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VTOL: pros and cons

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posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 12:11 AM
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Vertical Take Off and Landing. This feature is now being incorporated into the Navy and Marine version of the JSF. Now obviously this is helpful on a short runway or carrier, but are there any other advantages to these systems? Do they help or impede in a dogfight? Does their weight restrict payload or manueverability, or is it negligable?

What do you think?




posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 04:08 AM
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Well the only combat proven aircraft that uses VTOL is the Harrier of course. Which was used in the Falklands conflict and never lost an aircraft to any other enemy aircraft destroying 23 aircraft in air-to-air combat

One of the key uses of VTOL in a dogfight is to use a technique called VIFFing - Vectoring In Forward Flight (moving the nozzles so they point either forward or downwards rapidly decreasing the airspeed).

Spacemunkey



posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 11:39 AM
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It has its pros anc cons.
Pro = stop in mid air, very cool.
Con= High heat sig.



posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 11:56 AM
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The only real problem with VTOL is the weapons load which can be carried. ONly a few AAM's can be carried with a VTOL takeoff. Sure they can carry more with using a short take off, but that isn't true VTOL.



posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 02:22 PM
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The F-35B is not a VTOL (vertical takeoff, landing) aircraft but rather a STOVL (short takeoff, vertical landing).
The only US military entity that is officially committed to acquiring this model is the US Marines, (although the US Air Force also expressed interest last year (2004) in acquiring some F-35B STOVL variant for the battlefield close-support role).
The US Navy will be ordering the CV or carrier version complete with tailhook (F-35C).



LeftBehind: Do they help or impede in a dogfight? Does their weight restrict payload or manueverability, or is it negligable?

As Spacemunkey stated the vectored exhaust of the F-35B will no doubt enhance the aircraft's manueverability in a dogfight situation which is realistically not a likely scenario.
According to LockMart the F-35 officially overcame it's weight issues in September 2004, this diet was accomplished by making design changes that reduced the aircraft's weight by 2,700 lbs while increasing propulsion efficiency and reducing drag.



rogue1: The only real problem with VTOL is the weapons load which can be carried. ONly a few AAM's can be carried with a VTOL takeoff. Sure they can carry more with using a short take off, but that isn't true VTOL.

The F-35B STOVL version (not VTOL) will have a reduced payload capacity than it's conventional and carrier landing brethren, but that does not mean the aircraft is less capable, rather it is a trade off of one capability for another.

Natalie~



posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 05:29 PM
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I see so the only drawbacks to a SVTOL or VTOL system seem to be the high heat signature. The smaller payload doesnt seem like much of a downside, especially for US planes who would have immense support.

Now with that said, does the high heat make it harder to make the plane stealthy, or do the stealth VTOL/SVTOL planes not use the system in flight?

Also in the next 25 years or so should we expect to see all the new fighter jets equipped with this style system or will it stay on as more of a niche of fighters for specialized roles, like in the marines?



posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by LeftBehind
I see so the only drawbacks to a SVTOL or VTOL system seem to be the high heat signature. The smaller payload doesnt seem like much of a downside, especially for US planes who would have immense support.

Depends on the mission...


Now with that said, does the high heat make it harder to make the plane stealthy, or do the stealth VTOL/SVTOL planes not use the system in flight?

Well anyone with IR goggles would see you for quite a distance and IR missiles would have a field day.


Also in the next 25 years or so should we expect to see all the new fighter jets equipped with this style system or will it stay on as more of a niche of fighters for specialized roles, like in the marines?

UCAV's will replace probably, i dont like the move but its "cost effificent" as the MOD says and is "more reliable".



posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 05:58 PM
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That's interesting devilwasp. So do you think that fighter pilots are a dying breed, and soon our air force will be replaced with remote control or maybe even autonomous unmanned craft?



posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by LeftBehind
That's interesting devilwasp. So do you think that fighter pilots are a dying breed, and soon our air force will be replaced with remote control or maybe even autonomous unmanned craft?


Pilots are a dying breed, especially with the initial successes of UAV's. A plane without a pilot could manouvre far better, carry more weapons etc. Just think how much weight of a fighter aircraft today is taken up accomodating a human pilot.



posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 07:50 PM
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Originally posted by devilwasp
Well anyone with IR goggles would see you for quite a distance and IR missiles would have a field day.



Well, if you're that close to a runway, it wouldn't make any difference what aircraft is taking off, there is still going to be a large heat signature. Once airbourne though the heat signature would be no different than any other aircraft flying around - probably less with the newer engine.



posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 09:38 PM
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Pilots are NOT a dying breed, as there are still too many complexities to unmanned aircraft that a pilot overcomes.

Such as communications. It is very, very, very, VERY complex to control a group of unmanned vehicles flying in formation from a distance. Then there's security of the communications, so that other countries can't hack in and get control of your aircraft or block your own control so that they crash.

Then, what do you do if the enemy does get control of them? Do you know how much computational power it would take to control a group of aircraft like that.

Then there's the question of how do you pilot the thing in a dogfight. An F-15 fighter gives the pilot a full 360 degree view from his seat. With a person piloting an aircraft with TV screens, their view is limited. Even when you dogfight in videogames, your view is still limited greatly compared with what a real dogfight would show.

True, real dogfights don't occur as much, but you never know.

Or if the aircraft were controlled by artificial intelligence, you'd need programmers who knew how to program these computers in the aircraft to fly their missions, to "think" for themselves, etc.....and thus these programmers would need to be experts not only at programming, but also at being a pilot, because the aircraft would need to constantly be updated on the latest tactics out there.

Part of a pilot's job is to study the new tactics, and keep up to date on the new weapons systems and all that out there.

The computer would need to be able to make decisions on what to do if something goes wrong. And then, assuming such an intelligence can be created (which I am sure it could eventually), you have to make sure it is "sane," and "loyal." Suppose you create such an intelligence that isn't loyal in the way a human is.

You might somehow be on the losing side, and your computer end up reasoning, well, logically, I should get the hell out of here, and thus leave.

And there's more reasons I am not thinking of. But pilots have more generations to go before robots will replace them. For missions involving spying on areas, a robotic aircraft or remote-controlled aircraft is much better than a pilot in the spy aircraft, because then you don't lost human life, and also, you don't have tow rry about the pilot being captured and tortured for interrogation if shot down.

But in terms of fighter and bomber aircraft, pilots aren't going the way of the dodo anytime soon. I'll be retired and sitting with my grandson, saying, "Yeah, back when I was a kid, they said pilots were going out too."

Also, HUMANS LIKE TO PILOT. That flying gets in your blood. Just because a robot could do something doesn't mean they will always do it!! Who would be the generals of the Air Force??? Videogame players, as that is what the fighter-pilots of the future will be if all they do is sit in chairs with lots of telescreens in front of them to pilot their aircraft. Then the Air Force truly will be the "Chair Force."

But like I said, who would be general?? Those high ranks require time, experience, and combat experience. Which one can only attain through being a pilot INSIDE the aircraft, not from a chair a bunch of miles away.



posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by rogue1

Originally posted by devilwasp
Well anyone with IR goggles would see you for quite a distance and IR missiles would have a field day.



Well, if you're that close to a runway, it wouldn't make any difference what aircraft is taking off, there is still going to be a large heat signature. Once airbourne though the heat signature would be no different than any other aircraft flying around - probably less with the newer engine.


Well, a Harrier uses a single engine with 4 exhaust outlets underneath, which put out a HUGE heat signature. The JSF I believe bends its rear exhaust downward to lift up its @$$, but uses a fan up front to lift it up, thus reducing its heat signature.



posted on Feb, 1 2005 @ 10:27 PM
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I agree with Broadsword that pilots are here to stay. I think we will see more UCAV's on the future battlefield, because they are perfect for some jobs, recon etc.

What I'd like to know is if SVTOL/VTOL or some similar system will be standard on planes in the future, or if they aren't really neccesary for an air-superiority fighter?



posted on Feb, 2 2005 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by Broadsword20068
Pilots are NOT a dying breed, as there are still too many complexities to unmanned aircraft that a pilot overcomes.



A human in the cockpit imposes too many constraints on the performance of the aircraft. What can a pilot in a G-Suit sustain about 12 g ( I think ), therefore the aircraft cannot pull more than that for fear of pilot injury.
Then there is all the life support etc adding more weight to the aircraft than is needed.

With the pace technology is progressing today, I wouldn't be surprised of the F-35 is the last major US combat aircraft design. It's only a matter of money and time.

New sensors are being developed to give a far clearer view of the battle than a pilot with the MK 1 eyeball ever could.



posted on Feb, 2 2005 @ 09:28 AM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
The F-35B is not a VTOL (vertical takeoff, landing) aircraft but rather a STOVL (short takeoff, vertical landing).


Hmmm. But I saw a video of JSF taking off vertically, so I think it is VTOL plane. Maybe it cannot take off vertically with full JDAMs payload, but 6 Amraams(+/-1000kg) should not be a problem, or not?



posted on Feb, 2 2005 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by rogue1
Well, if you're that close to a runway, it wouldn't make any difference what aircraft is taking off, there is still going to be a large heat signature. Once airbourne though the heat signature would be no different than any other aircraft flying around - probably less with the newer engine.

No i mean when they stop in mid air, aka use the hover stuff.



posted on Feb, 2 2005 @ 10:13 AM
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When the Harriers hover, they inject water into the engine to cool it down because it overheats so quickly. It can only hover for about 30secs/or when the water runs out, maximum.



posted on Feb, 2 2005 @ 10:33 AM
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Originally posted by spacemunkey
When the Harriers hover, they inject water into the engine to cool it down because it overheats so quickly. It can only hover for about 30secs/or when the water runs out, maximum.


The old version or also the newest one (AV-8)?



posted on Feb, 2 2005 @ 10:37 AM
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Both, I believe. I'll have a look around. brb


......back...

There are varying reports, but the stats say that the Harrier carries 150gallons of water and can maintain hover for approx 90secs. But heres a link saying that it can hover for over 5minutes....

www.aerospaceweb.org...

And yes the older and newer versions i.e AV-8B use the same engine - R.R. Pegasus



[edit on 2-2-2005 by spacemunkey]



posted on Feb, 2 2005 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by longbow

Originally posted by intelgurl
The F-35B is not a VTOL (vertical takeoff, landing) aircraft but rather a STOVL (short takeoff, vertical landing).


Hmmm. But I saw a video of JSF taking off vertically, so I think it is VTOL plane. Maybe it cannot take off vertically with full JDAMs payload, but 6 Amraams(+/-1000kg) should not be a problem, or not?

The F-35 can take off vertically with low fuel and minimal or no weapons on board, in fact the X-35B did this for the first time in June of 2001, but the JSF was not designed to be a mission capable, vertical takeoff airframe nor was it within the customer's (DoD + international consortium) requirements, hence the "Short TakeOff & Vertical Landing" description.

Lockheed-Martin: "Lockheed Martin JSF X-35B Achieves Vertical Takeoff to Sustained Altitude"




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