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How Effective is the F-35's VTOL?

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jra

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 09:51 PM
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Originally posted by Canada_EH
So i'm sittin here and wonderin with all this talk about only one of the 3 versions and the fact that my countries military wont even buy the b version but probably the a or c.


Personally I don't see Canada getting any version of the F-35. But I guess time will tell. And it would only be the A version since the C is ment for the Navy.


So my question then comes to does anyone have any problems that they can see in this platform ie. is it way overpriced(which anyone answer it will be pure speculation) Or what use do they use the extra or gained space in these versions ie fuel armament electronics etc.


Not sure on the current price of the F-35, but last I saw it was about $45million (fly-away price) for the F-35A. I'm sure the cost has gone up since then though. Good question about the extra space. I'm not sure what takes up the space in the A and C versions. My best guess would be extra fuel, but who knows. I couldn't really find any information on that.




posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 10:04 PM
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Originally posted by waynos

Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Seeing that the F-35's VTOL version can hover for more then 90 seconds which is the limit for the Harrier its already better in my book. The Harrier pushes its engines way too hard when in hover and when its water coolant tanks run dry in 90 seconds you will fry the engines out.




Frankly, so what? Under what circumstances would you want to hover for a minute and a half? Would it be while you wait for your 'shoot me' banner to unfurl beneath you?

The Harrier (and the F-35B) are not intended to just sit there in the sky, the vertical lift element is solely a function of getting on and off the ground (well, back onto it anyway in the case of the JSF) which is easily attainable well within 90 seconds. So why is a 90 second limit a defect?


Really thats 90 seconds split between take off and landing.

It was just a example to show why one engine is superior. One will burn out under 90 seconds of stress of hovering the other will not. It not hard to see which is better in that respect.



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 04:11 AM
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Sure, in that respect, but if 'that respect' is actually irrelevant to real world operations whats the problem? I don't get rid of my car because it doesn't make my breakfast, I don't want it to.

I go along with the view that the lift fan is a flawed concept because it just takes up space in the airframe when not in use and is nothing more that a lump of metal to be hauled around.

The mantra of Colin Chapman of Lotus cars was 'simplify and add lightness', you can have no simpler or lighter way of achieving VTOL than to have the whole of the engine working all of the time, the Harrier is the only VTOL ever to achieve this. The fact that it cannot do something that it was never intended to do or was ever required to do (hover for more than 90secs) is surely neither here nor there? What advantage does this 'ability' give the F-35? Nothing at all except the ability to present a static target to the enemy for much longer while burning off vast amounts of fuel unecessarily. Is that really something to boast about?



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 09:12 AM
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Originally posted by jra
Personally I don't see Canada getting any version of the F-35. But I guess time will tell. And it would only be the A version since the C is ment for the Navy.



Im just wonderin what canada is looking at then for replacing the CF-118 when the time comes? Eurofighter? Gripen there are only so many options cause the US isn't going to let there neighbour buy a soviet plane. So we only have european options left to us.

I was just lookin at the dnd forces site and they say that upgrades allow the CF-118 to fly till 2017 or 2020. That honestly isn't that far away. only about 10 years till they have to start retireing the planes. And we need a replacement by then.

[edit on 6-6-2006 by Canada_EH]

[edit on 6-6-2006 by Canada_EH]



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
The mantra of Colin Chapman of Lotus cars was 'simplify and add lightness',


So adding a water coolant tank & system just for VTOL was simple and light? What exactly would happen to VTOL capablity if something went wrong with that coolant system?



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 12:39 PM
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But don't you think you are making a mountain out of a molehill? This has NEVER been an 'issue' with the Harrier at all. In fact it only seems to have 'come to light' in the wake of X-35B/F-35B development and testing, coming across as a bit of a desperate grasp at the F-35 being 'better' in some way. This actually worries me about the F-35 because surely it ought to be superior in every way, not just able to hover for longer, or why even mention it?

For some idea of what I'm getting at look here at John Farleys lecture about the development of the Harrier and all the issues and problems that had to be overcome. Odd, don't you think, that this so called major problem merits not one single mention by the chief test pilot? And just look at the stuff that is covered, noseleg oleo extension for one, surely the engine burning out would get a mention but guess what, it wasn't an issue because it didn't happen.

As you say


What exactly would happen to VTOL capablity if something went wrong with that coolant system?


This system has been in use for 46 years and you are asking 'what if'? I hope the lift fan system of the F-35 lasts as long without going wrong. To answer the question though, the engine does not burn out unless the pilot is dumb enough to try to hold the hover, plus it depends on conditions (see next paragraph), with the water gone or the system having failed somehow the pilot simply needs to transition back to conventional flight and land normally, hardly a calamity. Like I said, this seems to being built up into something it isn't.

It is also a bit of a misnomer. The Harrier IS NOT limited to a 90 second hover, unless it is loaded out and the ambient temperature is very high. It is eminently possible for the Harrier to hover 'dry' as long as it is modestly loaded and in cool air. Maybe thatt is why it is percieved to be a problem in the USA but not here? Similarly to the 'extremely high accident rate' which only seems to affect the USMC Harriers?



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 01:44 PM
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Originally posted by jra
. Good question about the extra space. I'm not sure what takes up the space in the A and C versions. My best guess would be extra fuel, but who knows. I couldn't really find any information on that.

You are correct - the extra space where the lift fan would be in the STOVL version is a fuel tank in the Conventional take off and carrier versions. Other toys such as 100kw solid state lasers have been considered to fill this hole, the only thing about the laser is that they are waiting on the power efficiency to rise as well as the cooling efficiency of the diodes. 2 yrs ago the SS Laser was efficient in the 25kw range, it is now in the 75 kw range. It is concievable that the SS laser could be ready (efficiently running 100 kw) around the same time as the STOVL F-35's start rolling off the assembly line.

[edit on 6-6-2006 by intelgurl]



posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 09:52 PM
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Another reason, at least when first introduced, was the Harrier was viewed as easy to fly. Of course it is....by seasoned pilots. The USMC made a big error when it opened the flood gates and let just about any pilot into it, thinking it would be just like any other winged aircraft. Reality hit hard. You can't take an F-15 pilot, stick him in an AH-64, and expect him to perform just like any other Apache pilot would from the moment he sits down. Proper training is the key. That's what makes the Harrier flyable and effective in combat. And it's proven to be very capable for a first generation VTOL combat plane.



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