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New U.S. F-35 fighter dubbed "Lightning II"

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posted on Jul, 9 2006 @ 09:31 AM
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Since the F-8 is one of my faves, I would have like Crusader II, but given situation with islam, I doubt anyone would have the stones to call it that.




posted on Jul, 9 2006 @ 03:13 PM
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Good job the French weren't involved in the project or it would have been a requirement to call it the LightningeII



posted on Jul, 9 2006 @ 06:17 PM
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Then Waynos Said,

>>
Hmmm, I have to disagree there. The P-38 was a superb fighter that the RAF handicapped by buying them without superchargers, the USAF models were uniformly excellent.
>>

They were complex. Two of everything meant twice as many breaks and more importantly, twice as much cost.

They were among the first tricycle gear ships and pilots didn't know how to land them were a little flustered at the attitude and heat with which they came in. This was in fact a problem throughout the envelope where pilots needed to be aware of massXenergy in leading their airframe's reactions DESPITE a much smoother set of controls.

They _did not_ like British fuel and the Allisons had a tendency to make 'water from oil' in their injection systems which ruined plugs left right and center. Surging engines also meant lousy economy which is the wrong thing to discover on the far end of a 500nm sortie.

Euroclag also liked to ice over those precious superchargers on a regular basis which could put ugly stuff where it wasn't supposed to go and do such lovely things as blow out chunks of the wing LE.

The cockpits didn't have adequate heating. Which is a critically important matter when you are in subarctic conditions above 25,000ft.

They drew MASSIVE contrails which the Germans could easily spot and 'work around'.

And of course they had that rather unfortunate tendency to want to compress. Thanks to an Eagle Eyed RAF Spitfire pilot who 'somehow' mistook a C-54 for a Condor and promptly destroyed a couple hundred shipsets of field-mod speedbrakes.

Like the F-22, the P-38 was showboated by an idiot who should have known better and suffered the fate of an early crash without an /intensive/ lobbying effort to push forward production.

Like the F-22, Lightnings were designed and developed in one place (California and then shifted to Texas IIRR) and then shifted to a production site not yet ready to ramp up at a time we needed numbers of aircraft _in a hurry_.


CONCLUSION:
The P-38 sucked and blowed in a lot of ways. The fact that it was never given the support and upgrades it needed to shine before the game was given over to North American and Republic is secondary to that. Because where the P-38 _shined_ (historically) was in the Mediterranean and PTO. Where it fought aircraft as primitive in their own design evolutions as it had been at the beginning of the war.

What the P-38 gives you: twin engine power. Nothing could out accelerate the early Lightning at medium altitudes between 10-15,000ft. Nothing could out climb it. Few singles could turn with it 'against the torque'. It had decent fixed armament package which meant you could kill what you hit with even a glancing strike and like the FW-190, it was one of the first aircraft to develop multipylon, modular, weapons systems. By the time of the early L- LO-5/10 models, you were looking at a ship that could push 460mph and had wicked roll rates to set snapshots from. As well as (finally) the brakes/engines/turbos it had needed since 1941.

Do any of these apply to the JSF? Not that I can tell. The sad part being WHY, because whether as an ATL equipped jet or a standoff IAM slinger, the JSF would benefit greatly from less wing loading and more thrust:weight to improve altitude performance in a better optimized weapons-bus carriage mix.

>>
The EE Lightning was short ranged, yes. Just like every other Mach 2 fighter of the period. It was not an air superioroty fighter but a short range interceptor and as such it was the fastest climbing Interceptor in the world and the *only* specialised 'pure interceptor' in Western service for many years. Definitely not average.
>>

The problem here being that an F-4 could take a Lightning section over their own base. Because they had the gas to get there and the BVR weapons to shoot until things started falling off. All before rolling in and leveling the place.

The danger of comparison here is that the F-35 SHOULD have much more in common with the Phantom than the Lightning. But aside from gas, it does not.

>>
Its only downfall was its feeble load of two AAM's after the proposed 4 missile arrangement with two on the wingtips was abandoned at the development stage. It was felt that in the circumstances in which it would be used, two missiles would be perfectly adequate. Don't judge the Lightning by the modern day.
>>

'Only' equals PRINCIPLE (overriding) shortcoming when the jet is the only thing you have, pre-rhino that can play air superiority games on the Centfront. If you can't stay in the fight until the bad guys can combat-persist no longer, you can't win. It should also be noted that this was the time of the Tu-121/122 Jastreb whose potential ability as a high altitude cruise missile with nuclear armament was so frightening that a 'well know' British leftist tabloid of the time published a page-1 article 'expressing alarm' at how destabilizing this was. The Lightning could not defeat this. Bloodhound could not defeat this. Nike Hercules could. But only with nuclear tips.

>>
Flanker/Raptor/Typhoon philosophy but more as the ultimate expression of the need to intercept incoming high flying bombers as quickly as possible which also created the Me 163 and Bachem Natter. An advantage of the Lightning for example that just on the power of its Avons it outclimbed the F-104 and Mirage III even when these two types used rocket boosters, leading to the plan to fit the Lightning with DH Spectre rocket boosters under the rear fuselage to be abandoned. The Lightning reigned supreme in this area until the USAF introduced the F-15 in 1974.
>>

Which is fine if you are fighting a defensive war. The JSF is not designed to do so and indeed, 'for the price' can ONLY be rendered useful if it is employed as an OFFENSIVE deep-interdiction platform.

The secondary lesson inherent to your argument being that if an F-35 were to face off against a 'modern day Lightning' (Komet, Natter, whatever) WHAT WOULD THE INTERCEPTOR LOOK LIKE?

And the answer is that it would be unmanned, persistent and mildly supersonic to the extent that it could do what the Raptor does, without the bring-home package.

Because a 750K-1.5 million dollar interceptor can be launched in the kinds of numbers which would FIND (optically) and DEFEAT (dogpile) a subsonic striker, on a decreasing order of probability: 90-70-60-50-30 PK vs. 20-50-70-150nm PER UNIT radii that they had to fly out to.

And everyone knows this who knows anything about aerial warfare. They simply insist on living the lie like knights refusing to acknowledge the Crossbow then Musket in the late middle ages.

>>
Average?
>>

Average is as average does. 90+% of missions flown over Iraq and AfG are now (Just As I Predicted Thank You /Very Much/) _NTISR_ based. And the pilots are yeowling to beat hell because "They weren't meant for this kind of bleep."

And neither was the economy which has to support their worthless 'fighter' centric existence.

The JSF will fail because it isn't optimized to be lost. The JSF will fail because the Gen-6 platforms which are now catching up rapidly to it's IOC date don't need the same kind of up front or infrastructural investment which is the 'all about the rep not the work baby' LIE inherent to manned U.S. airpower myth. The JSF will fail because all the systems it has onboard do nothing to really increase it's capability as a ground attack platform and in three key areas MUST be on the system which would exceed it's capabilities by an order of magnitude in that role. The JSF will FAIL, utterly, because it is NOT a fighter. And DOES NOT NEED TO BE. So that measuring it for a role that is so rarely performed as much as entirely untailored for the F-35 mission spec is an exercise in mendacious self delusion much like WWF spectators arguing over 'who could beat who with a chair and a flying start'.


KPl



posted on Jul, 9 2006 @ 09:47 PM
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I'm not sure where you think I am comparing either previous Lightning to the F-35, which is utterly different whether you think it any good or not, my point was merely to argue that neither of them could be called 'very average' when judged by the standards of the time in which they were created.

When you say in reference to the BAC Lightning "thats all very well if you are fighting a defensive war", thats just it, that was purely what the Lightning was about, get up as high as possible as quickly as possible and shoot down incoming bombers, mixing it with enemy fighters or taking the fight forward to the enemy was never in its make up.

I'm not going to try and say that it was the best of plans, of course, but simply thats how it was back then.



posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 08:50 PM
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Waynos,
>>
I'm not sure where you think I am comparing either previous Lightning to the F-35, which is utterly different whether you think it any good or not, my point was merely to argue that neither of them could be called 'very average' when judged by the standards of the time in which they were created.
>>

The P-38 was /entirely/ average in it's achieve wartime LER. To the point where we lost nearly as many as we took down. That this was under-achieved by a 'highly advanced engineering concept', often facing the likes of Me-109G4/5/6 and Ki-43 as much as 190Ds or Hayates (i.e. the worst of theirs vs. the supposed best of ours) raises the BS flag more not less.

Not least of which SOD bubble popping being because it's optimization for high altitude aerial combat was insufficient for the operational vagaries of hard use, if not actually _by design_ flawed through all but the last two of seven major variants. A total of some 10,000 airframes only half were of a model _mechanical competent_ as much as competitive with the extant (developed) threat.

>>
When you say in reference to the BAC Lightning "thats all very well if you are fighting a defensive war", thats just it, that was purely what the Lightning was about, get up as high as possible as quickly as possible and shoot down incoming bombers, mixing it with enemy fighters or taking the fight forward to the enemy was never in its make up.
>>

IIRR, the 'EE Lightning' went into service around 1960-61. By 1965, _I know_ they had at least 1 squadron active in Germany. By 1970 they had four. How many _total_ squadrons were there? 10? 12?

That's 40% of the fleet doing the frontal Air Superiority mission /by default/ with a secondary 'one pass Aden Strafe' A2G assignment as well. MORE Lightnings woudl have gone over to reinforce RAF-G (probably in France by that time) had the Red Horde come rovering over the thin line.

YOU MEASURE GREATNESS BY WHAT YOU DO.

Yet the Lightning was not a turn and burn platform and it's weapons systems, while competent for intercept were not particularly suited _by numbers or location_ to multi-combatant dogfighting in a saturated air threat situation.

Which is more or less what you're stuck with when you fail (weather, AIRPASS LDSD, weather, GCI compromise, weather) to make the FQ kill and are fighting with heat weapons in German clag.

Now add into the mix the positively wretched servicability of the type in the early years and remember /they have more than you do/.

_NO._

I would have rather have had F-5A's over Germany than Lightnings. Hell, I would prefer Freedom Fighters in the UKADGE too. At least they had reliable AAR, decent range, small visual signature, MORE WEAPONS, decent field performance and outstanding reliability.

**Do not be in love with brochure performance** is a bylaw of airwar historians and 'just-plane' enthusiasts. Doing so as a function of 'whats in a name but a rose' followon reputative assignment is thus doubly-dumberer.

>>
I'm not going to try and say that it was the best of planes, of course, but simply thats how it was back then.
>>

The problem is 'optimizing' an airframe to a mission set and then discovering that you are using it in a different role from initial expectation.

For the JSF this is going to be particularly hard to take for the following reasons:

1. Limited PWSC/SDD trials fleet.
The 'real' (weight leveraged) F-35 will not fly until late in 2008, two years after production selection is 'celebrated, not decided'.

2. Questionable production variant optimization.
Having paid a HUGE development cost penalty for 'three planes, one name' split of service features; we are now locking ourselves into a production run based on ONE (the easiest) variant's SDD capabilities evaluation. If further variant performance optimization is required through upgrades to aeros and engines, we're pooch-howled for integrating it within an 'expected' export timeframe. Let alone as DEF model changes.

3. Questionable Performance Justification.
With similar radar modes and EOTS, the F-22 will do the same job, twice as well with all but heavy weight munitions. 500 of these airframe would cost one half the production value of the JSF and has overall superiority when marked against ANY existing air or ground threat.
Comparitively, the JSF is already known to be equal or subpar, aerodynamically, to a lot of previous generation airframe (Flubber, Rafale, Su-30) and only marginally superior in weapons systems (small radar, limited internal carriage).
Indeed it is 'deoptimized' solely to ensure that the Air Services could maintain massive pilot communities rather than realistic airframe inventories (8 bombs vs. 2 means you SHOULD need only 1/4 the F-16 purchase, if you obey the same sortie metric).

3. Stealth Means Diddly Dip All.
When you are facing hunting weapons or DEWS. OR when you are facing _no IADS/Air threat at all_. Yet this is the principal penetrating-strike justification of the F-35 and **we are exporting it like it was water**. A fact made all the more incredulous to me by the realization that 90+% of the 'real mission' now being flown in Iraq is _NTISR_ for which a man onboard FURTHER deoptimizes the airframe with weight and loiter limitations unrelated to the principal standoff weapons carrier mission which a _cheap UCAV_ could ALSO achieve. Day 1, Raid 1 or otherwise. i.e. Standoff and Targeting mean more than 'Fighter + LO'.


CONCLUSION:
Do you not see how deliberate misinformation campaigns can lead to errors of presumption 'back then as now'? How this is a /progressive/ gullibility inherent to man's desire to see things as he wishes them to be rather than as they really are? Do you not understand that WAR is probably the most dangerous of all man's activities in which to be wasting HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of _our money_ living out these Red Baron fantasies?

Baaah.


KPl.

[edit on 13-7-2006 by ch1466]



posted on Jul, 14 2006 @ 09:46 PM
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Can't anyone come up with an ORGINAL name these days? Are people so uncreative that all they can think of is to stick a couple of Roman numerals at the end? The 'Lightning' name has been used long enough. Retire it already. They'll only ruin the reputation of the planes that were actually worthy of the name.
sheesh....



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