Let’s talk about really fast fighter jets (and I’ll post my DCS streams here )
Best Jets. Fight me. (don’t really american football isn’t really my game)
Which is worse go.
(It’s my understanding that the F-35 has been something of a comedy of errors since it’s inception.
It is my opinion that things were more interesting when Boeing & McDonnell Douglas were separate companies and especially before all three big manufacturers were in bed with each other. Corruption and lack of genuine competition, as well as all the pork and politics sucks. I’m no expert though, just my gut instinct. I fondly remember spending exactly 5 seconds sitting in one of the McDonnell Douglas flight simulators as a teenager in the CAP.
It’s funny because the same thing was said about the Hornet back in the day. However, it did get delivered on-time and on-budget.
I’ve watched this documentary twice. Once 15 years ago when my thought was “oh wow, this new plane looks really cool” and once last year and my thought was “oh man, this plane was screwed right from the start!”
It seems that Boeing learnt lots of lessons trying make the American version of Concorde, and went against anything too complicated and too extreme. Just stick to basic known technology. A wing. Thrust vectoring like the Harrier. Right on.
But in the end it seemed like the F35 won out because… it looked cooler? Looked sleeker?
Anyway, it’s a really great documentary.
I believe one of the reasons the X-32 was nixed because the front intake was a severe risk during air-to-air refueling. During testing there was a breakage of the fuel drogue and it started spewing fuel and debris in front of the jet. In the case that it happened again and the fuel/debris entered the front intake, it would cause a catastrophic failure.
Right. There’s all kinds of issues with all experimental aircraft. Not all them are deal-breakers. But this competition had to have a winner and a loser, and once the decision was made, every factor is in play to start justifying the decision as the right one, or criticizing the decision as the wrong one.
People talk so much crap on the F-35 (and it has earned much of it by being so over cost and behind schedule) but as far as its performance, it boggles my mind when people write it off on a simple spec vs spec comparison with older aircraft.
Yes, out of the box, it doesn’t look like a great move. But there are so many supporting elements being fielded in the battlespace throughout the 2020s. F-35 intentionally doesn’t do some of these things and is better off for it. You have to consider the entire picture.
My favorite jet is still and will always be the F-15. With the new advanced model it looks like it should be able to keep up with the rest of the big boys, and being a long-running platform the production and logistics train is well established to keep it a mainstay for years to come.
But while the modern stealthy jets have cool trapezoidal surfaces and crazy angles, the combination of shapes that is the F-15 make it appear both graceful and powerful. Every contour and edge, every external aspect of it just really tickles my designer brain, while the proven performance and capability satisfies the more analytical side.
I’m with you on the F-35.
The issue is mostly that the early state of fighters prior to this era was mostly unknown to the general public.
There have been studies and war games that show that swarms of lower tech light or multirole fighters (F-16, F-18) backed up by a handful of advanced heavy fighters (F-15, F-22) both armed with advanced munitions are far more effective at maintaining air superiority at a lower cost, both in development and purchase cost and in material and human casualties than a few super high tech planes. Basically, numbers beats whizbang. It doesn’t matter if you know Kung Fu when you have to fight ten dudes with baseball bats, numbers aren’t on your side.
Formations of unmanned semi-autonomous F-16s each working in concert with a single master F-22 (or even F-35) could be a terrifying reality of modern air warfare.
F-22 flies in, engages most advanced threats.
Drone F-16s follow en-masse to handle lower-priority threats.
Attack/Multirole follows for the post-clearing objectives once supremacy is achieved.
Local C&C of the F-16s from the F-22 removes the main problem with drone fighters: the potential of severing the link to the human controllers back at base.
Haven’t met too many fighters from the JET Program.
This thread is making me realize how much I’ve forgotten about jets in the last two decades.
I was trained in air navigation and mission planning at a camp at SANGB. Sort of a kid version of AFROTC. It’s a weird base, since an AFB was rolled into an ANGB. Former home of the 127th Fighter Wing, and (at least when I was a kid) a shit-ton of F-16s.
I spent like a year or two in the civil air patrol. Our group was big on the search and rescue stuff. Some good people some bad people. I did some encampments on Whitman airforce base (B2s, A-10s, helicopters), oddly both times as a cadet officer. I learned a lot of weird things from that program, not necessarily the stuff they intended to teach you. There were a number of problems I became aware of, and a lot of the adults there were not going to do anything to upset the status quo. Also kinda taught me that I’m NOT wired for the military, or at least not the oddly catholic-heavy academy indoctrination that seemed to be going on there…
Getting your swarm of lower tech fighters into the fight is the problem. The F-35 can land on amphibious assault ships, aka “helicopter carriers.” Doubled the number is USA’s “carriers” in one move, not to mention all of the foreign allies that have one or two crappy carriers (or more likely none) but plenty of amphibs.
This is literally a proposal from the same paper.
God were they a Scout troop as well? When I was a teenager in scouts there was this troopfrom a neighboring council that was also a CAP squadron and also a religious group of some kind and I seem to remember it was Catholic. They never wore BSA uniforms, they had woodland camo uniforms they sewed their scout patches to, and they ran the troop like an actual military platoon, saluting ‘officers,’ PT, chain if command, and generally acting like they were hot shit and the rest of us were posers.