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Originally posted by justin_barton3
the advantage of the f-18 is that it is the only plane in the world that is a dedicated fighter plane and an attack plane at the same time. not just an attack plane that can fight or a fighter that can attack.
Originally posted by waynos
And the Gripen, and possibly the Rafale too.
you can be sure that the USN would do all in it's power to find something wrong with it, just as they did the superior F-111B in comparison to their precious Tomcat.
The F-111B was already in trouble since it was seriously overweight. Takeoff weight for a fully-equipped aircraft was estimated at nearly 78,000 pounds, well over the upper limit of 55,000 pounds as required by the Navy.
The problems with the overweight F-111B were so severe that General Dynamics and Grumman were forced into a Super Weight Improvement Program (SWIP), most of the changes being incorporated into the fourth and subsequent F-111Bs. The fourth F-111B (BuNo 151973) was fitted with an escape capsule in place of the individual ejector seats that were fitted to the first three F-111Bs. However, the fitting of this capsule more than offset the weight reductions achieved by the SWIP, and the F-111B remained grossly underpowered. Range was also below specifications and could only be increased by adding more fuel, making the aircraft even heavier.
In order to correct the underpower problem and to eliminate compressor stalls (which were also problems for the land-based F-111As), the first of 32 production F-111Bs (BuNos. 152714/152717, 153623/153642, and 156971/156978) which had been ordered was powered by a pair of TF30-P-12 turbofans, each rated at 12,290 lb.s.t. dry and 20,250 lb.s.t. with afterburning.
The TFX design eventually emerged as an aircraft in the 20-ton (empty) class with a maximum take-off weight of almost 50 tons. It had been intended to use titanium for large portions of the airframe to save weight, but this proved prohibitively expensive. The TFX was powered by two afterburning Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-100 turbofans in the 80 kN class. The shoulder-mounted wings were attached to a pair of giant pivots, allowing it to take off, land, and loiter with a modest 16° sweep (for maximum lift and minimum landing speed), cruise at high subsonic speeds with a 35° sweep, or sweep back to a 72.5° maximum for fast supersonic dashes at more than Mach 2. Despite its high maximum speed, its modest thrust fraction (thrust-to-weight ratio) made early versions somewhat underpowered, exacerbated by compressor stalls and other engine problems that forced a hasty redesign of the engine inlets.
The F-111B was a compromise that attempted to reconcile the Navy's very different needs with an aircraft whose configuration was largely set by the USAF need for a supersonic strike aircraft, and those compromises were to prove its undoing. The B was shorter than the F-111A, to enable it to fit on carrier lifts, but had a longer wingspan (70 ft/21.3 m compared to 63 ft/19.2 m) for increased range and cruising endurance. Although the Navy had wanted a 48 in (122 mm) radar dish for long range, they were forced to accept a 36 in (91.4 mm) dish for compatibility. The Navy had requested a maximum take-off weight of 50,000 lb (22,686 kg), but Secretary of Defense McNamara forced them to compromise at 55,000 lb (24,955 kg). This proved to be overly optimistic.
Weight plagued the B throughout its development. Not only were prototypes far over the 55,000 lb limit, efforts to redesign the airframe only made matters worse. The excessive weight made the aircraft seriously underpowered. Worse, its visibility for carrier approach and landing were abysmal, and its maneuverability—especially in the crucial medium-altitude regimen—was decidedly inferior to the F-4 Phantom II.
Originally posted by ch1466
A Flanker with all the fixings costs about 50 million each.
If I wanted to kill one, I would count the number of kills it has onboard (10-13) and divide 50 by that number + 2. The resultant 'fighter' I would design to escort those cow bombers would cost no more than 3.3 million dollars. It would have an endurance of 1-2hrs. It would be dropped from standoff 'missileer' type assets. And it's sole purpose in life would be to formate with the Flanker and explode a handgrenade sized charge beside the canopy. Multiply that by 20 individual intercepts and you should come up with 300 turboAAM and just shy of 1 billion dollars worth of expendable 'fighter' hardware.
Which should be more than enough. Because rarely do we fight airpowers with more than 20 frontline jets (certainly not better than ours) available to them and NEVER has the USN done so, alone.
Lt. Roy Buehler (from VF-33, we put 6 guys thru test pilot school in 2 ½ years) flew the carrier suitability trails. No one who flew the a/c was allowed to comment on the a/c's performance until the report was published. We almost got this one. Roy attempted a close-in wave-off. From the normal power setting for an approach (about 88% on each engine), the a/c landed, rolled out to the end of the wire, and the engines had not gotten to 100%. Not a real sharp performer.
Originally posted by ch1466
If you're going to get basics like that wrong its a shame because most of the rest of it was bang on.
Blah, blah, blah. How convenient that my statements 'agree with' marketing for the.....
Originally posted by ch1466
First off, the F/A-18A/B/C/D is old news. It is no longer in production and it's costs are thus irrelevant. The F/A-18E/F costs considerably more than 37 million.