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TU-128 the most pointless plane ever?

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posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 07:36 AM
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Originally posted by SOC
Just to nitpick, the order was for 93 F-12Bs


As for McNamara, don't get me started...


How right you are! The Plan was for the first F-12B to be deliver to the USAF by 1965 (if I remember correctly). The F-12 was another victim McNamara, the one man who should Never have been allowed inside of the Pentagon! So instead of a quality, Interceptor, we got a bunch of half-baked ideas that amounted to nothing at all.

Historical Fact: More US Service men and women died on McNamara's watch then under any other Defense/War Secratary in US history (except maybe the civil war)!




posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 02:02 AM
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Greetings. Just figured I'd start off on this site on this subject. The YF-12 was never to be taken serously at all. It was merely a cover story for the A-12. Think about it. The Blackbrid series had a horrible fuel leak problem which required them to take off, generate enough heat to seal the tanks, then meet with a tanker because their fuel tanks would almost be dry. The interceptor's covetted role is to take off and shoot down the enemy as soon as possible. Only after the mission would time be alotted to refuel. You don't waste time before the intercept gassing your plane up. The YF-12 may have seemed like a good idea when it was first proposed, but as soon as the A-12 was flying, they realized that, as an interceptor, the YF-12 would be useless. At best it would have been a one-way fighter. But it could fill the role as cover for the A-12, should any information about the CIA's new toy came out. 'Oh, we made a simpler version to test the basic design. Thats all it's for.' Some excuse like that. Much like the U-2, when it was stated it was only for testing systems related to the F-104. That's the story we most likely would have heard, until LBJ opened his mouth and announced the YF-12, ahead of schedule. Why esle did they run the YF-12 down to Edwards from Groom so quickly. They must have already had a cover program worked out, but then they had to improvise. Hence, I will never consider the YF-12 a fighter. It was just a cover and a test bed. Just a really expensive showpiece. Go figure, it came from Groom Lake. Funny, no other interceptor ever came from there....
As for the Tu-128, it fulfilled a role. If it was not built, or the MiG-25 for that matter, the US would have had the biggest fighter, the F-101. It's performance was not spectacular, but still fill a mission. The Tu-128 was one answer to the problem making a long range interceptor. It just happen to be a big one. And as for it's armament, a lot of jets at that time did not have the vast weapon loads we see today. Remember, only a few years earlier, Britian received the Lightning, and it could only carry two missles, a small radar, and just enough fuel to get one hit. The Tu-128 had a large radar and four missles, along with long range, making it more flexible. Britian had a hotrod, Russia had a workhouse. In the end, the Tu-128 was not flashy, but it did it's job well. If you want pitiful and pointless, try the Gloster Javelin. Same role as the Tu-128, about as old, not quite as big, but it couldn't even go supersonic. There's one that should have stayed on the drawing board.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 02:07 AM
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The SR-71 leaked, because it HAD to. They would land three feet longer than they took off. You had to be able to get that three feet from SOMEWHERE and have SOME sort of expansion joint built into it. The simplest way to do it was to put a gap along the fuel tank and let it expand there. It's not like you had to worry about the fuel catching fire. They put out a fire with the stuff one time in Okinawa.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 03:43 AM
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It's no good as an interceptor if leaked out most of it's fuel just trying to get to a point where the tanks would seal, let alone try to hunt something down while it's at it. I'm aware of the fact fuel leaked on purpose and that the corrigated skin help with that fact by allowing it to expand and seal, without warping it. The intial development of a combat aircraft based on the A-12, the RB-12, would have been a more practical choice. It would have been easier to adapt to attack bomber and tactical recon roles. The US should have stuck with the F-108 Rapier for the LRI-X design. I have no complaints about Kelly Johnson, but the XB-70, for what I have read, did not leak as bad as the Blackbirds, while being as fast. The Rapier would have been better for the role, and the YF-12 should have stayed away.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 04:19 AM
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It's not without its merits, it's just badly obsolete. We're talking about a strategic assett designed to defend against a nuclear attack in the 1960s, when bombers were far more important. If I recall correctly, at that time ballistic missiles were primarily to punch a hole in enemy defenses to get your bombers through. You've got to remember that in the 60s we were just getting into space- we couldn't launch a thousand warheads into orbit and have them come down on the exact opposite side of the globe no problem. To provide the versitility, accuracy, and payload to make sure that you gave worse than you got, you needed to get your bombers through.

What was needed was a solid interceptor to match the capabilities of long range bombers. Something with the range and he loiter time to create a doubt in America's mind. They wanted us to think that if we went all the way with them, that their interceptors would already be in the air, safe from our missiles, and would take down our bombers, ensuring that when the dust settled, there would be at least a faint shadow of the Soviet Union left to emerge and dance on our heavily irradiated grave.

It sounds pointless now because we've got a nuclear navy that can hide off of the enemies coast undetected for as long as it wants to and reduce them to ash with only 30 minutes warning or less. Our strategic bombers are stealth. We can rain a thousand warheads within 100 feet of any object on the face of this planet whenever we feel like it, etc etc. In today's nuclear world, that's just one useless ugly piece of junk. In the 60s... it's still ugly, but I can see why they built it.


SOC

posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 05:25 PM
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The YF-12s were flown to Edwards because when LBJ announced the "A-11"'s existance, he stated it was being tested at Edwards.

Also, the YF-12 IMI project was taken seriously. Congress voted to start production on three different occasions, and there were even basing plans drawn up. Did the jet leak? Yeah, but not as bad as people are making it sound. It leaked, for sure, but the tanks weren't going to empty in 15 minutes or anything. To conserve fuel Blackbirds normally took off with a light load and refueled, but the birds based at Palmdale for company testing used a full fuel load quite often as it was more difficult for them to get tanker support whenever they needed it.

And as far as expansion in flight, I've read that the most the airframe expanded was like 15 inches, not three feet, and that was only at speed. As the jet cooled, it shrank back to normal size. That's also the reason for the leaking fuel tanks; it's hard to seal something that won't remain a constant size. That's also why they would top off right before going to speed; at speed, the tanks were sealed just fine.



posted on Jan, 3 2009 @ 04:52 AM
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reply to post by WestPoint23
 


10 years......







 
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