter aircraft, but those two main aspects that made the Spitfire what it was were already in place.
doctorremulac3, Jan 07 2023

       By the way, I personally find the name F-35 "Lighting II" as uncreative, even as offensive as calling it the F-35 "Spitfire II" or F-35 "Mustang II". Why does the gorgeous P-38 get its name stolen by this ugly, plump, bumpy, slug looking sky turd?   

       Speaks to the overall lack of clarity of vision for this thing. Even smacks of lack of motivation and passion. "Eh, we're getting paid, we'll just throw a bunch of shit together and go home.". (as the project lead walks out the door, somebody calls out to him) "What should we call it?" "Don't care, Spitfire 2, Apollo 11 2, HMS Pinafore 2, just pick something, I'm going to the bank."
doctorremulac3, Jan 07 2023

       //Spitfire after the S.6B and a few earlier planes that won the Schneider Trophy. The Spitfire evolved from those racers - but it’s not just an S.6B sans pontoons.//   

       As I was taught, it’s the RAF’s version of history that the Spitfire is a direct descendent of Schneider Trophy racing experience. Although that clearly leaves out a lot of successful aircraft that had nothing to do with seaplane racing. It may even be that the supposed lessons from the racing aircraft are overstated. Did the S6 et al. win because of superior aerodynamic design, and did the Spitfire inherit this? Questionable since the biggest challenges of the seaplanes was the drag of the floats, the wing shape of the seaplanes is also nothing special unlike the elliptical Spitfire wing. What won the Schneider trophy was probably horsepower – the Supermarine aircraft had a 3-500 hp advantage over the competition and the Rolls Royce R engine held air, water and land speed records at the same time in the 30’s. Experience from the engine development was clearly valuable, supercharger and fuel development particularly.   

       Designing a warplane is a very different thing than racing. I have a whole rant about how racing ruins everything, racing is the pursuit of speed and little else matters. The Spitfire certainly suffered from this as a warplane in many ways. The slim, pure elliptical wing? The Spitfire wing was largely responsible for it being somewhat under gunned and it was a production nightmare, a trapezoidal wing with some rounded tips would get 99% of the same performance. The water cooled engine? Cooling was a big problem in the racing planes, solved in various ways – the only practical way for an engine derived from the Rolls Royce R was a complex & fragile water/glycol + radiator/oil cooler system that snakes its way around the aircraft – again difficult to make and lots of places where a single bullet would effectively kill the engine. By the end of the war, we ended up with aircraft that had actively shed all the lessons learned from racing. You can leave all the sophistication and complexity of a water cooled inline V behind, use an air cooled radial and just make it bigger. Sure, now the whole aircraft is bigger, but is that a problem? Well, it uses slightly more material. But it gives you thicker wings for bigger guns, more fuel, sturdier undercarriage. The pilot & associated control equipment are now a smaller fraction of the overall aircraft.   

       //It’s times like this that I really miss 8th.// Sigh. I’d certainly like his view.   

       //2- the first such airframe to carry the Rolls Royce Merlin engine//   

       4 months after the Hawker Hurricane.   

       //I personally find the name F-35 "Lighting II" as uncreative, even as offensive as calling it the F-35 "Spitfire II" or F-35 "Mustang II".//   

       It’s sheer arrogance to think you can approach greatness with your project before it has even entered production. “Lightning” isn’t even appropriate. It’s not like it’s fast in any way, or even electrically powered. Some names should be retired. See also “Dreadnought” and “Warspite”   

       // Speaks to the overall lack of clarity of vision for this thing. Even smacks of lack of motivation and passion.//   

       This is a consequence of the complexity of the project. A Spitfire can and has been, put together from scratch by some enthusiastic amateurs. You can hold the whole thing in your mind. At the time it was about $13k, now about $800k to produce. The F35 is a megaproject. It started development in 1995, it would have been given to some relatively senior people, say in their 50’s who maybe oversaw the prototype fly in 2006, but they are long retired now. Say the project was taken up by new senior types in their 50’s, they failed to get it into production by the 2016 deadline, again, now long retired. Projects this complex ALWAYS go wrong in the same ways. So much is lost and constantly having to be re-learned.   

       It’s interesting that for the next gen of fighters, they’ve looked to Formula 1 as an example of people who can knock out bleeding edge functional technology on time (& in some cases within budget) from scratch, year after year.
bs0u0155, Jan 10 2023

       //2- the first such airframe to carry the Rolls Royce Merlin engine//   

       //4 months after the Hawker Hurricane.//   

       Like I said, the first such airframe to carry the Merlin. The Hurricane was a drag inducing hippo shaped body by comparison, the relative speeds of the two planes with identical engines bears this out.   

       Hurricane Maximum Speed: 340 mph   

       Spitfire Maximum Speed: 406 mph   

       I think we're in agreement on the main subject though.   

       Here's my main concern, is fussing over this old technology from 1918 the way to go? Yea, it's been updated over the century that's passed, but it's still a fighter plane. Are we going to get the same formula of battleship vs aircraft carrier when we get manned fighter vs drone swarm? Assuming this is the most perfect fighter man has ever come up with, what does it do when it hits a cloud of 1,000 air to air autonomous fighting drones?   

       Dunno, but I'm hoping somebody's though of that.   

       I'd be zeroing in on how these drones sense their target, and how they communicate (if they do) and make sure they see nothing useful and don't talk to each other. How? Good question, but I wouldn't waste a lot of airframe space and payload JUST shooting these down.
doctorremulac3, Jan 10 2023

       //Are we going to get the same formula of battleship vs aircraft carrier when we get manned fighter vs drone swarm?//   

       Rules of engagement is probably what has dominated the last 70 years of combat, and the major role of fighter aircraft is to get someone with weapons close to whatever the blip on the radar is. Against anyone capable, its assumed that communications will be jammed, so command and control will be need to be a person for the forseeable.   

       //what does it do when it hits a cloud of 1,000 air to air fighting drones?//   

       One interesting opportunity put forward by the frankly astonishing power take-off shaft on the front of the engine - used to power the lift fan in the F35B, is that it could easily be used for an astonishingly powerful electrical generator in the F35A, the use for that electricity could well be a laser.
bs0u0155, Jan 10 2023

       I'd say lasers might be the only air to air weapon worth having against these things eh?   

       But to your lasers, do I just put a pound of reflective material on to increase that burn time to a 15 seconds and rotate the thing?   

       Maybe I'm overestimating the power of these things, but I'm just reminded of the British Admiralty who thought submarines were basically thuggish and damned un-British until a single sub sunk a convoy of cruisers. Don't remember the specifics but it was a case of and ugly and unglorious technology winning against something a lot more appealing. Fighter planes and heroic pilots are the stuff of legend and number one box office movies. An automonous drone swarm? Not exactly something you'd throw a victory parade for, even if it won.
doctorremulac3, Jan 10 2023

       //do I just put a pound of reflective material//   

       <link> Anti laser coatings already being tested? Or just showing the Chinese we're already onto it? Possible to be transparent/absorbent of the radar end of the electromagnetic spectrum but efficient enough a reflector of kW of focused energy from the light part of the electromagnetic spectrum?
bs0u0155, Jan 10 2023

       Are you referring to a link up there already or are you posting one B?
doctorremulac3, Jan 10 2023

       it's there now, had to do, things.
bs0u0155, Jan 10 2023

       Ah, one of those guys who actually has a life. I'm jealous.   

       Very cool.   

       Anyway, here's my bottom line: start making F-22s again, outfit them with drone swarm escorts, for close air support fill the battlefield with vintage A-10s and Apachies, a lot of them, keep our nukes warm and tell the world "Okay, wanna be friends or wanna fuck around and find out? Up to you."   

       Oh yea, and rule the oceans with submarines, there are two kinds of ships in wartime: submarines and targets.   

       I'd be okay with a series of small submarine aircraft carriers, each carrying 4 planes or so. Topic for another day. Unfortunately I've got a bit of a life going her too.
doctorremulac3, Jan 10 2023

       "A life", you say,? Well *I've* spent a very ticklish evening migrating my nodules to ECZEMAScript 6. What is this "a life" of which you speak?
pertinax, Jan 11 2023

       I've only heard people with lives myself. Something like where people don't spend all their time working, paying bills and taxes, taking care of the family, putting kids through college, sitting at their computer at work for 12 hours to make all that happen.   

       I think they might look at a sunset and say stuff or something. Might have something to do with sitting under a tree or going fishing. I saw a picture of somebody reading a book on the beach once. Might have been photoshopped though.   

       I do remember how to fish from my childhood so I guess I'm sort of in that camp.
doctorremulac3, Jan 11 2023

       //start making F-22s again,//   

       I love the thing, but what it's extraordinarily good at isn't that much of a problem. The USAF can establish air superiority essentially anywhere with a mix of F15/F16s.   

       //drone swarm escorts//   

       I expect the hand wringing is to do with how capable you want the drones. They're supposed to be cheap/expendable, but building something that can keep up with an F22, be stealth and carry weapons? well, it will just be another f22. It's quite easy to build small, slow stealth drones but you know that every suit in the pentagon will add another feature and the whole thing will balloon. Then there's command & control of those drones, un-jammable/spoof-able communications that are reliable is tricky.   

       //rule the oceans with submarines//   

       HMS Conqueror was the most important player in the Falklands conflict. Once the Belgrano was sunk, the Argentine military knew that there was at least one nuclear submarine able, and crucially, willing to sink ships. They knew nothing else. It's a wonderful parallel with what stealth brings to aircraft: you don't know where when, how many there are, only submarines can carry biblical firepower and loiter for months. Same problems however, communications and the decision making in their absence.   

       //there are two kinds of ships in wartime: submarines and targets//   

       They're pretty much denial only. You can very effectively stop shipping/civilization, but you can't DO much apart from some signals intelligence, observation and special forces insertion, and those are deeply risky.   

       //I'd be okay with a series of small submarine aircraft carriers,//   

       Enticing, because it brings capability, maybe send up an airborne early warning aircraft for a fantastic local picture... but then you immediately compromise the sub's stealth/position, and they can't run away fast enough. Is it technically feasible to seal something as big as even the most minimal flight deck? Probably easier to make some waterproof drones. Easier still to just fly one over from the land.   

       //I've only heard people with lives myself.// I recently obtained a life, possibly, through a couple of months of employment gap. I got paradoxically busier. Somehow normal chores expand. I did manage to get to the gym maybe 5x and service the car, but that's a bad return on 2 months.
bs0u0155, Jan 11 2023

       Good points all. My idea about the small aircraft carriers is that I see a thirteen billion dollar aircraft carrier with 4,000 crew members I look at that as a great line in the sand, you cross it it's WW3, but I'd like something a little more survivable. That's a lot of eggs in one basket.   

       And you know in a conflict they're target number one because they're the tip of the spear. You lose air cover in any one theater and good luck. THAT'S one thing that hasn't changed since WW2. They say wars are won on the ground. I'd add AFTER they're won in the air.   

       I've got a couple of ideas to get these mini carriers going, the obvious one is, unfortunately, VTOL F-35s.   

       Wait... what did I just say? Damn this is complicated. Think I'll go fishing. Is that still legal? (I'm in California)
doctorremulac3, Jan 11 2023

       Small aircraft carriers exist. That's how the Royal Navy has gone for a while. First with the Ski-jump carriers with Harriers* and now with the QE2 class F35 carriers. Smaller than that is your helicopter carriers.   

       Thinking about it, how about a modernized Harrier? I'm sure a Rolls Royce Pegasus with some thrust upgrades and some composite-based weight loss would be possible now. Combine with some V22 Osprey derivatives...   

       *The Sea Harrier comprehensively beat contemporary land based fighters while half a world away, having it's wings flown off and being a legit VTOL aircraft. They should have sold 10,000 of them.
bs0u0155, Jan 12 2023

       //Small aircraft carriers exist.//   

       I'm talking about micro carriers carrying maybe 4 planes.   

       WW2 saw the Japanese strap a float plane to a sub. Think it was just to try the concept more than anything.   

       But getting off the subject. I think cheap, swarmy and semi-autonomous is the inglorious future, like it or not.   

       Slightly off topic, see link for a flying submarine.   

       Pretty cool link to a submarine aircraft carrier the tnever got build. I'm saying do a very small one of these. At least explore the concept.
doctorremulac3, Jan 12 2023

       //I'm talking about micro carriers carrying maybe 4 planes.//   

       Bad idea. You need common infrastructure for all flights. You need at least basic repair facilities and personnel, weapons handling and loading, the launch platform, equipment to move airplanes, fuel handling, etc. You also need firefighting, support, and so on. Some of that equipment can handle many airplanes for the same size and weight. One fuel pump may be able to support 30 airplanes, or just the 4 but you're not going to get it smaller, lighter, or cheaper. Economies of scale dictate that if you want as many planes in the air as you can get for the dollar (or at least a size approaching that) you need 40 planes at once.   

       You could neglect all of that and just carry the planes without support but then they're good for one flight each.
Voice, Jan 12 2023

       There's on reason you couldn't fully equip these to fully arm and administer to a small handful of aircraft.   

       Not saying replace the big target carriers, where one shot, one kill destroys an entire air wing and 4,000 sailors, just saying spread the targets out over multiple ships.   

       Here's what I'd do to the current system if I was the enemy. Sink the carriers. Take maybe 30 minutes.   

       I think there's this weird notion that aircraft carriers in the age of smart, stand off weaponry are anything other than huge sitting duck targets. They're not. Might be useful to attack stone age armies hiding in caves with AK-47s, but that's about it. In a WW3 scenario these are gone in the first few minutes.
doctorremulac3, Jan 12 2023

       //You need at least basic repair facilities and personnel, weapons handling and loading, the launch platform, equipment to move airplanes, fuel handling,//   

       Correct, high performance military jets break a lot. Even in ideal conditions the USAF dream of 75% of a given fighter fleet being serviceable at any given time. Start actual wartime operations, carrier landings etc. and that diminishes very quickly.   

       //one shot, one kill destroys an entire air wing and 4,000 sailors,//   

       Do we know this? Its one thing to say you have a smart standoff carrier-killing missile, makes everyone in the country without carriers feel a lot better. But it's another thing to guide that missile on to a maneuvering target in a storm of jamming/spoofing. Especially since developing countermeasures to exactly that scenario has been a very high priority for some time.   

       Slower, but perhaps a more reliable carrier killer would be a nuclear armed drone sub. You could get it to follow the carrier around at unreachable depths for the whole time, the problem again would be reliably getting the command to detonate to the sub.   

       It does seem ludicrous that there are THOUSANDS of people on a carrier, I mean, what are they all doing?
bs0u0155, Jan 12 2023

       //Do we know this?//   

       We know that's a risk. In war all you can do is weight probabilities.   

       Put it this way, what's the defense against an ICBM targeting a carrier group? I think the only reason that's not talked about a lot is because it's overkill. Single small nuke missile from any of a number of platforms would do the job just as well.   

       As far as what you're saying about "shadowing nuke subs" I'm assuming that any time a carrier leaves port it gets a Chinese sub assigned to it. Saving money by having a few unmanned drones do the job does seem like a good idea.   

       And I assume all those sailors are swabbing the deck or something. Nothing worse than an unswabbed deck.
doctorremulac3, Jan 12 2023

       Boy, for a brief, poorly thought out mini-rant this sure has some longevity eh?
doctorremulac3, Jan 13 2023

       I feel bad for churning it now.
Loris, Jan 13 2023

       //Single small nuke missile from any of a number of platforms would do the job just as well.//   

       Would it? Aircraft carriers are big things made of thick steel. Tanks are smaller things made of similarly thick steel. You can park a tank a few hundred feet from a nuclear detonation, come back and drive it away <link>. All of the things nuclear detonations do: an extremely bright flash of broad spectrum radiation followed by some wind, don't really bother things made of thick steel. As far as a tank is concerned, the paint gets burned and then there's some wind - capped at the speed of sound, which will rock it a little. One of the reasons tactical battlefield nukes would have been ineffective in the Fulda gap.   

       You'd have to be pretty accurate with your single nuke, and that means real-time targeting - unlike ICBMs, you can pre-target them and have the missile rely on internal inertial navigation. With a carrier, you'd need up to the minute info from a satellite (removed in the 1st 12 hrs of a real shooting war), aircraft (you have to hide/protect it), submarine (outgoing comms will reveal its presence) or possibly over the horizon radar. Although OTHR relies heavily on doppler shifts from high speed aircraft/missiles, a carrier group will disappear in the noise. Suicidal drone aircraft/subs are the best option here, a carrier group will have to be on the lookout for outgoing comms and then very quickly destroy the thing/change course.   

       //Boy, for a brief, poorly thought out mini-rant this sure has some longevity eh?//   

       When the F35 is retired in 20 years having fought nothing, we will be vindicated.
bs0u0155, Jan 13 2023

       Lol! Vindicated yet slightly disappointed we didn't get our theories tested.   

       Although I guess if it deterred aggression it did its job.
doctorremulac3, Jan 13 2023

       //You can park a tank a few hundred feet from a nuclear detonation, come back and drive it away <link>.//   

       Having read your link, that looks to be a bit misleading.

       I mean, this was an early, first generation nuke (read - low yield), and a tank from an age which didn't use electronic systems (and hence couldn't have them fried).
Anyone actually in the tank would have died. The hatches blew open, so they'd have died from acute radiation poisoning, but if they hadn't, they might have been protected from the radiation... but they'd have been killed by the shockwave already.
The tank needed repairs before it could drive, and reportedly the people who drove it (before proper decontamination) mostly died of cancer.

       All in all, on that evidence it looks to me like if you nuked a tank convoy, it would be stopped.   

       I suspect that nuking an aircraft carrier would probably stop it from putting up or receiving aircraft for a significant period of time. Bridge would be totally fried, deck would be radioactive, repairs to various systems (fuel supply, elevators, catapults, comms etc) would be required. It's not going to make any further meaningful contribution to the conflict.
Loris, Jan 13 2023

       //I suspect that nuking an aircraft carrier would probably stop it from putting up or receiving aircraft for a significant period of time. Bridge would be totally fried, deck would be radioactive, repairs to various systems//   

       According to the calculator in the back of my 1962 edition of "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons" A healthy cruise-missile type warhead of 100kT gives you a 1 1/2-2/3rd mile radius of 5PSI overpressure which (according to the aircraft section) damages some aircraft (range 2-8PSI) and most exposed people would be gone. They actually did nuke quite a few ships and 5PSI is good for superstructure and antenna damage. Direct lethal radiation radius is small at 500yds or so. Fallout is very much dependent on groundbursts, which are unlikely here. The bomb could be salted of course.   

       Military ships are to some extent EMP shielded, inherently, because of steel structure grounded in the ocean, specifically: electronics are heavily shielded and cables etc fitted with "Transzorbs" which are fancy surge protectors. How well that works is debatable. But there are on-board back ups for critical stuff. I don't think it would be a pleasant experience by any means, but my point is that you have to get a pretty accurate hit. If you're off by 2-3 miles, it's still in the game. You could always go 10MT, then you only have to get within 10 miles, but you'd need a bigger missile for that.
bs0u0155, Jan 13 2023

       But here's the thing, once the nukes are flying isn't what happens on the battlefield immaterial? Western civilization is over, its cities are ruins, the life support systems for billions of people are destroyed.   

       That's why we should keep wars small, contained, non-nuclear and fun. Only this way can good goodness be spread so all the people of the world can hold hands and sing in the spirit of love and peace. We just need to fine tune those weapons systems towards that end.   

       That being said, even if the F-35 is the golden ticket to world peace, gotta admit, it is ugly as hell.
doctorremulac3, Jan 14 2023


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