ST21 Super Tomcat

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post15 Oct 2019, 12:31

mixelflick wrote:The same didn't stop Boeing from pitching the SH, which looked just like an F-18 but was in reality a whole new aircraft


Super Hornet was before the McDonnell Douglas merge with Boeing so it was still mainly McDonnell Douglas. Frankly it seems like after Boeing merged/acquired McDD they also picked up a lot of the bad corporate culture and the company is less engineering focused now.
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aaam

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Unread post15 Oct 2019, 14:51

madrat wrote:F101 was bigger than F110. The F-111, like the F-14, used TF30 originally. Going to F110 would have been a similar re-configuration on the F-111 that occurred on F-14D. But putting F101 in creates a whole new class of plane and completely restructures its rear half.


I used the F101 because that was the engine GD specified for the FB-111H, which was a major redesign, including a completely new intake system. Also, at the time it would have been feasible to do such a thing, the F110 didn't exist yet. The F101's operating cycle was also closer to the F-111's mission profile than was the F110's, the latter being intended as a fighter engine.

It was an easy change to do in the F-14 because the Tomcat had always been designed to accept multiple engines. In fact, it was never intended for the F-14A to go operational with the TF30, that was supposed to only be the development version. The original plan was for the F-14B with the F401 engine, which was canceled, to be the first production model.
Last edited by aaam on 15 Oct 2019, 17:28, edited 1 time in total.
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quicksilver

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Unread post15 Oct 2019, 16:08

Of course, the Congress got involved in SH as well.

IIRC, there were stipulations in congressional language that capped development costs and specified a URF relationship to ‘C’ models of a later lot. ISTR also that early E/F URF projection at production maturity was going to be north of $70M in FY92 dollars based on a 1000 aircraft total buy at 48/year. That wasn’t gonna float; for starters, the total buy was reduced to something around 600ish, and a movement of some developmental items to later lot ‘C’s kept them under the development cap, and in the box wrt a comparative URF.
Last edited by quicksilver on 15 Oct 2019, 16:55, edited 1 time in total.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post15 Oct 2019, 16:40

disconnectedradical wrote: Frankly it seems like after Boeing merged/acquired McDD they also picked up a lot of the bad corporate culture and the company is less engineering focused now.

That is because part of the buyout was a stock option swap. $0.67 on the dollar swap from MdD to B stock. Turns out the MdD board had so much of the stock that they then became the majority shareholders of Boeing after the merger, which put them on, and in charge of, the board. In effect, MdD bought Boeing and made Boeing pay for it.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post15 Oct 2019, 17:15

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote: Frankly it seems like after Boeing merged/acquired McDD they also picked up a lot of the bad corporate culture and the company is less engineering focused now.

That is because part of the buyout was a stock option swap. $0.67 on the dollar swap from MdD to B stock. Turns out the MdD board had so much of the stock that they then became the majority shareholders of Boeing after the merger, which put them on, and in charge of, the board. In effect, MdD bought Boeing and made Boeing pay for it.


Didn’t know those details before. But that last line I have also heard from some of the more senior engineers. Other thing is that before buying McDD, Boeing CEOs usually came from the engineering side so it was more of an engineering company. That changed after the acquisition/merger of McDD.

Hopefully Boeing can return to its engineering roots more.
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aaam

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Unread post15 Oct 2019, 17:37

quicksilver wrote:Of course, the Congress got involved in SH as well.

IIRC, there were stipulations in congressional language that capped development costs and specified a URF relationship to ‘C’ models of a later lot. ISTR also that early E/F URF projection at production maturity was going to be north of $70M in FY92 dollars based on a 1000 aircraft total buy at 48/year. That wasn’t gonna float; for starters, the total buy was reduced to something around 600ish, and a movement of some developmental items to later lot ‘C’s kept them under the development cap, and in the box wrt a comparative URF.


During the development, the cost of the SH was rising rapidly. Congress got upset, given they were told this would be a low cost development (SH is just a regular Hornet with some upgrades, you know). So they put on a $4.88 billion develop "cap", which was interesting because some of the estimates at the time were already above that figure. Amazingly, the R&D cost estimates all magically became $4.88 billion. The SH backers, though, found a way to partly negate that. One of the caveats was that you could go over the cap if doing so was caused by something that would increase effectiveness.

Additionally, as you said, some of the costs were buried elsewhere.
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madrat

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Unread post16 Oct 2019, 05:46

aaam wrote:I used the F101 because that was the engine GD specified for the FB-111H, which was a major redesign, including a completely new intake system. Also, at the time it would have been feasible to do such a thing, the F110 didn't exist yet. The F101's operating cycle was also closer to the F-111's mission profile than was the F110's, the latter being intended as a fighter engine.

It was an easy change to do in the F-14 because the Tomcat had always been designed to accept multiple engines. In fact, it was never intended for the F-14A to go operational with the TF30, that was supposed to only be the development version. The original plan was for the F-14B with the F401 engine, which was canceled, to be the first production model.

Understand that the FB-111H was much larger than existing F-111's and represented more of a Backfire bomber counterpart than an Su-24 equivalent. Can you elaborate on the bolded?
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aaam

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Unread post16 Oct 2019, 08:47

Basically, the F101 was designed for sustained high speed operation in a steady state with less disruption to airflow, whereas eh F110 was intended for more rapid throttle response without limitations, , greater tolerance to disruptive airflow, such as when maneuvering at high angles of attack but not necessarily having to stay at max power as long. Originally, the F110 did not have as much power as the F101, even though they used the same core. In fact, even today the F110 does not have the dry thrust of the F101. The F110 required a new (I believe smaller) fan, low-pressure turbine, afterburner, nozzle, outer casing,
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Unread post16 Oct 2019, 14:07

Tiger05 wrote:As far as i am concerned, i never really understood why the Super Hornet was even needed in the first place. It seems to me that the Navy's needs post-Cold War could have been filled by simply continuing procurement of F-14Ds and F/A-18Cs into the 90s and 2000s. The F-14D Quickstrike would have given the Navy a true F-15E equivalent that could have replaced advantageously both the older F-14As in the fleet defender/fighter role and the A-6E in the strike role. The F/A-18C as well had room for improvements and further growth and some of its deficiencies like poor range & endurance and limited 'bring-back' payload could have been mitigated with modest modifications like adopting the 480 gallons EFTs and changes to the undercarriage (as suggested in the very critical GAO 1996 report on the SH), pretty much negating the need for the Super Hornet. I think a Carrier Air Wing of evolved F-14Ds and improved F/A-18Cs with continuous upgrades could have been a potent and credible force well into the 2010s.

This is basically what the Air Force did with the F-16 and F-15. It continued procurement of those two types until the 2000s, continuously upgraded them and even today they still form the backbone of the Air Force to large extent. I think following the Air Force's approach would have been far more sensible frankly.

But what do i know... :roll:


You know a lot, because it would have been quite logical.

Both aircraft were still in production. Both brought unique and needed capabilities to the table. 500+ F-14D's would have served as an excellent force of heavy fighters. And I have a sneaking suspicion they would have had an excellent secondary strike capability, i.e. Bombcats.

This, combined with up-rated F/A-18C's would have been an excellent hi lo mix IMO. Both platforms are combat proven. Both had plenty of existing infrastructure, and both would have remained competitive in their class for decades. More importantly, fielding both means the enemy would have to have countered both, vs. just one platform flying from Navy decks today.

A combination of SH's, Growlers and F-35C's will be a potent force. I just hope the Navy builds as many F-35C's as it has planned, maybe more if it can pick up the Growler's role. I see it kicking the door down, establishing air superiority and taking out the air defense network. Super Duper Hornets will then conduct 2nd and 3rd day of war stuff, and you can see now why the Navy funded their CFT's. The F-35C handily out-ranges the SH, and taking airspace away from the enemy only to not be able to police it makes no sense.

The Super Duper's CFT's will hopefully allow for this. Tough to say though, depending upon what else it's carrying..
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Unread post16 Oct 2019, 19:40

I'd of ditched the F-14D program if F/A-18E was twin F1X0-class. That would have been cheaper than the swingwing to maintain even if there were a minor to moderate performance divide with having swingwings. Retaining the larger airframe class on the carrier was more important than which airframe it was. Using two similar airframes, even though powered by different sized engines, would have introduced commonality at a time of shrinking budgets.
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Unread post18 Oct 2019, 13:34

F1XO class being?

I googled it, but didn't come up with much... I assume a stronger/higher thrust engine than what they currently fly?
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sferrin

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Unread post18 Oct 2019, 13:40

mixelflick wrote:F1XO class being?

I googled it, but didn't come up with much... I assume a stronger/higher thrust engine than what they currently fly?


F100/F110

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aaam

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Unread post18 Oct 2019, 19:54

sferrin wrote:
mixelflick wrote:F1XO class being?

I googled it, but didn't come up with much... I assume a stronger/higher thrust engine than what they currently fly?


F100/F110



Man, if developing the E/F was expensive, what would be involved in putting F110s (never F100s) into the mix would send that into the stratosphere, and kick the unit cost waay up there. Even though the E/F was a whole new aircraft (there's little commonality between it and the A-D), this would be an order of magnitude beyond that.

Frankly, the SH doesn't need the thrust of the F110. IMO, even if you built such a bird, I doubt if you' d have any more capability than the F-14D Quickstrike, let alone Super Tomcat 21. Maintenance, though, would be less but that wouldn't primarily be due to the lack of a swing wing (which wasn't one of the larger drivers on the F-14 wiring on the A/B being a bigger problem); we're talking about an airframe designed in the '60s.
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Unread post18 Oct 2019, 23:07

aaam wrote:
sferrin wrote:
mixelflick wrote:F1XO class being?

I googled it, but didn't come up with much... I assume a stronger/higher thrust engine than what they currently fly?


F100/F110



Man, if developing the E/F was expensive, what would be involved in putting F110s (never F100s) into the mix would send that into the stratosphere, and kick the unit cost waay up there. Even though the E/F was a whole new aircraft (there's little commonality between it and the A-D), this would be an order of magnitude beyond that.

Frankly, the SH doesn't need the thrust of the F110. IMO, even if you built such a bird, I doubt if you' d have any more capability than the F-14D Quickstrike, let alone Super Tomcat 21. Maintenance, though, would be less but that wouldn't primarily be due to the lack of a swing wing (which wasn't one of the larger drivers on the F-14 wiring on the A/B being a bigger problem); we're talking about an airframe designed in the '60s.


Even the EPE class motors would add considerable pep, without major redesign necessary. Of course the Navy hasn't felt the need, to make that upgrade.
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Unread post18 Oct 2019, 23:50

aaam wrote:Man, if developing the E/F was expensive, what would be involved in putting F110s (never F100s) into the mix would send that into the stratosphere, and kick the unit cost waay up there. Even though the E/F was a whole new aircraft (there's little commonality between it and the A-D), this would be an order of magnitude beyond that.

Frankly, the SH doesn't need the thrust of the F110. IMO, even if you built such a bird, I doubt if you' d have any more capability than the F-14D Quickstrike, let alone Super Tomcat 21. Maintenance, though, would be less but that wouldn't primarily be due to the lack of a swing wing (which wasn't one of the larger drivers on the F-14 wiring on the A/B being a bigger problem); we're talking about an airframe designed in the '60s.

Why would F-14D get a non-compete order when F/A-18 with F1x0-class motors gets you power to run something overall easier to maintain and with true multirole capacity from the get go? Digital FBW. Automated leading edge extensions. AMRAAM. Internal signal detectors and integrated CM equipment and mission computer software of Hornet. Buddy pack systems. Same bus architecture as Hornet. Same manufacturer as Hornet. Already familiar vendor for working with APG-63 which was architecturally similar to APG-71 and could have gone APG-71 route if necessary. More hardpoints for external fuel and ordnance. The only thing it didn't have was F-14 electro-optical gear for the intercept mission. Otherwise they were long on experience with Tomcat class fighters. But significantly lower RCS. Maybe Super Hornet evolves by a hybrid Eagle-Hornet program to benefit what became F-15E.
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