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Is Russia's PAk-FA really, actually stealthy?

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posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 03:55 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Darkpr0

And besides Lockheed, who exactly has produced 5th generation aircraft to set the definition with?


It doesn't matter if Lockheed was the only, the first, or the last people to produce anything. Inventing a definition to apply to your product, be it aircraft or widgets, and setting criteria based on what you did or didn't decide to do on it is arbitrary. It's usefulness is not guaranteed, only its marketability. Categories are only particularly useful once you understand the playing field. We can fit all the battles from 1914 to 1918 into a trend called World War 1 and call them parts of it because we understand the war now. Calling something 5th generation before anyone else has an opportunity to do anything isn't identifying a trend, it's assuming one. It's why we have things like Gen 4+ and 4++; The goalposts were set without knowing what was coming, and as a result there's a whole swath of stuff that just doesn't fit the definition. The definition's usefulness has degraded because of it. So debating whether a thing is 5th Generation or not is sort of junk until we understand a 5th gen really encompasses... Which we won't understand until the 5th Gens are done flying.




posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 04:04 PM
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a reply to: Darkpr0

So we can't understand what something really is until after it's gone? Then what's the point of definitions at all for generations?

As for fifth gen, there are several slightly different definitions of it, all agreeing that stealth, both radar and IR, sensor fusion, advanced datalink capability, avionics and engines are key components.



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 04:15 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Darkpr0

So we can't understand what something really is until after it's gone? Then what's the point of definitions at all for generations?


Same as any category: trying to generalize things in helpful ways so you don't need to memorize the stats of every aircraft to talk about broad trends. It cuts off the peaks and valleys, and stuffs them in the melting pot for compactness at the cost of accuracy. it gives you a starting point.


As for fifth gen, there are several slightly different definitions of it, all agreeing that stealth, both radar and IR, sensor fusion, advanced datalink capability, avionics and engines are key components.


I'd agree that this is generally a good definition for a 5th generation aircraft. But this definition is necessarily nebulous and should be treated as such. Things don't need to fit into it nicely, but people are all too willing to build a wall between categories and engage in a tug of war to place something on one side or the other with the mistaken idea that what you call a thing somehow changes what it is.



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 04:46 PM
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a reply to: Darkpr0

Then get rid of all definitions. There are things that don't fit other generations too, so we might as well throw the entire book in the garbage using that logic.



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 05:04 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Darkpr0

Then get rid of all definitions. There are things that don't fit other generations too, so we might as well throw the entire book in the garbage using that logic.


Alternatively, one could sit quietly and not get too worked up about how things will shake out with what piles things deserve to be in while they're still developing. If people want to predict where things will go then they should do it knowing that what things actually are (or turn out to be) takes precedence over what people say they are.



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 05:12 PM
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a reply to: Darkpr0

And yet, according to you, even fourth gen aircraft can't be categorized because they're still flying. So there's no point in having any kind of identification system since we can't use it until they retire the aircraft in question.



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 05:26 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Darkpr0

And yet, according to you, even fourth gen aircraft can't be categorized because they're still flying. So there's no point in having any kind of identification system since we can't use it until they retire the aircraft in question.


We certainly won't have the complete picture until they're done. And you've continued to promote the idea of hard bifurcation: Either we use the definition, or we throw out every definition ever! Which completely misses the point.

The point is we have to understand the ground upon which we stand when making generalizations like these. We are at the very start of 5th generation lifetimes. We have very little information. We are well into the lifetime of 4th generation platforms. We have a fair bit of information. We are pretty much past the time of 1st generation platforms. We have pretty much all the information we're going to get.

Calls we make about 1st generation aircraft's role in the world will be pretty much spot on.
Calls we make about 4th generation aircraft will be decent.
Calls we make about 5th generation aircraft are standing on very little ground to work with.

As long as we understand what we've got, act accordingly, and treat the conclusions appropriately the generalizing is fine. If we go off and start building the walls without knowing the lay of the land we will end up with patch-job recategorizations like Gen 4+ and 4++ because the walls we built don't quite fit what ends up actually happening.



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 05:40 PM
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a reply to: Darkpr0

I'm just going by what you're saying.


Which we won't understand until the 5th Gens are done flying.


If that's true for fifth gen, it must be true for fourth gen as well, which means the entire system is useless, as we can't classify anything until it's done. So we only know what 1-3 are. Which, again, means that any generation system is useless to use. The entire point is to identify families of aircraft, but since we can't know what anything fits into until it's done flying, that means that we can only use it to look at historical aircraft, not current aircraft.

As for 4+, and 4.5, etc, what would you call aircraft that don't fit into either generation? They have to go somewhere.



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 06:21 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
If that's true for fifth gen, it must be true for fourth gen as well,


I'd agree with that. Fourth gens are still flying. They're even still being developed. We still don't have the full picture.


which means the entire system is useless, as we can't classify anything until it's done.


Again with the bifurcation. Dividing things into 100% right or 100% wrong while not allowing for a middle ground cuts out pretty much everything that exists. You need to have a chat with a statistician about confidence intervals. If you get a large sample of data you can talk with higher confidence about what the big picture is than if you have a small sample. We have a large sample of 4th generation aircraft performance and history. We have a small sample of 5th gen performance and history (unless their service is unfathomably short). We can be more confident about our conclusions with 4th gen aircraft. You could break it down further if you wanted and talk about each particular aircraft, and how it affected the big picture using its specific performance and history. And it would be more accurate than saying "Well, it's a 4th gen and this is how 4th gens turned out on the whole".



So we only know what 1-3 are. Which, again, means that any generation system is useless to use.


That logic doesn't follow. If we know what 1-3 are, why can we not talk intelligently about them? We certainly have more info on them than we do our friendly neighbourhood 5th gens.


The entire point is to identify families of aircraft, but since we can't know what anything fits into until it's done flying, that means that we can only use it to look at historical aircraft, not current aircraft.


All aircraft are historical someday. If you try to use categories to look at aircraft that are currently doing things, and will continue doing things for a while, your conclusions may end up being wrong at the end of it all. That doesn't stop you from making the prediction, but it has to be done with the caveat that it's done with less information than you'll have later.


As for 4+, and 4.5, etc, what would you call aircraft that don't fit into either generation? They have to go somewhere.


The aircraft are what they are. If they don't fit into your categories, then your definitions of the categories are what have problems. The fact that you have to add + signs to the category is a direct reflection that the categories you have originally defined are not sufficient to identify whatever it is you're trying to look at.



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 06:46 PM
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a reply to: Darkpr0

You know, screw it, you're right. Fifth generation doesn't exist yet, because we don't know what it can really do.
edit on 2/19/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 07:01 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Darkpr0

You know, screw it, you're right. Fifth generation doesn't exist yet, because we don't know what it can really do.


I don't know where you picked that out of my arguments. I'm asking people to be realistic about the fact that our ideas about what a 5th Gen aircraft "is" and "is not" are still subject to change over the next 50-100 years of history. Rushing off to categorize things are "5th gen" or "Not 5th gen" when they don't necessarily fit nicely, and when we still have so little information compared to what we will have is an endeavour not to be taken too seriously.

If that's not clear enough for you, then I demand the return of the real Zaphod.



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 07:09 PM
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a reply to: Darkpr0

The thing is, 5th gen is fairly demarcated. 4th Gen consisted of the last non stealth fighters, fifth gen is fairly clear in this respect. As for the rest of the things zaph mention if you have stealth but not the goods to make it matter in a fight you are more akin to a 4.5+/++ Its not really simple as he has been explaining as each airframe is different and has their own individual stats. As far as being able to evaluate the 5th gens, unless we go to war with Russia or China it's not going to be a 5th vs 5th Gen fight. Even then it will be with airframes built many years apart with varying levels of upgrades so their are alot of variables here, however it is pretty clear what the F22 and F35 are capable of.



posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 08:50 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Some day, someone will have to start a commemorative thread of the goofiest debate topics where Zaphod has eventually thrown his hands in the air in despair or disgust, and just said "forget it". The "nm" response on another thread recently was an instant classic.

Zaph, I love you man. Never change.



posted on Feb, 20 2016 @ 10:58 AM
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a reply to: shagg

Yeah I always feel bad because I know it's coming but it's like a train you just can't stop it



posted on Feb, 20 2016 @ 02:45 PM
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a reply to: Bfirez

a reply to: shagg

I'm glad me slamming my head in the door amuses you.



posted on Feb, 20 2016 @ 04:09 PM
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a reply to: Darkpr0

if you apply that rule, from the point of view of russian aircrafts, to define what is a fifth-generation aircraft then the F-22 Raptor could easily be a sixth generation aircraft.



posted on Feb, 20 2016 @ 04:26 PM
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originally posted by: drwire
a reply to: Darkpr0

if you apply that rule, from the point of view of russian aircrafts, to define what is a fifth-generation aircraft then the F-22 Raptor could easily be a sixth generation aircraft.



It's true, stuff sort of changes around depending on which perspective you look at it from. If someone wanted to have some fun, they could claim that all military aircraft are first-generation because they still use aerofoils for lift. Obviously kind of a dumb claim today, but if the perspective is from 100 years down the road, it might make a lot more sense depending on what comes out.

In the end though, we're trying to assign discrete levels to a continuous progression of technology and design paradigms. Some things will fit fantastically. Others, not so well.



posted on Feb, 21 2016 @ 10:51 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Steering this back a bit, the Russians are claiming a climb-rate record for the PAK-FA. Color me dubious.

384 m/s is ~Mach 1.2, almost Mach 1.3, iirc.

Oh and they are stating the export version of PAK-FA won't be ready until 2020.

sputniknews.com...



posted on Feb, 21 2016 @ 11:59 AM
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a reply to: anzha

Yeah I saw that. With the new engines they're developing, maybe. I'm not all that impressed by the AL-41 though so I'm a bit skeptical.



posted on Feb, 21 2016 @ 12:03 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I'm thinking potential marketing ploy.



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