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F-35 Chief Test Pilot Comments

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posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 05:53 PM
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However fast or manuverable a craft is, it can out run light/Laser. A UCAV may be agile but will that agility really be needed in tomorrows battlefield ?


One way to avoid lasers would be to remain out of sight, either by stealth or by hiding behind things - such as the landscape - this might require the extra manoverablity afforded by UCAVs.




posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 08:26 PM
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- It will not be a full visual display on the pilots visor - it will be cues and symbology. Yes, retinal positions maybe used, for cueing, but that will be about it. The only thing they will get is an infa red view (bit like night vision binocs for helicopter pilots really), but its for navigation
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No. Because 'Stroke only vs. Stroke + Raster' _is_ what differentiates existing HMDS designs from that of the F-35. IMO, especially as is now presented (broken image perspective lines, synthetically fused to provide 'global coverage'), this is not enough. Because so long as the human is in the loop, you need to both read focal position to increase speed and precision. And insert direct retinal image projection so that there isn't a problem with FOV and Eye Relief.

In any case, helicopter NVD's (I assume you mean PNVS which is actually FLIR or FLIR+LLLTV in the IPNVS upgrade) DO NOT equate with HMDS technology. First because they continue (with the failure of the RAH-66 design) to rely on monocular presentation with a heavy, tiny display area, projector which must go UNDER the visorline on the helmet. And that is just totally inadequate. Conventional NVD are just as bad because they require either a flip down mechanism to bring the tubes in front front of the pilots eyes (denying all symbology). Or a similar HUD combiner system (literally a piece of treated glass in front of each eye). Which means that there is no symbology AND an incredible G+eject risk (you literally have to remove the goggles if you don't want to risk a snapped neck as 'tear away' leads have been proven not to work.) .

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- Is the safety margin that big? I didn't think it would have been quite that much, but anyway. The limit is in the wings and wing root, not the fuselage, although removing fuselage weight will obviously help (but then again, that results in a smaller airframe, which should always be more tolerant of g's - see my missile example).
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The limit is throughout the structural and aerodynamic design. Everything from dzu type fasteners which 'snap lock' in a given direction and can open panels under opposed (negge) loadings to how the inlet performs with various kinds of masking. The wingroots, provided they are not 'holed' for landing gear enclosures are actually that easiest to design because they can be made symmetrically tapered on a ring-frame (F-16) type fuselage. What gets tricky are things like engine mounts and fluid reservoirs/pumping mechanisms. Such that you must basically reinvent a pressurized system margin that can function 'excursionally' for more than 4-6 seconds under negative loads.

The reality check then being that the airframe is so light and the static margin so 'loose' that it's relatively easy to keep a small engine fed by a 'maneuver tank' until the airframe physically starts flying again. Even an F404-GE-402 (the best of last generations midrange engines) technology would provide 2:1 A/B thrust to weight ratio class performance on a HiMAT equivalent airframe. In military it will be 1:1+.

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You won't lose the tailplanes due to removing the pilot - you will lose it due to aerodynamic configuration, not all aircraft have horizontal stabilisers as you know. All moving wingtips have already been developed and flight tested, but due to doubts over the longer term durability of the smart materials used, they are still to go onto a service aircraft (excluding flight test machines that I'm aware of).
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No. Not a 'MAW' (Mission Adaptive Wing) system. Rather something like the wingtips on a B-70, hinged to move independently. This had not been done before. At least not to my knowledge and not on a full scale system testbed. HiMAT was supposed to 'investigate various aerodynamic configurations' but never did so because when they took it up against an F-15 at 20,000ft and pulled a 12G circle inside less than HALF the time and 2/3rds the diameter of the Eagles 8G, the entire program was shut down.

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- Yeah, and? Point is a UCAV will allow you to consider things that a manned craft simply won't, in size, structure and propulsion. Theoretically, a UCAV with the power to weight ratio of a missile could invoke those manoeuvres if it had to (after some time for KE build up obviously).
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The point is that you DON'T NEED SYNTHETIC VISION. You just need the ability to stay out of the dirt while letting a combined Missile Approach Warner and Surveillance Infra Red Search Track capability replace the pilots ability to track point objects. At 20,000ft vs. a target emitting 1,200` thermal plume with a clear background, the 'manned factor' on safety as a function of situational (ontologic) awareness of environment is just not needed.

In terms of smash, the difference is that a drone can make the excursion at 500-600 knots, lose 200 knots, and still come out of the bargain at 300-400 knots. With a miniscule friction drag and a HUGE thrust to weight ratio, it will then be back to 'best fighting speed' (for sustained G performance) in 3-4 seconds.

A manned jet can only come /close/ to these kinds of capabilities by starting at around 250 knots. After which time it will aerodynamically vs. acceleratively stall and be at ZERO KNOTS airspeed.

From which point, the mass of fuel and weapons and a 10,000lb 'tick' sucking away performance on the nose of the jet will take a minimum 10-15 seconds to be back in the 350-420 knot range where best sustained performance is found.

You NEED sustained G to beat a missile. Pointing G only becomes a factor in shooting one.

A drone can do both with zero loss, relative to human level (9-11G transient, 6-7 sustained) performance. Which means it can literally do an airborne wheelie to /create/ 'relative wind' into which to shoot a missile. And then, assuming the other guy takes a full on HOBS shot (missile bends a square corner from less than optimum position /after/ launch), the UCAV can snap-back to a sustained turn level. This stresses the high offboresight shots energy reserves to the point where it has to commit 'well out in front' in terms of lead pursuit trajectory tailoring. At which point, the UCAV can now go _BACK THE OTHER WAY_ (dual axis, equal G) and the missile which is 'in lead' hasn't got the oomph to snap back to pure or even lag pursuit.

THAT is what a UCAV can do. THAT is what you /need/ it to do. If you are going to win the visual fight wherein 'DAS' actually has some application.

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- I said current combat aircraft. Don't forget the obvious - there is always a defensive counter being developed at nearly the same time as the offensive weapon. Laser shielding has already been developed for medical purposes, there is no reason to suggest the same has not occurred for military purposes.
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The reason is that if the pilot is reduced to flying in a planetarium equivalent display on a solid cockpit SOMEONE may actually stop mooing long enough to realize that he _does not belong_ in a combat airframe. Reducing it's performance and increasing it's costs to no particular gain.

Put another way- DIRCM is the only way that you can beat modern heat weapons with imaging seekers, in envelope. Not only do the offer orders of magnitude more IR energy into the seeker itself as a deceptive or dazzle measure. But they have virtually unlimited useage compared to the 2-4 shots you get with a multiflare 'starburst' which only serves to attract more eyes and missiles which previously might not have been aware of you.

So, why are there no DIRCMs on fast jets? Because if a DIRCM works best at 1G (stable airframe, no G burble on the wings shaking things up), then AGAIN there is _no need_ for a pilot.

My UCAV system is what you need however when/if you fight a threat which IS 'proof' against directed countermeasures. Or when they start flinging so many arrows that the turret cooldown and slew-to-engage limites are simply out paced.

Either way, the pilot is the weak link in the loop. Because his eyes are gone forever. And that's only when the laser is not weapons-grade sufficient to flash vaporize his body along with.

CONCLUSION:
I _will not_ endorse the use of piloted airframes 'until then' because they are no better than automated systems for either air to air or air to ground targeting and so they don't deserve a Federal Dole (Fighter Mafia = Hoffa's Truckers and 'Union Wages') simply to be a hero symbol.

Not when it takes 256 billion dollars to make it happen. Not when all the money spent NOW means none for 2015 when lasers actually become a real threat.


KPl.



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 11:46 PM
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IAF101,

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Cant these recognizable features be incorporated into the visionics to provide a frame of reference for the pilot like ARD's? This would prevent disoreientation and still give the pilot the ability to do 'off the shoulder' targeting without the manuvering generaly required to do this. Plus the boresight could also be incorporated into it to give the pilot the familiarity of "toss" bombing and manual gunery.
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No. Because while you could put in a compass scroll bar or 'clock' numeric, you cannot SCALE relative to a position on the airframe. Because the sensors are going to be in a position where those features are either disorienting to your position in the cockpit ('Look ma, the tail is right in front of my face as I sit 40ft in front of it!'). Even as your ability to 'squint range' track the targets for depth of field positioning is limited by the apertures fixed zoom.

And why should you bother? If someone fires a weapon from 11 o'clock and 7 o'clock, are you going to be able to 'see to avoid' both better with a synthetic vision system than you can by simply putting up a bullseye display that puts your entire airframe at the middle and times a MAWS initiated expendables burst (10-20 flares) at the same instant you are TOLD to 'break right'?

I would, by far, rather have the ability to see the relative closure RATES of 'what is, after all, just a MAWS' on both threats as synthetic vector symbols. Than try to spin my head like Linda Blair and try to judge matters 'by eye' (remember, NOT vision, just a TV screen fixed-focal-depth virtual equivalent.). Because the very act of twisting my head is going to take so much time, under G, that I will not be able to track both inbounds.

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I read some time ago in CodeOne that the Luftwaffe Migs had the off-boresight scopes that enabled them to increase their dogfight kill ratio drastically because they could get targets at nearly 40 deg off boresight . Now with the JHMCS with the AIM-9X I would seem that the USAF would aquire a 80 deg off the boresight ability which would reduce the risk of prolonged exposure in the threat area.
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The only thing useful about the MiG-29's close in weapons suite is the OEPS-29 IRST. And even that has lost about 70% of it's functionality with the deactivation of the KOLS laser ranger. Largely this is because they Luftwaffe MiG's didn't have the latest standard in R-72 (45` boresight capability which is roughly the same as the AIM-9M /after/ lockon, realy primitive IRCCM qualities and the older autopilot/motor) and they were no longer running a WARPAC IADS system to support the datalink.

What this means is that if you can anchor the fight at a decent offset angle and speed (between section members) you can turn IN to bring the fight over/under the Fulcrum's sill line in a way that makes it impossible for the MiG pilot to use his helmet to slave-cue his heat weapon before you are at min-R. It still requires a 'bit of faith' in the quality of the ASTE level MJU-5x expendables. But it works because the Luftwaffe drivers were only wanted as 'threat emulators' whereby they flew WARPAC tactics utterly unsuited for few-on-few engagements.

Their MiG-29's were also derated in thrust and so tended to smoke quite a bit and had so many maintenance problems at the end that it was really a light-fuse-run-away condition that saw them even being sold at 1 Euro each to the Poles. Under these conditions, the F-16 is actually a superior slow-speed airframe because much of it's limiter performance is actually /better/ than that enjoyed by the Fulcrum (freer, easier to exploit in slow-high vertical maneuvering out of plane).

Having said this, there is absolutely ZERO reason to cross a 6-8nm visual merge with a threat if you have ARH and they don't. NONE. So, in the radar-merge fight (cleanup shots and passive cued shooting off someone else's radar); you are looking at a 10km motor driving a 20-25km seeker on the AIM-9X.

Which, compared to virtually every other Gen-4 SRM/IRM out there (ASRAAM, D-30, P4/5, MICA) means that the HOBS capability is just lipstick on the pig.

Heck, back in _1982_ the Argies proved what a good motor on a heat weapon can do in terms of driving a Sea Harrier almost 12,000ft off of FQ perch BEFORE the latter could take equivalent headshot. Scared the bodily fluids right out of the pilot when this ancient R530 finally caught up with him, only to steam right on by for want of proper fuzing.

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So it CAN be done ! They could add more than six to make the imagery more fluid and process the image to compensate for the distortions of view and other cancell other restriction like smoke, night etc in each of the IDA's and then by calculating the spatial orientations wrt the pilot fuse them together. The radar employed can also be feedback into the image processing computer to gather a more precise perspective and match the visual clues to the radar map generated.
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You can fuze the images. You cannot alter the perspective errors without generating 'synthetic' target motions which may or may not match the real background as the pilot sees it.

And the APG-81 doesn't have a thing to do with integrating POV fields of regard because it uses a different spectrum and cannot operate beyond the forward 120`.

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Maybe the point would be to supplement the optical gimball with a spherical laser scanner that could create a 3d point cloud representation which could easily be recaliberated to appear to be focused form the pilots perspective!
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A scanned LIDAR image is all well and good. But it would still be a frame to frame 'render' that lagged badly with what the pilot was actually seeing. You have to remember that when you are 5-6 miles up in the air you are 'mapping' a HUGE volume of space. And you have to do so while taking into account the existence of a fairly hefty body (32X50ft) blocking your perspective POV.

Since the excuse given was STOVL landing assist, I suppose it could be made workable. But it is a LONG way from being what Falcon Eye was, almost 20 years ago.

Furthermore, the military gets twitchy when you start talking lasers and the notion of not needing a pilot to 'see things' as a function of killing what he watches as a video feed also goes right back into the question:

"The sky and dirt aren't gonna kill'ya. The objects in it can be tracked as datasets without presentation at all. WHY BOTHER adding cost and weight and LO concerns to improve imaging for a man whose biologic ability to integrate a 'big picture' is /so weak/ that you are having to crutch it up?

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Obviously this would mean massive computational ability and also precise caliberation by the engineers not to mention the number of scanners that would be required and employed but with the improvements in IR laser scanners this should not be a problem in say 15-20 years.
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The JSF will enter service in 2012. In 2015, the THEL will enter field trials. 1 year later the THEL-M will enter field trials. 5 years after that, every first tier technical threat will have copied U.S. (if only because the Israeli's sold the technical package to the Chinese). 5 years after that, LETHAL DEWS will have completely proliferated at a time when the U.S. is a 'service oriented economy' shambles. Why waste 256 billion dollars on a visionic system which _does not work now_ as well as one tested 18 years ago. And which WILL NOT HAVE a man to employ it, in another 10?

We are not the worlds purse to be cut by every gutter thief out there in our government or foreign ones for purposes of continuing a military system based on a doctrine that doesn't work sufficiently now. And WILL NOT work (at all) by the time the platform it is built around, enters line service.

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Couldnt the entire HMD be incorporated into a sort of Helmet attachment that is mounted to the aircraft in the cockpit and is " attached" onto the pilots helmet (magnetically if possible!) and held up by springs and actuators that would be calliberated for the pilot thus making the additional weight "massless" on the pilot even during steep dives and dips ?
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Mass is mass. If it's affixed to your head in any way, you aren't going to be moving it at 9G. At worst, you want to pull the system weight off the head entirely, go back to having the helmet be just a skull protector as you bounce it off the sides of the canopy in maneuvering and have the entire canopy be your 1:1 display area so that the overlay matches perfectly and you have the ability to employ 'floating' seconday systems outputs which use retinal projection as a secondary channel, rather like a twin-monitor feed on your PC.

At best, dump the biologic blood bag which only serves to 'interface' between the machines in a way that doesn't merge data, but simply misinterprets it.

Like I said: THERE IS NO TERMINATOR EFFECT IN A PROPER MAWS/SAIRST SYSTEM.

You don't get a 'television camera' perspective. It's all math. It's all about tracking numeric progressions and /understanding them/ as a range of ultimate outcomes:

9 seconds at 70% SSPK comes before 15 seconds @ 85% SSPK.

Do you 'see' that? Or simply _accept_, conceptually, that the guy who shoots first with a probability of kill over 60% (2 out of 3) is going to win?

Such is the difference between having a human in the loop to destroy the efficiency of a mechanical killing system with the weight and performance limitations of all his bio-crutches.

And having a computer that doesn't need to make symbologic interpretations of imagery to come to the same conclusion. On a millisecond to millisecond basis of changing 'real time' outcomes.

THAT is where the humanist viewpoint really falls down in time-compressed activities you see. We take so long to gather the limited dataset we can interpret that by the time we reach a decision, it's already been invalidated by events.

OUR PRESENCE is what makes the JSF cost 95 million each in Pentagon acquisition schedules. And for the schools and conversion to alternative fuels and a better healthcare system that that kind of money will buy, I will NOT let the manned combat aircraft community sit that much higher on their unearned thrones.

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Well the display could be on retinally projected or even externally projected on a retro-reflexive canopy either way you get a better spatial representation than the current JHMCS type of projection. Also pupil tracking could be utilized to enhance the FOV of the pilot without fine neck control. The head movement might then be used to shift area of interest while any actually targeting is done by the eyes alone.
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Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Extant, except for VLO and gas (both of which the F-22 matches or betters) the F-35 offers no real /systemic/ improvements, as is, over what could be integrated, cheaper and quicker (AAQ-32 IFTS on the F-16E) on another platform.

Yet it is still a minimum 6 years from BEGINNING to enter squadron service. At a total cost of 256 billion dollars for less than half the original required numbers.

That's just not right.

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Well the USAF has already decided to incorporate the JHMCS with PNVG's system to complete the JHMCS. I doubt the AF will use the ANVIS any longer with its mere 40 deg vision and that too for pilots. Presently, they do use it but it will change in the near future if the costs allow the AF to do so.
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NVD-on-helmet goes back to the Kaiser 'Wide Eyes' of the 1980's. Indeed /Falcon Eye/ used BAE/GCC 'Night Eyes' devices to augment what the pilot could see while the backseater 'stole' the HSF ball for targeting.

And none of it matters.

1. Because seeing at night only gives you an edge if nobody else can and/or you can exploit elments of threat signatures (SAMs can be see from upwards of 60km away, just on the plume of their gas generators /after/ burnout) that other systems cannot. MAWS now gives us a way to link FLCS to a superior (stereoscopic, multielement + 'intensity' driven rangefinding on multiple threats) secondary sensors which detect-not-see in all directions and can be used to drive evasion routines orders of magnitude more precise than human reflexe+motor impulse driven muscles can achieve.

2. If the weight is on the helmet, it increases your chances of neck injury (or reduces the absolute G level which you can move your neck at all), even if the tubes are not dangling off the visor knob but rather back by your ears.

3. If your display area is not big enough to support raster+stroke (imagery plus symbology) you are STILL stuck with 'FLIR or Airspeed, not both'. Which means that, particularly on the Monocular JHMCS, you have to reengineer the entire helmet /all over again/.

The reason the various Kaiser/MACDAC 'projects' (Agile Eye, Night Eye, Wide Eyes) never got underway was because the pilot community would not commit to an 8lb helmet and a 5-6G maneuver limit. At the same time they would not lowball their specs to remove half the capabilities they wanted. And so they got _nothing_ while Elbit and the various Euro companies went ahead with basic systems. Now we have the JHMCS which effectively IS Israeli (Kaiser having long since left the field) and we still are operating at levels which were standard back in the 1980's with the DASH system.

What did we learn? Three things-

1. Pride letteth the competition catch up.

2. Helmet-anything is unimportant if your airframe costs more than 10 of the enemy's and so you MUST kill from ranges beyond the point at which you need to stay headsout (of cockpit with 8X8 or better displays).

3. Better visionics won't removed the costs which a human only ADDS to the airframe. At a time when we are less than a decade from seeing the advent of weapons which require ALL airframes to be 'throwaway' _cheap_.

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This may be true but all that a UCAV can track the " meatbag " can get too.
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The gutsack cannot manually fly TFR and do /anything/ else, safely. Which is what you are asking him to after DEWS come online.

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You might as well tell elevation in mm if the numbers please you but what you do with the information is what is important and any UCAV operator will tell you that their is no substitute for being there!
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Nonsense. Fly about as you please and if the enemy shows up, kill him. Anything else is rubbish. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAN AND MACHINE THEN BEING-

1. The machine is small and quick enough not to be engaged by other systems in a way that prevents it from doing it's primary mission.
2. The machine is cheap enough to be PRESENT to do it's job. Air Superiority is 70% flown, 20% maneuvered and only 10% decisively (with a kill) prosecuted.

If the enemy doesn't come today, you still have to fly on the premise that he might and without a MIGCAP (sweep) and BARCAP (blocking force) you will not be able to do other missions.

The problem is that manned airframes are so outrageously expensive that you end up 'multiroling them' which means that the joint air component commander steals airframes he shouldn't be allowed to to fill holes.

Modern missiles and sensors make air combat more or less a point and click affair but if you aren't there, you can't have a memorex moment, no matter how 'live' you are.

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A manned aircraft thought bogged down by physical limitations in maneuvering is better at situational awareness and effeciency of response than a UCAV can be.
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To which I say bunk. Computers are so fast that they can process, interpolate and fuze data to present to the human, visually, what he couldn't /begin/ to filter himself.

The detail parameters of that data is what makes or breaks your kill vs. the threats such that 'everything becomes fractal'. i.e. At some point where you see the micro in sufficient details, the ordering of the macro follows a like form of X-then-Y-then-Z orientation.

What the human (previously) COULD do had nothing to do with the wetware slopping around /in/ his head. But rather the way it was soft-hinged to his body. Translating biomechanical motions into unusual viewing angles and thus an ability to see where the all-nose-forward sensors could not.

Even this was insufficient however for man is nearly blind compared to the most base of beasts and relative to machines he is not only myopic but retarded. So that, in a world where missile closures on the order of 800-2,500fps makes them a threat for MILES before he can see and track them.

We had to do better.

Thus we invented DAS (MAWS in a new box) as a means to compensate for his limitations and are trying, desperately, to 'look, oh wow, it's a nav-FLIR too!' integrate him with it's superior functioning.

What we DID NOT take into account was the notion that smart people will see the price tag associated with this 'man limps into a machine cheetah age' attempt to keep us in a battlefield we have no business in.

And chose to speak up and say "_Wait_, is what they toot-own-horn lie about really worth it, even if it CAN be made to work, eventually?"

And the answer is no. Because numbers defeat sophistication to the point where you can only ask "Is a man worth more than the machine in sacrifice?"

And in this case the response is simple: "You get more numbers by NOT having a man."

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The simple reason is the "meatbag". Plus the limitations of the UCAV system in general of being constrained in communicative devices and a less than desirable picture presented to the "operator" at the other end. Well, that is the case presently, in the future it may change but their will still be no sustitute for being there to asses the situation.
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Nonsense.

Probably the singlemost KEY DETERMINATOR of warfare is identification. If you know -who- is doing X you can almost always gauge what X is as a function of 'intent', which often means victory is assured, provided only that you have the time to do something about it. In missile-age aerial warfare, things are more compressed but in many ways even simpler because the speed of execution is so fast that often strategies end up being highly linear (must drop on A before threat 1 kills me. Must kill A before he reaches the point of being able to drop on 1).

In a radar dominated world, this process of identification can happen in one of many ways:

1. Optically. As Danger Ranger Dan has eyeballs on the runway for launch warning.
2. COMINT. The GAI team calls the tower for permission to taxi to the active. Or their IOC to ask for directions.
3. Historical. He launches from X. X is a badguy base. He is a badguy as a function of 'evermore' geography lessons.
3. ELINT. The threat team goes nose-hot with a key-tagged radar signature that you hear for hundreds of miles before you 'see' a return skinpaint.
4. IFF. You Ping, he Dings. He's a bad guy because his transpond doesn't match to the tenth decimal point.
5. Radar. You look down his engines and count blades. Or you match to a 2D ISAR image using extinction pulse interferometrics.
6. Electro Optically. Somebody has a set of zoom optics hooked up to a CCD imager and looks at the silouhette, onscreen.
7. Optically. The pilot closes until he sees the threat jet with his own "20:10 = 6-8nm, nose on with an F-15, if it's 3-4 and I'm still not sure...it must be a MiG." process of
deduction. Assuming the other guy doesn't fire first. In which case he's a bad guy, regardless.

Of ALL of these, the meatbag is only technically important in the bogey-bandit-friendly-neutral determinator in the last two. And then only because we have not invested in ATC (Automatic Target Classification) software for A2A optical systems (such as they are) as we have for air to ground biased ones (LANTIRN had ATC/ATR as a requirement from the the start back in 1979 or so)..

Now, lets look at your typical 'radar picture' shall we?-

homepage1.nifty.com...

And compare it to the typical football play book-

www.nelslindahl.net...

And finally compare it to what I imagine your mind is thinking an Air To Air UCAV control interface would look like.

www.ccii.co.za...

If I am right, you live in a Hollywood movie if not a video arcade.

I live in a computerized world where the only 'display' of interactive data required is for the (blind, moronic) HUMAN to see the way the future will unfold as a series of preemptive time-as-spatial-vectors decisions.

Whereas the UCAVs _autopilot_ their way to the target as a function of straight line, minimum profile, signature vs. geometry management. In pure math.

In math, you send a 'picture' like this-

vismod.media.mit.edu...

As series of binary coordinates (relative spatial offsets as rise-over-range datums at time+X in a geometry model subprocedure labelled 'me vs. 1' on designated radar target) that the lead robot fighter, who is 'jacked in' to the overall JTIDS datahandling network (can talk, can listen, to any node in the theater) thens send discretely across to his wingmen on an IFDL (Intra Flight Data Link, different band segment, lower data rate, usually with limited to 'broadcast only' or simple weapons/fuel/position update cross talk).

And they fly the game plan with perfect mechanical execution at a level the Thunderbirds would envy IF THEY COULD SEE IT. Because these UCAVs are upwards of 10nm separated like wolves in a forage line, driving an unknown prey to it's doom.

Now, assume for a moment that I can buy 5, 20 million dollar, UCAVs for the same price as one F-35. Or ten for the price of one F-22.

To continue with the football analogy, what happens when a quarterback sees five defensive ends turn into werewolves coming right at him with 'evil intent' in their eye?

He either runs like a striped ape. Or he pulls out a gun and starts capping them off. Because they are gonna murder him even if he tosses the ball.

Except. If your UCAV's are stealthier than ANY manned airframe (because they are _not_ sprouting tails and radars and canopies). So the enemy QB-as-fighter-pilot likely won't see them until he can literally SEE them. At which point it's no longer a sniper rifle but a 9mm pistol fight. And if they can (collectively) launch 10 missiles while he (and his wingman) are only carrying eight. They will win.

On nothing more than the notion that the single shot probability of missile kill on a hyper agile UCAV (being shot with weapons intended for a manned opponent) is likely less than 20 percent. While their own weapons are probably in the range of 50-60%. i.e. With eight shots (four per manned plane), the threat will bag 1.6 UCAVs. While the UCAVs (with two per plane) will nab both enemy interceptors with their first four weapons.

Now. Let's add friction vs. long range optics.

It's 2015 and EVERYBODY has RF stealth. Thus the only way to certainly acquire a target is to run a skirmish line forward like a giant game of red rover /we're/ coming over.

The target cannot see the UCAVs because they are spaced 10nm apart.

The target is a friendly. UCAV one spots the target and sends it's own 'sweep around' command while itself slowing down and going oblique to maximize the distance at which the two aircraft will cross behind each other. The bogey responds suspiciously as it 'sees' the lead UCAV turn away and begins to skitter off towards the opposite side, it's dim but logical threat tactics generator 'hoping' that both will merely play a pass-in-the-night game. EXCEPT. That it is running into the rest of the pack who are sweeping under and outside it in a single-side offset, using their 1:1+ T/Wr _in military_ to hold a 1.2-1.4 (cold) supersonic vector that gives them all the leverate in terms of final geometry positioning of the participants as they sweep around. Too late, the bogey sees them too and straightens and goes to maximum subsonic speed, presumably to have an evasive energy reserve as The Pack converts.

Except 'as they come up alongside', (within 20 miles of their optics ability to resolve a silouhette anyway) they see that the bogey is in fact itself just a British FOAS drone, randomly in-air tasked to support an SOF troop that found something interesting to drop on. Now 'lost and moving against the flow of traffic'.

And they let it go. Not because they are more moral. But because they _do not care_ if they live or die. And so can close the distance to the point where they are able to make a determinancy that the pilot cannot wait for.

Now turn it around.

They find that it is an Indian Pak-FA that is coming with 'intent' (hey, he's flyin' ain't he?) to do ill good. /Except/ that the InAF jet has a gutsack aboard.

Being a 'wise blood bag', he knows that he _cannot_ let these mechanical wolves get in close or they will rip him to pieces. What he /doesn't know/ is how many they are and the fact that they are widely spread across the horizon, already partially enveloping him. So he fires once and then does his own F-Pole maneuver, turning away and running, 'thinking' that he can brag about the shot after he RTBs, saying merely that the corrupt Americans are lying about another loss because he 'saw the flash on the horizon'.

Unfortunately for him, his shot is instantly detected by the UCAVs MAWS systems as the high-intensity blip of IR energy that it is (high and clean against a cold sky at 35,000ft). Thus, even though he is running out the side of the fight for all he is worth, he is actually only passing in front of the teeth on a threat that is already within NEZ on the crossing shot.

And he dies from a wolf he didn't know was already close enough to hamstring him, even though none of the drones themselves 'yet had the smell of him' as a function of conventional radar tracking and historical, IFF or NCTR based ID (probably from an offboard asset like an E-3).

Rule #1 of Air Combat: As goes the intercept, so goes the fight. If you are set up to make the ID FIRST. With today's weapons. You will make the kill.

UCAV wolves can do this 'instant geometry advantage' setup /better/, _instinctively_, than man can. Just using the speed of their linear processing math to monitor more continuously stream data inputs (positioning of self vs. others vs. threat) in real time than he will ever manage by 'guessing', inductively.

>>
Granted that the pilot is suseptible to GLC and maneuverability is compromised but manuverability may not come into the picture any longer if the current trends in High energy Laser weapons are any indication. However fast or manuverable a craft is, it can out run light/Laser. A UCAV may be agile but will that agility really be needed in tomorrows battlefield?
>>

Then why are you putting a pilot in the cockpit? Why do _I_ have to pay for this college education, his UPT, his 20hrs per month, per mission, to remain FMC rated His quarterly checkrides for overall competency, his marriage, his relocation to 4 different bases before the war. His first kids braces. His second kids broken arm. His insurance when they bring him home in a shoe box.

In effect, his LIFE. Before he threw it all away in the space of a heartbeat.

Because once the airframe can be fireballed from 100km standoff, the only thing you can do is make it cheap enough that you can replace it.

And having a man aboard /hardly/ does that (did you know that it ANNUALLY costs the U.S. about 8 _billion_ dollars to keep it's 'core force' of tactical aviators fully trained?).

>>
I think that is one dimension that the AF will have to look at coupled with the fact that can you depend on a machine thousands of miles away with a payload like a nuclear weapon?
>>

I would put more trust in an AGM-129 being able to penetrate than a B-2 in the SIOP role. Not least because the 'flying machine' which levels the playing field with max-rems is going to be a ballistic missile that was fired 10hrs before the Batarang was even in the theater on it's one-way trip to make the rubble bounce.

Nukes are not useful weapons. Lasers are.

Lasers can cripple the U.S. as an expeditionary airpower bully if we do not have robots to walk into their Photon-Maxim fire.

Nukes can only end the world as we know it.


CONCLUSION:
The Romans had it right. So did Eisenhower. You MUST make your armies steal from /other people/ to pillage if not pay their way forward as a useful element of society. Usually this means having the bloodyminded will to wage genocidal warfare (see Americans, Native) until the opposing team sees the logic of peace or extinction as their only choices. Where that is no longer 'morally possible' after a World War in which we made mass attacks on civillians a crime against our own nature (giggle), the only recourse for the military is to prevent war. And having done that, they become little more than a parasitic insurance policy in which the amount of money that can be premium paid to 'to protect society' must be no more than half the value of a lost resource _for the period of years_ it would take for a new force to be raised (or an alternative resource developed) to retake it.

Oil demands from the Far East 'production' economies are rising 10% per year. At that rate, with no new reserve discoveries on the horizon and God Knows What effect on the environment already in play, oil demand will no longer meet production levels by as early as 2025. A JSF will burn more fuel _in a single mission_ than most cars do in 6 years (20,000lbs internally/6.8lbs per gallon/20 gallons per tank/2 fillups per month/12 months per year).

Right now, the military is thieving from our own future that which they can NEVER give back as a conquering amalgamator of someone else'. And thus the true danger of the Cold War is revealed in our worship of a militaristic-adventurist way of life the we know is wrong. But have no alternative value system to CHOOSE to invest those same dollars into, as a function of tapering off the blood flow to a vestigial organ that is at best wasteful as a standalone system. And at most aggressively infective as a means-over-motive pathology of behavior by which we are sucked back into supporting an insurance policy that cannot work if there are no car crashes to justify the blood shed.

And which, by design, is always chasing the last ambulance of technology-as-doctrine to empower itself rather than truly make war itself efficient.

How truly 'human' that we make a habitual waste out of a system designed for the ultimate in Darwinistic Downselect. Solely to avoid proving that the very metric of evolutionary performance by which war works, means that we no longer have what it takes to participate in it's functional achievement of perfection.

It's time we started a discussion 'outside the military' (whose perview does not include governance) to reestimate the efficiency of what makes war a system of systems. So that we can determine whether it's moral repugnancy exceeds the value of it's 'fan based' enthusiasm as a spectator sport.


KPl.

[edit on 23-1-2006 by ch1466]



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 10:28 AM
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More images!!!!
sorry guys im starting t o really like the look of the 35.
www.jsf.mil...
Found another angle of the thing on the f-35 website today.



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 11:39 PM
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Just a couple of things on the German MiG-29s …

I was an exchange pilot in the German MiG-29 squadron. In this capacity, I was the squadron’s chief of tactics, a MiG-29 instructor pilot and flight examiner. I have also flown the F-15, F-16 and F-5.

The only useful thing about the MiG-29’s close-in weapons suite was not the OEPS IRSTS (infrared search and track system). The most useful thing(s) about the Fulcrum’s close-in weapons suite was the helmet-mounted sight (HMS) and R-72 IR-guided missile (NATO AA-11 Archer).

The HMS could slave the radar and R-72 up to 60 degrees off boresight (missile slaving limits) and the IRSTS within its full envelope of plus or minus 15 degrees in elevation and plus or minus 30 degrees in azimuth. For the radar and missile, the 60 degree limit applied to the pure vertical / horizontal axes (in relation the aircraft). In between those 4 points, the maximum off-boresight angle was somewhat less than 60 degrees. The Luftwaffe had the R-72 version 1, which has limited capabilities against countermeasures (flares). It had all the same kinematic capabilities of the version 2 which has very robust capabilities against flares. We test fired 12 Luftwaffe R-72s from Luftwaffe MiG-29s in 2003 as part of a weapons evaluation. We wanted to test the extreme in-close envelope of the Archer. We consistently slaved the missile to nearly 60 degrees off-boresight during target acquisition and had a couple of cases where the missile left the jet at near its gimbal limits of around 90 degrees. Eleven shots were successful in that they guided to the target. There was one missile autopilot failure. Reason? Classified.

The IRSTS on the MiG-29 is nothing more than nose ballast. Its sensor is electrically-cooled Lead Selenide (PbSe) sensitive to IR energy in the 2 to 3 micron range. This means the IRSTS is a hot metal tracker and a very unsensitive one at that. The fact that the IRSTS was a hot metal tracker limited its capabilities to the target’s aft quadrant where the seeker had line-of-sight to the exhaust nozzles. We didn’t use the IRSTS in the visual fight. It was much easier and lethal to use the HMS to slave the Archer to the target and use Mark-1 eyeballs to estimate range and asses whether the target was in the Archer’s envelope or not. The IRSTS’s laser range finder was dearmed due to eye safety concerns, but the system would automatically default to radar ranging if the laser was not available / unable to provide ranging. The laser was only good out to around 3.5 nautical miles based on atmospheric conditions. Although the laser provided very accurate ranging for gun employment, I have fired the Fulcrum’s gun at a towed target using radar ranging and got satisfactory results. We were all of the opinion that the IRSTS could have been deleted from the Fulcrum with minimal impact on its combat capabilities. Using the HMS against a target that perhaps got masked by the canopy bow was one of those ‘it depends’ situations. It was fairly easy to look around the canopy bow and find the target or just merely ‘guesstimate’ the target’s position on the other side and put the helmet’s aiming cue on that spot.

We didn’t fly WARPAC tactics – ever! No one ever asked us to or required us to do so. The attitude of our training adversaries was ‘bring it’. The squadron had its own tactics manual that was written by me and a couple of the German IPs. We employed the Fulcrum to maximize its capabilities and not in a heavily GCI-dependent mindset preferred by the WARPAC countries. Against western aircraft we were totally outgunned so we used a lot of deception in order to try to get someone to a position to employ the HMS / Archer combination before being targeted by an AMRAAM. Against good airplane drivers, this didn’t work; against someone having a bad day …well. We participated in ‘many versus many’ exercises all the time. We were the BEST MiG-29 pilots in the world. We got more out of the jet than the Russians ever imagined possible. That’s just my very humble opinion.

The engines were tuned down for normal training to extend the time-between-overhaul. The Germans got this to about 700 hours plus or minus a few. Normally, the overhaul interval was about 300 hours. Compare that with an F-15 or F-16 whose engines are good for 4000 hours. We tuned the engines back to the normal power regime for our summer deployments to Sardenia. Guess what? The engines still smoked like freight trains. The increased power was more noticeable in military power; the maximum non-afterburning power setting. In full afterburner I didn’t think the difference was that significant. Noticeable, yes. Significant, no.

The Fulcrum is comparable to a Block 50 F-16 in vertical maneuvering. I would give the edge in thrust-to-weight to the F-16. However, a lot depended on the piloting skills of the guys flying the jets. That the F-16 was a superior slow-speed fighter is another one of those ‘it depends’ issues. Both aircraft are limited by their flight control systems to 26 degrees angle-of-attack (AOA). The Fulcrum is mechanically limited, the F-16 is software limited. The Fulcrum’s AOA can be overridden with about 17 kg more back-stick pressure to whatever AOA the jet will give you. This is not necessarily unsafe as the MiG-29 is very forgiving of stupid fighter pilot mistakes. However, the already poor handling qualities of the MiG-29 go off the charts past the AOA limit. You’re really not quite sure where the airplane is going to go although it does follow the nose. The Viper’s aoa limit can be exceeded under certain circumstances but not because the pilot wants to. This is bad as the unstable Viper now really doesn’t know where it’s going to go because it sort of loses track of the point end. This problem has been mitigated for the most part with a digital flight-control system in the Block 40 / 50 F-16s. The F-16 has excellent handling qualities throughout its airspeed regime. A critical point to consider at slow speed is roll rate. At its AOA limit, the MiG-29 rolls about 20 degrees per second. Past the AOA limit, the MiG-29 is a slab of concrete. The F-16 rolls about 80 degrees per second at its AOA limit. I won’t get into all the ‘whys’, but being able to quickly and accurately move the lift vector in the close-in, slow-speed flight is critical to success. Given all this, getting in a nose jacking contest with a MiG-29 with its head-steered, high off-boresight weapons when you don’t have any is risky. You’d better bring your ‘A’ game. OBTW, both aircraft reach their lift limits at about 35 degrees angle-of-attack.



posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by ch1466
No. Because while you could put in a compass scroll bar or 'clock' numeric, you cannot SCALE relative to a position on the airframe.

Not at the point on the airframe but rather a mixed picture using the AESA and the EO DAS to generate a 'synthetic' image to the pilot, like a 3-d radar except its HM.


If someone fires a weapon from 11 o'clock and 7 o'clock, are you going to be able to 'see to avoid' both better with a synthetic vision system than you can by simply putting up a bullseye display that puts your entire airframe at the middle and times a MAWS initiated expendables burst (10-20 flares) at the same instant you are TOLD to 'break right'?

If it is an ARD then that is the general idea isnt it ? The 'synthetic' image is just the data that will help you react to the real situation not the actual situation itself. Anyway why replicate something that is already there to be seen with 'synthetic' imagery? Obvioulsy only that which would aid the pilot into makingthe proper choices would be incorporated into the HMD without the redundancy.


The only thing useful about the MiG-29's close in weapons suite is the OEPS-29 IRST. And even that has lost about 70% of it's functionality with the deactivation of the KOLS laser ranger.

I wasnt refering to the IRST on the Migs but rather the Archer system that the next poster mentioned. It was " Jack-the-Ripper" in close combat with the off boresight kill. Adding that to the whole "tag! you'r dead" thing will definitely make the pilot safer giving him the opportunity to make that last minute kill beyond the conventional AoA which is making a dash for it.

So, in the radar-merge fight (cleanup shots and passive cued shooting off someone else's radar); you are looking at a 10km motor driving a 20-25km seeker on the AIM-9X.
Which, compared to virtually every other Gen-4 SRM/IRM out there (ASRAAM, D-30, P4/5, MICA) means that the HOBS capability is just lipstick on the pig.

Naturally the entire, HOBs picture wont come into play 6-10 miles out but what if after the first phase of "chicken" is over and you still have 4 Migs who were able to do a "fly by " with aplomb for getting past our BVR-package.(It is possible you know!) Getting sucked into a "loop-the-loop" knife fight, all the while looking for an escape window before the Migs can call in their fellow "brethren" and sucker punch the pilot at 4-12'. In this madness the HOBS system will decrease the pilot expose to the threat environ and avoid procrstinating the aerial fistfights that get pilots killed due to the over reliance on BVR shoot offs.


A scanned LIDAR image is all well and good. But it would still be a frame to frame 'render' that lagged badly with what the pilot was actually seeing.

Not necessarily. The gimball would not have merely one scanner but an array of 120-200 scanners coupled together to give a 120 deg spherical LIDAR frame at once and the gimball sviwels changeing the perspective. It has been done in labs, all the need to do now is to incorporate it into a functioning device for a fighter.


Furthermore, the military gets twitchy when you start talking lasers and the notion of not needing a pilot to 'see things'

Its either that or flying “dead” and the fighter mafia in the Pentagon wont let them selves be relegated as obsolete. Atleast not yet.


WHY BOTHER adding cost and weight and LO concerns to improve imaging for a man whose biologic ability to integrate a 'big picture' is /so weak/ that you are having to crutch it up?

Because the human body is the cheapest most accurate package of sensors and co-ordination that nature can provide so far without the need to spend billion on alternative systems and findign a way to integrate all that data into some central processor that makes sense of and effectively utilizes the data to get the job done the quickest and the cheapest way.
And BTW the Pentagon still finds it more cost effective to train pilots than to develope/perfect alternate systems and hardware that can do reliably what the "meatbag' can.


The JSF will enter service in 2012. In 2015, the THEL will enter field trials. 1 year later the THEL-M will enter field trials. 5 years after that, every first tier technical threat will have copied U.S.

That is just speculation and nothing more, their is nothing to say that every first tier nation would have copied the US when no nation has built anything close to the F-117 even after 5 decades! Forget the B-2/F-22/THEL.
The British RAf has so much interaction with the F-117 yet they have been able to reproduce nothing of its capabilites in the EF-2k. Heck, the 501st practically lived there.


Why waste 256 billion dollars on a visionic system which _does not work now_ as well as one tested 18 years ago. And which WILL NOT HAVE a man to employ it, in another 10?

In 10 ? Presently the predator models and the Stingrays can do little more than RC tricks and that too with minimal payloads. Whos to say that in 10 years time they will be doing hammerheads at airshows ??
256 billion for the satisfing the "allies" and providing a stop gap for the airforce and finally retire its "senior citizens"/airframes without being left in the dark if the "pagan Bedouin hoards" manage to get their hands on the any decent fighters that "ex-comrade Ivan" makes.


Mass is mass. If it's affixed to your head in any way, you aren't going to be moving it at 9G.

So you are saying that you could move your head with falcon eye at 9G ??
I doubt anyone can. Plus unlike the 80's we dont need to have raster scan and the mirrors and smoke routine with OLED's and SED' comming out.


and have the entire canopy be your 1:1 display area so that the overlay matches perfectly and you have the ability to employ 'floating' seconday systems outputs which use retinal projection as a secondary channel, rather like a twin-monitor feed on your PC.

Thats what I meant when I said that the canopy could be a retro-reflexive with the outlay matching the environ exacltly.


Or simply _accept_, conceptually, that the guy who shoots first with a probability of kill over 60% (2 out of 3) is going to win?
Such is the difference between having a human in the loop to destroy the efficiency of a mechanical killing system with the weight and performance limitations of all his bio-crutches.

Isnt all of that being displayed to pilot as of now? The pilot already gets the whole relay commentary of the match and is now already relagated to " tourist" and merely calls the aye's and the nay's that is the kill or not kill decision. Obvioulsy in combat the pilot is incapable of comprehending all the various sensor outputs and roll rates. The point is not the generation of data by the presentation of data meaningfully and with relavance. This happens not only in Air combat but even in every manufacturing and engineering application, that is not to say do away with the engineers and let the computer design everything because they lack the basic requirement of intelligence, which cannot be replicated artificially.
Even the F-22 was busy belly diving during landings because fo the inability o the systems to interpret data causing the aircraft to stall 50-60ft in the air and drop like a rock. Their is still much development that needs to be done.



THAT is where the humanist viewpoint really falls down in time-compressed activities you see. We take so long to gather the limited dataset we can interpret that by the time we reach a decision, it's already been invalidated by events.

Isnt that the job of the electronics to keep us abrest of happenigns and be anble to assist the pilot with relevant details so that they are accurate at the time of presentation. If the software fails this basic task then I cannot see how it can be entrusted with the capability to manage the whole aircraft independently without supervision by the pilot.
Maybe they should start out and prove themselves as crop-dusters before they can be considered as fit to fly multi-million dollar aircraft that can level cities. Humans give accountability, software does not. Also in many situations, the software might lead to killing the very lives humans that it was meant to protect because it cannot differentiate from crashing into a school or a car-park.
[quote
Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Extant, except for VLO and gas (both of which the F-22 matches or betters) the F-35 offers no real /systemic/ improvements,

It isnt meant to be better, nor improved. If it was then they would have scrapped the F-22 and gone only with the f-35. What it is meant to be is a next-gen airframe that can do almost what the f-22 can do but to a lesser degree and at a cheaper price. That cheaper price is 98million compared to the 150million odd for the F-22.
It is meant to fill a particular role and that is precisely what it does. To continue USAF dominace into the next 3 decades. Also its not like the AF has given up the UCAV model, a 7BN programme is still running strong trying to make them do the BFM perfectly first before they do carrier landings and dogfighting.


2. Helmet-anything is unimportant if your airframe costs more than 10 of the enemy's and so you MUST kill from ranges beyond the point at which you need to stay headsout (of cockpit with 8X8 or better displays).

This isnt the Russian tank brigade where numbers matter, if each airframe can go in do its job and return with 99% sucess rates then that is what counts not the numbers that can be peddled to the AF, NAvy and the Marines to fill the hangers. Its better that we have lesser, that way their less spent on maintanence, less pilots required, less fuel consumed and less tax payers pissed off.


The problem is that manned airframes are so outrageously expensive that you end up 'multiroling them' which means that the joint air component commander steals airframes he shouldn't be allowed to to fill holes.

Isnt that a good thing ? To maximize asset utilization and minimize redundancy and over diversification. Because when the "scramble" siren is blown the Air commander cannot be scrolling through lists of units deciding which should go up to deal with Su-30's ad which should go up for Migs.


To which I say bunk. Computers are so fast that they can process, interpolate and fuze data to present to the human, visually, what he couldn't /begin/ to filter himself.

I am sure that if you multiply the sensors and speed up their data you could probably come up with more interpolation models and pictographs than before but can the computer destroy the threat also ? That has so far not been proved. Thought it is forecasted to be possible in the future their is no time frame that any can fix for complete automation of air combat.
We dont trust computers to fly ever our comercial planes without pilots why do you think people/in charge/ will allow them to wander the sky with enough power to level entire cities ?


Thus we invented DAS (MAWS in a new box) as a means to compensate for his limitations and are trying, desperately, to 'look, oh wow, it's a nav-FLIR too!' integrate him with it's superior functioning.

IF the DAS cannot represent data meaningfully to the pilot at the exact time he needs it is useless,just because it can churn out reams of data doesnt necessarily make it superior. Completion of its basic task and how well it does this is a measure of its superiority.
Man was not built ot fly at Mach 3 and face multiple G forces at extended lengths and still maintain oreientation and purpose is a feat in itself. The DAS is just a device that further facilitates this man to continue to do what he was not designed to do.
[quote
I live in a computerized world where the only 'display' of interactive data required is for the (blind, moronic) HUMAN to see the way the future will unfold as a series of preemptive time-as-spatial-vectors decisions.
Whereas the UCAVs _autopilot_ their way to the target as a function of straight line, minimum profile, signature vs. geometry management. In pure math.

The computer resorts to a primitive language of numbers that give only the picture of what is and not what will be, intuition/experience play a large role for a good fighter pilot the ability to predict enemy tactics and enemy positions is what the machine simply cannot do. Mere representation of the senario is next to useless without the ability to knwo whether the pilot is going to flee or fight or whether the pilot is going to bail out. Math jsut gives you a picture of probabilities that you gain from "experience" rather than any future certainities.



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 01:24 AM
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Not at the point on the airframe but rather a mixed picture using the AESA and the EO DAS to generate a 'synthetic' image to the pilot, like a 3-d radar except its HM.

USAF Systems Lab up at Wright Pat (and I think Armstrong too) did some work with this using a concept called 'VCASS' or Visually Coupled Airborne Systems Simulator'.

It looked like a giant Darth Vader helmet (which figures given the tech of the time) but succeeded in replacing all external stimulus with an artificial rendering akin to highway in the sky entering the land of the giant mushrooms as a cartoon like presentation. I believe it was even partially three-D (one of the reasons for the giant binocular combiners).

Obviously, the helmet would have needed to be shrunk or the presentation shifted to a 'laserium' type canopy projection system but the reason pilots didn't like it was because while it removed a lot of the background/environmental clutter (Pilot's Associate type gear effectively decided 'what you needed to see') and displayed what was present with a more human perspective understanding of position and relevance; it also destroyed their ability to interlace real-world cues on airspeed, altitude, attitude and spatial relativism as a function of subtle background data that they processed almost subconsciously.

My big question then remains: If the DAS is going to be used this way, then why tout it's functionality as a mini-FLIR?

It's not. It's a discrete surveillance/tracking agent that presents data to /another/ computer for fusion with a global SA picture system. Not real world at all.

Of course the answer is obvious: If the pilot needs this much help in processing a larger world such that a computer must spoon feed his 'limited interface', then he is simply slowing things down and adding unnecessary complexity to what the machine already knows more about than he does.

This failure to accept a view of man as not simply a poor sensor system but a poor /integrator/ of 'offhead' generated data is why we continue to use such largely 2D, non 1:1 matching overlay, time-stepped (here then here, not here and here and here, skip ahead ten steps and see where they are going to be) linear displays of vectors-as-intent. Rather than outcomes as alternate possibilities.

The more we force a computer to present images which the minds-eye mental theater can intuitively integrate, the more we must make the computer function the way man does. And while such a capability is /desperately/ needed, across all levels of society, to help stabilize a crumbling social infrastructure. It means admitting we are such total screwups that we can't even make war (our one, true, skillset, handed down from hunting) with a real purposefulness.

And that's a big bite to swallow.

>>
If it is an ARD then that is the general idea isnt it ? The 'synthetic' image is just the data that will help you react to the real situation not the actual situation itself. Anyway why replicate something that is already there to be seen with 'synthetic' imagery? Obvioulsy only that which would aid the pilot into making the proper choices would be incorporated into the HMD without the redundancy.
>>

Humans, especially males, are linear creatures. It helps us a lot to stay focussed on progress-relative-to-vector. In more or less 'making' the world match our mental picture rather than trying to wrap our mind around a temporary globality of separate position:potentials as indepenent 'confluences of input' from outside.

In this, it is easier to keep the man relating to speed-as-life (set the turn then proceed along the new bearing) if it is presented in a strictly forward-restricted perspective.

Which is why HUDS, though limited in display area and requiring a constant 'outside reference check' are such good things for keeping you thinking 'thru and out' the engagement.

OTOH, you put your display on a helmet and not only are you further shrinking the total display area (one monocle for each eye = perhaps 4 square inches as an alternative to a full-visor display of say 10 when compared to a 5X8 wideangle HUD of some 40) in which to present decently sized (rapidly moving) symbology, but you are also lateralizing your 'action-line' observation perspective away from the centerl 'vector line' principal energy state modus of the airframe.

Such can make it awfully easy to fight an inbound threat as if it is closing on you as a static (up/down, left/right but no FORWARD compression/extension) field of view.

Which is a large part of why your are supposed to generate a little offset but not more than about 40` when you defeat a SAM in the FQ.

Human visual physiology is just wierd-wired and when you throw in the inertial senses as well, it simply is not a system designed to beat upwards of 3,000fps or better micro-object closures from strange angles.

Again, positing the 'then why is he there' objection.

>>
Adding that to the whole "tag! you'r dead" thing will definitely make the pilot safer giving him the opportunity to make that last minute kill beyond the conventional AoA which is making a dash for it.
>>

The most effective shooter is the one who is not engaged and indeed /unseen/. He can take his time and make the aspect+range come together to sweeten the shot as he leads the target with his own nose, in a gentler tracking arc. The presence of HOBS weapons while often seen in a 1v1 scenario, in fact ALSO redoubles the number of spatial and nosepoint offsets from which 'X attacks Y, only to expose his belly to Z' as a threat to the second shooter.

Fighter combat being about section/element pairs tactics, if you choose to enter the WVR realm without your wingie, you deserve what you get because sure as heck, you WILL be 'fired' anyway, once you get back to base.

That said, the best way to survive a knife attack at short range is to be able to take the hit while still drawing your P226 to shoot the other guy as he looks down at his bent blade stuck in your body armor.

Since your gun will kill him. If you can just concentrate on employing it, fast.

Move the scenario up to projectile weapons and it becomes the Clint Eastwood scenario of having a potbelly stove door strapped to your chest while the Mad Mexican shoots a Winchester 'center mass'.

In this case point, (had he been wise instead of dramatic) The Man With No Name would have simply, carefully, raised his pistol weapons to take aim and fire at equivalent range while the guy with the rifle 'thought he won' with his rifle. Lest the rifle artist realize (B-DING!) he is playing against body armor and switches to a head shot.

In ACM, this 'better a solid defense than a quicker trigger' equates to having a DIRCM to kill the HOBS round as it arcs up and switches from LOAL inertial (or edges of LOBL seeker track) to terminal lead steering. For it's the edges of the gimbal and focal plane focus that will still give you the most effective seduction steer as you challenge the logic of the weapon guidance to fly the target off the 'eyeball' of the seeker looped input to steering.

Since his first=last best move to point the damn thing at me is going to cost him airspeed and pylon counts. While the DIRCM is effectively infinitely reloadable. I would rather have the 1G steady shot than the high 'my nose hose beats your raked bunt back!'.

>>
Naturally the entire, HOBs picture wont come into play 6-10 miles out but what if after the first phase of "chicken" is over and you still have 4 Migs who were able to do a "fly by " with aplomb for getting past our BVR-package.
>>

Not entirely sure what you're referring to here. To me it's always going to be COE determinative.

If I'm in a Raptor with Six AIM-120 and 2 AIM-9 whatever, I will either extend and come back for more AMRAAM engagements. This is simple when you have digital datalinks (you lag, I lead, I shoot _you guide_) to go along with 9G supercruise turnoff capabilities.

Alternately, if I have no AMRAAM left, I will simply refuse the fight where it's my 2 SRMs to their potential 8+.

If I'm in an F-35 the situation is even more predeterminative because i cannot exit the fight without giving every IRST out there major wood as I go from .45 to 1:1 T/Wr _on burner_.

While my ability to carry anything more than a pair of internal AMRAAM means that yielding signature advantagement in the initial BVR phase and...gee thanks. But no.

>>
(It is possible you know!) Getting sucked into a "loop-the-loop" knife fight, all the while looking for an escape window before the Migs can call in their fellow "brethren" and sucker punch the pilot at 4-12'. In this madness the HOBS system will decrease the pilot expose to the threat environ and avoid procrastinating the aerial fistfights that get pilots killed due to the over reliance on BVR shoot offs.
>>

Most fights are fought with relatively low numbered odds. USAF tactics still being based on flights and 'walls' of 4-8 ships, the likelihood of a single pair of anything getting past the BVR spear thicket is actually somewhere shy of absolute zero.

At least with the threat countermeasures (hard and soft) that are advertised 'if not the indian then the arrow' today.

OTOH, if the bad guys are out in force (sufficient to put you in missile:target as much as airframe:airframe numeric challenge), it's time to take what shots you can, accept the /overall/ mission kill (fuel and exposure with minimum ordnance) and simply _call off_ rather than rerole the rest of the strike package 10-20 minutes behind you.

You will still get kills. They will learn that even a pack tactic is only going to be death-in-detail attrited to nothing. And 'the drama' of the airwar will go up because /tomorrow/, instead of 8-12 F-22 in the lead van. Each with 2 AIM-120 and 2 JDAM or 8 SDB.

There may well be 20. And every one will be wall-to-wall with AMRAAM in the bays.

Similarly, with supercruise, a 20nm weapon becomes a 40nm one (AIM-120C5). And a 40nm weapon becomes a 60nm one (AIM-120C7/8 as 'ERAAM' with the full 11" motor extension filling the remaining voidspace in the missile body).

60nm ranged shots, FQ, will be decided at 35. 40nm ranged shots will be decided at 25. You may well have literal 'room' for a dual shoot-cleanup-run determinism before the radar, let alone visual, merge becomes even a minor problem.

If you commit past that, _still_ disadvantaged (which is to say shot:target 'uncertain' how many rounds you can 1+10, 2 + 5, 3 +2 continue to take on the survivors) you're not playing the game by the percentages as _well you should be_ with a 183 million dollar or 'even' just a 95 million dollar platform.

Half of SSPK is range vs. off angle vs. available target defensive behaviors. If you have the shots, start taking them. Because the sooner he makes a 'turn signal' acknowledgement of the inbound threat, he has not only bled his own energy state (to further shots, upgrading their SSPK) He has effectively halved his own envelope.

>>
Not necessarily. The gimball would not have merely one scanner but an array of 120-200 scanners coupled together to give a 120 deg spherical LIDAR frame at once and the gimball sviwels changeing the perspective. It has been done in labs, all the need to do now is to incorporate it into a functioning device for a fighter.
>>

The sky is clean. I just don't see the need to scan multiple detector arrays of fixed pixel count. Or to timeshare/focal plane divide up a single array. Solely to increase scan rates looking for targets that are 50X30ft /at their smallest/ (F-16 class).

Humans need the visual depth of field to judge how far they are from their environment cues (clouds, ground features etc.) as a function of 'stepping in' to THEIR OWN position and dynamic performance state as much as the rangepoint of target X.

Robots only need to see target X itself. Because their understanding of both it and the environment is basically mathematical-scalar (15,000ft density above a 5,000ft mean terrain index for the TERPROM area, 20,000ft from the 800fps target at 250fps tangential closure yields 20 seconds to a 4,000ft best shot call.).

The difference being that the human is always about reducing the error in his observations to the point where they agree with what the (FQ biased) targeting sensors agree is a valid shot point. The robotic intellect can make the MATH ITSELF determine the SSPK value, from any point at which it can see the target at all.

>>
Its either that or flying “dead” and the fighter mafia in the Pentagon wont let them selves be relegated as obsolete. Atleast not yet.
>>

If the torch gets big enough to vaporize the airframe around them,
they will 'see the light'. If a 2nd tier nation like India fields a fleet of 1,000 BQM-34 sized 'fighters' SOLELY to soak up the USAF BVR shot inventory before forcing the engagement at close quarters, they will be fired as ineffective and obsolescent.

The difference?

We have to go over their soil to get within range of most of the envisioned (100-200KW) first generation lasers. So it's more or less possible to use cruise or lolo flight parameters to get the DEWS. But the drones can give chase until they run out of fuel or bullets. And then ram.

Which means that theoretically, we have already lost _DCA_ air supremacy. And we just don't know it yet.

>>
Because the human body is the cheapest most accurate package of sensors and co-ordination that nature can provide so far without the need to spend billions on alternative systems and finding a way to integrate all that data into some central processor that makes sense of and effectively utilizes the data to get the job done the quickest and the cheapest way.
>>

Sigh. Yet another victim of the Big Lie. Whereby you tell it often enough, fervently enough, and it becomes a seeming truth.

A2G is 'complicated'. Largely because, in the only form which really counts, you cannot remove the 'ground' portion of the equation and so must put up with it's all-dots-look-like-targets size as a discrete signature problem and must often winkle out the good from the bad at distances for which /even the participants/ are not sure 'who's who'.

This is how you see A2A I bet-

www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil...

A2A is comparitively simple:

Launch.
Fly between X/Y/Z for as long as you can.
If a signature comes into the target area, generate a collision bearing.
Killl or reacquire and make a second pass.

In a collaterals, clutter, frat, 'clean' environment; I can do that with target drone technology that has been around since the late '50s. Heck, a little luck and some decent engineering, I can probably even recover them for a second try.

What's more, I can _guarantee_ that they will not cost more than three million each. Which means I can buy 15 for each Su-30MKI I laugh off. And 60 for every F-22A.

So I can equally afford to lose (assets) in order to /generate/ the 'conflicted opportunity' by which to WIN THE WAR.

Because for 100 Su-30MKI's I have 1,500 attack drones. And even if I blow 100 per day, I can sustain a contested battle for 15 days. Running the 'AEF' Americans out of missiles to shoot back with before I expend all my 'fighters'.

Since WWII, how many wars can you think of in which either side has been able or willing to leverage 100 losses per day for victory?

Really? I _wonder why_. ($$$$).

>>
And BTW the Pentagon still finds it more cost effective to train pilots than to develop/perfect alternate systems and hardware that can do reliably what the "meatbag' can.
>>

No it doesn't. Read _The Five Billion Dollar Misunderstanding_. Understand that the very first false premise of the A-12 was inherent to a mission statement that would have you believe we needed a longrange naval strike asset, 'solely because an A-6 aviator (Lehman) said so'.

When in point of truth, every major U.S. attack of the 1990s, especially at range, has been led if not /entirely composed of/ cruise missiles (target drones with a warhead).

'The Pentagon' are a bunch of civillian hacks who are hired to sign checks and look stupid when caught lying before Congress. The military and the industrial base rule the largest discretionary element of every year's national budget by ruse of deliberate misinformation as a 'repute of shame' which everyone else falls in with, /wants to be like/ (as competitive threats) solely because their own militaries are made up of the same 'heroic' (fun no matter how much it costs) personality types.

Put me in charge of a nation's defense budget and, at the end of a five year development cycle, I could utterly obliterate the USAF (in D1/R1 conditions) for less money, _total program cost_, than we expend on manned aviation training every year.

This-

www.defenseindustrydaily.com...

Is proof-of-puddin' inherent to 1.6 billion dollars being expended for 2,200 warshots worth of cruise. A complex system with many more features than any 'fighter' needs.

The USAF maintains a core force of pilots some 6,105 strong, of those, 4,163 are tacair dedicated and so presumably 'eligible' to kill something in the sky-

www.afa.org...

Average F-16C maintenance costs per flight hour run about 3,600USD-

www.mirage-jet.com...

Average F-16 training requirements are on the order of '20hrs per mission, per month'-

www.rand.org...

12X20X4,163X3,600 = 3,596,832,000 or 3.5 BILLION dollars.

Now, let's look at the pay scales for those all O-1 (Lieutenant) pay grades-

www.themilitaryzone.com...

Which provide for 2,264 bucks a month for a first biannual grade _not_ including flight, combat, hazardous/stressful duty, translocation and family allotments or offbase housing 'bonus''. This means that if EVERY PILOT in the USAF tacair community /alone/ is a butter bar + 1, the sum of their yearly pay comes up to 113,100,384. A number which you MUST multiply by 7 because that is your typical commitment for flight training. So we're talking another BILLION dollars in 'this year' money thrown away.

4.5 billion dollars. Not including the ground crew or spares pipe lead item purchases which are themselves nothing more or less than a way to guarantee a contractor base after initial production.

_Do Not_ frickin' tell me that this is not PURE WASTE for a mission which is 70% flown (peace and war), 20% maneuvered (go away or eat missile) and 10% decisively engaged (Someone's body parts are flying formation with the wreckage).

Round it up to five billin dollars and I will make a force of 1,000 'fighters' which will CRUSH any reasonable (200-700) expeditionary air force you care to bring. Without all the /crap/ which the Lunchmeat folks are insisting 'has to be there'. Because a pilot is onboard.

1 year of manned aviation for essentially 15 years of wooden round shelf sitters that are as much aces the day they are scrapped as they day they were warehoused.

A2A is largely simple. Point, Click, Kill.

The deceptiveness of the notion is inherent to the fact that you don't need anthropomorphism to execute the processes described.

>>
That is just speculation and nothing more, their is nothing to say that every first tier nation would have copied the US when no nation has built anything close to the F-117 even after 5 decades! Forget the B-2/F-22/THEL.
>>

No. Because those who fail to APPLY history (the atomics) are stuck repeating it because they refuse to CHANGE _the future_ before similar conditions apply. The Tactical High Energy Laser is the future. The B-2 and F-22 are already the past. If the DEW threat was not imminent, the UCAV and Fighter Drone would _still_ be fiscally and tactically a better choice. Because they are cheap enough to carry more weapons into battle and be lost in numbers sufficient to still get the job done, vs. conventional threats.

DEWS simply ensures that IF WE DON'T GO ROBOTIC. Someone else will. Because nobody can envision losing 100-200 pilots per day. And DEWS bring exactly that option to the playing field.

>>
The British RAf has so much interaction with the F-117 yet they have been able to reproduce nothing of its capabilites in the EF-2k. Heck, the 501st practically lived there.
>>

The British Tornado/MRCA program was putting aircraft into the TTTS at a time when the advent of LDSD was so widespread that 'even the Swedes were doing it'. As an airframe which has ZERO high altitude performance 'by design' (VG), they had nothing to be proud of in 1980.

Don't expect me to base my judgments of OUR foolish doctrinal policy on the mistakes of /other nations/ which have themselves signed on to the JSF program, thereby quintupling their stupidity quotient on the basis of not having an alternative in-process now that VLO is a known and high altitude capability is basically a byproduct of the likely (trapezoidal/cropped delta) airframes now in fashion.

Having said that, what you fail to realize is that THEL's are the 'anti airpower' solution which closed societies like the Russians were 'always looking for'. Because they can be used, fully 'defensively' to DENY the option of bloodless bully-politick inherent to American GeoResource Driven Adventurism. What's more, we are not talking 1 million vs. 20 million. But a few thousand dollars and some very basic chemical refinement capabilities for 60-100 million dollars.

It will be the panacea by which everyone cures themselves of 'Americanism' and the fact that most of them are rabidly feral butchers and totalitarians will only mean that they have the control over the money to make sure it happens.

ONLY A COMPLETE FOOL IGNORES DIRECTED ENERGY AS THE NEXT MAJOR 'SOCIAL CHANGE' IN MILITARY ALPHA SERVICE PSYCHOLOGIES.

Because they are the KT boundary of modern airpower.

>>
Presently the predator models and the Stingrays can do little more than RC tricks and that too with minimal payloads. Whos to say that in 10 years time they will be doing hammerheads at airshows ??
>>

Predator is not a fighter. It is (in it's MQ-9 form) able to take Six AGM-114 or JCM followons out to about 500nm and _sit there_ for 10-15 hours. Of the two, the fighter is less impressive because if you choose to kill a Predator, we will only unpack another. But the ten CMs that come knock-knock-knocking on your HAS door will gut you when that jet is back where it spends 80% of it's day, statically. _On The Ground_.

>>
So you are saying that you could move your head with falcon eye at 9G ??
>>

So I'm saying that Falcon Eye was designed at a time when LANTIRN was disappointing and NVD were operating somewhere between 20:60 and 20:40 for resolution and could /easily/ be blanked out completely by ambient conditions ranging from a full moon to a shadowed valley or surface-inversion moisture layers.

What defines Falcon eye is that it existed at a time when the WARPAC armor threat was clearly still present and most of our night/multiattack munitions profiles were still low-pop+dumb munition+smart HUDWAC. In this, the FE gave you a system which could look where the pilot looked (including INS cues) so that some dumb luckless grunt could zap you ATHS coordinates and you could 'ride it in'. In a single pass. With X2/X4 variable magnification.

A2A, that's still better (AvLeak: dark C-130 at 10 miles) than NVD will ever do. While utterly disqualifying the notion that DAS-as-visionics is EITHER 'new' OR 'superior'.

Because it's mounted on a hunkajunk airframe that doesn't NEED to get that close to drop vastly superior standoff IAMs.

Better the superior bullet than the new rifle or the fancy scope sir.

>>
Thats what I meant when I said that the canopy could be a retro-reflexive with the outlay matching the environ exacltly.
>>

Why pay for it when you can put the same money into a pack of robots and saturate any hard or softkill defensive measures on their SINGLE POINT seekers using closure and offset attack angles?

If you want to keep the pilot in the game, you are vastly better off letting the airframe stay level winged and thus able to point defenses at the inbound threat with high tracking quality. If the canopy-as-AMLCD has no real advantages in terms of helping the guy underneath it is use _his own_ senses so much as 'understand' what robotic ones are already seeing superiorly. Why pay for him or the planetarium display?

>>
Isnt all of that being displayed to pilot as of now? The pilot already gets the whole relay commentary of the match and is now already relagated to " tourist" and merely calls the aye's and the nay's that is the kill or not kill decision. Obvioulsy in combat the pilot is incapable of comprehending all the various sensor outputs and roll rates. The point is not the generation of data by the presentation of data meaningfully and with relavance. This happens not only in Air combat but even in every manufacturing and engineering application, that is not to say do away with the engineers and let the computer design everything because they lack the basic requirement of intelligence, which cannot be replicated artificially.
>>

Combat is too brutally simple, especially at the distances for which human vision is able as much as conceptually requried, to interpolate data, to assume that he can integrate the complete picture, more reliably. Before he dies, swarmed by killer lemmings that take /him/ over the cliff.

>>
Even the F-22 was busy belly diving during landings because fo the inability of the systems to interpret data causing the aircraft to stall 50-60ft in the air and drop like a rock. There is still much development that needs to be done.
>>

Nonsense.

1. There are /dozens/ of lethal airframe/performance state combinations that can kill you and which will _never be known_ for any airframe. Simply because the dynamic conditions of flight and weapons load and pilot-intent are not precisely matched up to create the condition which alerts the system to a flaw. This despite the fact that once every year or so a completely new 'tape' comes out with all the relevant upgrades which the previous periods experiences have led Edwards or PaxRiver test communities to develop a fix for. If there is one (usually tighter limiters which pilots hate). It's the Windows Gone Airborne casepoint.

2. If the asset is worth 10 million and has noone onboard, who cares? If the asset is worth 183 million such that you actually /inhibit/ training or flight skills to prevent the 'riding the sharpest edge' casepoint which -might- cause disaster, what are you doing to the competencies of your just-tho-prethus pilot community?

3. In the instance you describe, Tom Morganfeld (Duuuuh, IIRR) was making a low flyby to 'impress the VIPs' with an airframe which was too rare to be flat hatting with _for any reason_ (shades of another 'hotship shown off too soon' incident, in 1939). He retracted the gear and brought the vectoring up, even though the Dash-1 notes _specifically_ warned against this. And himself 'arm as a bob weight' induced a PIO which destroyed the aircraft. Human stupidity, pride and arrogance of self-competent belief 'exceeding the situational ethic of NEED'. And causing Lockheed to lose their only flying demonstrator as the EMD period stretched out ten years longer than it should have. What a /great/ example dude!


This thing is long enough, I think I've covered most points. Bring the others back in a separate post if you want.


KPl.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 08:33 AM
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Alright guys and gurls found some new images from the engine testing being done for the F-35. enjoy!
www.jsf.mil...

(edit) sorry about that waynos here they be.

[edit on 2-2-2006 by Canada_EH]



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 09:39 AM
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Enjoy what? Where are they



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