Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More from a V-22 fan and F-18 critic

my reply to this piece on the V-22 as machine with a bad rap  that we should buy, and the f-18 as a fighter that is a waste of money (sure is overkill for dropping bombs on insurgents with AK-47s and RPG and IEDs) My college essay was that we needed both the F-14 and F-18, and that it was a terrible mistake to grow the Hornet into a Tomcat replacement. I think the V-22 will go into history with the C-130, Huey, and Phantom as one of the 10 greatest flying machines ever made once they get the bugs out. If it's a success, they'll be buying thousands until the end of time like the C-130.

Look at what Canadair/General Dynamics came up with thirty years ago.

The Canadair CL-84 Dynavert.

S.Markman & B.Holder "Straight Up: A History of Vertical Flight", 2000

Canadair CL-84
Technical data for Canadair CL-84
Engine: 2 x Lycoming LTC1K-4C turboshaft, rated at 1119kW, wingspan: 10.16m, length: 14.41m, height with a wing in horizontal position: 4.34m, height with a wing in 90° position: 5.22m, take-off weight with a vertical start: 5715kg, take-off weight with a shortened run: 6577kg, empty weight: 3827kg, max speed:517km/h, cruising speed: 497km/h, range: 547km


Vaguely resembling the V-22, it could fly three time faster, go three times as far and the whole program, with three airplanes ready to fly off cost 850 million dollars.

It had a miracle MECHANICAL armored control box, impervious to anything but direct cannon fire, while the V-22 will be shot down by a single lost bullet.

--- mine --
Think the CL-84 was good? The tilt-wing XC-142 was faster than the C-130 (400+ mph) with four engines, they just never could get it to run very well.

  1. Largest and Heaviest XC-142 VTOL Vertical Takeoff from an Aircraft ... 17, 2009 - 5 min - Uploaded by TilTuli Largest and Heaviest XC-142 S/VTOL (Short / Vertical TakeOff and Landing) on an ...
  2. Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) XC-142 - YouTube 26, 2009 - 3 min - Uploaded by jaglavaksoldier
    The Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) XC-142 is a tiltwing experimental aircraft designed to investigate the ...
  3. XC-142 Tiltwing Experimental Aircraft 1964 - YouTube 18, 2010 - 50 sec - Uploaded by airboyd The Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) XC-142 is a tiltwing experimental aircraft designed to ...

The Cobra actually predated the F-14 as it was an evolution of the F-5 with a high wing and twin tails. Same forward fuselage and wing shape. The F-5 was the result of building a fighter around afterburnning versions of the engine in the tiny Quail cruise missle/decoy.

You forgot that Cheney headed the "Hornet mafia" and ordered the F-14s AND tooling to be scrapped. And the debacle of scaling up the original lightweight YF-17 to the Phantom sized F/A-18A/C then scaled up yet again (with the deceptively same designation) and almost completely redesigned F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Sure it's got more range than a regular hornet, but nearly the size and more expensive than a re-tooled F-14 which is much faster has much longer range, and carries more than the aerodynamic mess that is a superbug with all the pylons loaded out.

What started as a lightweight fighter is now heavier than the weight that torpedoed the original F-111B (remember that disaster? The airplane that was spec'd to do everything EXCEPT dogfight once the Navy realized the big birds would be useless in MiG-cap against old Korean war tech MiG-17's) McNamara's "commonality" was killed by the Phantom being the fighter that did everything for everybody, and the model for every US fighter since then.

You should also note the Americanism that they will NEVER accept a lightweight fighter like the F-104 or F-5. The JSF has grown in weight so that it is BIGGER than the original monster F-105 that got jumped by MiG-17s that made the USAF swear they'd never try to dogfight in a plane that big again, and the Navy version is as heavy as the original Tomcat.

If we're to get Awlaki in Yemen, we'll have to do it with V-22s and AC-130 gunships, but it won't happen as long as Obama "Hasan never talked to any terrorist" is in office.

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