U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 02 Feb 2019, 21:02
by marsavian
https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-navy- ... t.html/amp

Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 hosted a sundown ceremony and fly-over for the legacy F/A-18C Hornet aircraft at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va., Feb. 01.

“Today our VFA-34 family and the operational farewells an old friend,” said Cmdr. William Mathis, commanding officer of VFA-34. “Born more than 40 years ago, the Hornet entered operational service for the U.S. Navy in 1984 and for the next 35 years, she proudly served the nation from the flight deck of aircraft carriers in all the seas across the globe.”

The F/A-18 Hornet entered operational service for the fleet in 1984. The aircraft’s first combat mission was in 1986 during Operation El Dorado Canyon and the legacy Hornet continued to serve in every major U.S. military operation including the Gulf War, Iraqi War, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve and most recently served in 2018 from the deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) with Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 while conducting navigation patrols in the South China Sea.

The Blue Blasters of VFA-34 were the last squadron in the Navy flying the Hornet, most recently joining USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) to conduct Freedom of Navigation patrols in the South China Sea in 2018.


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Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 03 Feb 2019, 02:24
by sprstdlyscottsmn
:salute:

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 04 Feb 2019, 08:50
by edpop

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 04 Feb 2019, 15:52
by mixelflick
No tears shed here. If anything, it's long over-due.

It served, although I'm hesitant to say with distinction. Yes, it downed 2 Mig-21's en route to bomb a target, did so and returned to the carrier etc.. But a victory over such an old airframe is to be expected IMO. As it stands, it's the only teen series fighter to be downed by a Mig (Mig-25 that downed Spike's F-18 opening night of the gulf war).

So a very mixed bag IMO. Now we must wait for the SH to go, and that's going to be around for a long, long time as the Navy's still buying them. The F-35C isn't going to replace it 1 for 1, so we'll have to wait for FA/XX to get here. Oh well, maybe the Super Duper will turn into something special. Not without up rated engines though, and the Navy doesn't want to spring for those...

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2019, 13:07
by hornetfinn
mixelflick wrote:No tears shed here. If anything, it's long over-due.

It served, although I'm hesitant to say with distinction. Yes, it downed 2 Mig-21's en route to bomb a target, did so and returned to the carrier etc.. But a victory over such an old airframe is to be expected IMO. As it stands, it's the only teen series fighter to be downed by a Mig (Mig-25 that downed Spike's F-18 opening night of the gulf war).

So a very mixed bag IMO. Now we must wait for the SH to go, and that's going to be around for a long, long time as the Navy's still buying them. The F-35C isn't going to replace it 1 for 1, so we'll have to wait for FA/XX to get here. Oh well, maybe the Super Duper will turn into something special. Not without up rated engines though, and the Navy doesn't want to spring for those...


I don't think that one isolated incident where one aircraft is shot down means it's bad aircraft. Shooting down couple of MiG-21s is not a big deal in itself, but to make it during air-to-ground mission while carrying 4 Mk84s, AIM-7, AIM-9 and EFT the whole time was pretty impressive then. Especially when they proceeded with their original mission right after the event. Of course I don't doubt that F-15E or possibly even F-16 (but without AIM-7) could not have done the same given chance.

I do think that Classic Hornet really served with distinction. During Desert Storm it carried out many missions including SEAD, CAP, CAS, AI and TAC/FAC. Sure F-16 did those also and the data I've read seems to indicate that they did fairly similarly well (effectiveness and survivability) in that campaign. Of course F-16 was and has been used more as many more were produced.

It was also found out to be very good fighter in many evaluations and won quite many competitions where there was actual comparison of different aircraft like Australia, Finland, Switzerland. AFAIK it also won South Korean competition in 1980s, but that was later changed to F-16 due to some financíal problems. IMO, F/A-18 was one of the best multi-role fighters during the last 35 years. Even in Swiss competition during 2008, it was not bad at all compared to EF Typhoon, Dassault Rafale and JAS Gripen.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2019, 14:46
by mixelflick
But you see, "not bad at all" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. It hasn't dominated the way USN/Iranian F-14's did. Or certainly in the way USAF/foreign F-15's have. Even the F-16's performance can be considered dominant vs. the F/A-18A/B/C/D. I'll reserve judgement on the Super Hornet until more numbers are in, but strongly suspect it'll be in the same "not bad at all" category.

About the best you can say about it is that it's "good enough". And that goes all the way back to it being forced on the fleet, to the point where we now have an all Hornet USN. Right, wrong or indifferent we're stuck with it at least until the F-35 gets here. Personally, I shudder at the thought of all Hornet air wings mixing it up with J-11's, J-10B's/C's, J-16's and especially J-20's. Because once you figure out how to defeat the Hornet, you've figured out how to defeat every single USN carrier air wing.

Instead, we could have had Super Tomcat 21's or another, more modern air superiority platform in the mix. Those new build F-14's would have been a lot more capable, insofar as everything from long range strike to BVR fleet defense. And they would have made an excellent 2nd day of war fighter/bomb truck. Far better vs. the Super Hornet IMO, especially in the speed and range department..

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 04:44
by element1loop
mixelflick wrote: I'll reserve judgement on the Super Hornet until more numbers are in, but strongly suspect it'll be in the same "not bad at all" category.


It's been 35 years, what numbers are you waiting on?

mixelflick wrote:Personally, I shudder at the thought of all Hornet air wings mixing it up with J-11's, J-10B's/C's, J-16's and especially J-20's. Because once you figure out how to defeat the Hornet, you've figured out how to defeat every single USN carrier air wing.


Oh what nonsense, you're mixing hornets with Superhornets and F-14Ds with such arguments and it's hypothetical retrospective nonsense. So I'll have to presume you're talking about now, otherwise it's too absurd.

So, for that to occur an OPFOR would have to explore (as they die) all of what an upgraded classic Hornet could do, plus also all of what the SH can do. Which is not easy with a gen-4.5 context, especially when it's networked to a wider system-of-systems. On top of that a couple of the SH present will be Growlers, contesting the EM spectrum, without credible counterpart on the PLAAF PLAN side of things.

It's also silly because the USN is part of a Joint force (i.e. what's going to happen to them as they're trying to kill off Classic Hornets?) so god help any naval aviation or airforce that plans to explore the minutia of what a Classic Hornet can do to them and how to kill it, as the classic Hornet is clearly competitive with or better than all of the aircraft that you have mentioned, sans the J20.

And does anyone believe the J-20 is ready for prime time yet? My own examination of blown-up versions of the recent airshow J-20 weapon bay imagery is absent visible cables, pipes, boxes, hydraulics or pneumatics. i.e. apparently a display prototype and not an operational aircraft. Are there any then? If there are, why didn't they display one, with real inert weapons within a real operational weapon bay? The F-35 was showing its weapon bay from early in its testing program.

And would the old 3rd-gen come 4th gen F-14 really be any 'better', even in an A2A fight? Given you must be talking about a comparison with the present SH, the fleet interceptor, this is what the relevant indicator 'numbers' look like:

F-14D
Fuel Load lb 16,200
Empty Weight lb 44,800
Weapon Weight lb EMPTY
Full fuel Weight lb 61,000
Under MTOW lb 13,350
Dry Thrust lb 33,220
A/B Thrust lb 54,160
Dry Thrust 100% fuel 0.545
HP: lb Ratio 100% fuel 0.888
Dry Thrust 50% fuel 0.628
HP: lb Ratio 50% fuel 1.024

F/A-18F
Fuel Load lb 14,400 ... it has only 1,800 lb less internal fuel than an F-14D
Empty Weight lb 32,081 ... it has 2/3rd the weight of an F-14D
Weapon Weight lb EMPTY
Full fuel Weight lb 46,481 ... it has a 14,600 lb lighter MTOW
Under MTOW lb 19,519 ... it has 6,200 lb higher payload than the F-14D (and carries the AIM-120D)
Dry Thrust lb 26,000
A/B Thrust lb 44,000
Dry Thrust 100% fuel 0.559 ... higher dry thrust to weight than F-14D
HP: lb Ratio 100% fuel 0.947 ... higher A/B thrust to weight than F-14D
Dry Thrust 50% fuel 0.662 ... higher dry thrust to weight than F-14D
HP: lb Ratio 50% fuel 1.120 ... higher A/B thrust to weight than F-14D

The only reason the F-14D is faster was a swing-wing design which allowed a lower drag and higher cruise speed, thus a lower specific-fuel-consumption over all. But put the maximum EFT loads on them and you get this:

F-14D Int Fuel + 2 x 267 US Gal = 19,698 lb = 74,350 lb with full bags and weapons

F/A-18F Int Fuel + 2 x 480 US Gal = 22,260 lb =
F/A-18F Int Fuel + 3 x 480 US Gal = 26,190 lb = 66,000 lb with full bags and weapons

For completeness, here are the T:W ratios for those max loads:

F-14D @ 74,350 lb 2 x 267 US Gal
- Dry Thrust 100% fuel 0.447
- HP: lb Ratio 100% fuel 0.728
- Dry Thrust 50% fuel 0.517
- HP: lb Ratio 50% fuel 0.843

F/A-18F @ 66,000 lb 3 x 480 US Gal
- Dry Thrust 100% fuel 0.394
- HP: lb Ratio 100% fuel 0.667
- Dry Thrust 50% fuel 0.501
- HP: lb Ratio 50% fuel 0.848

The F-14D is also 12.7% heavier when thus loaded with fuel and stores, so its presumed advantages in lower-drag from the wing-sweep are being eaten up by extra weight and AOA. Those are the numbers, they've been available for a long time.

So how is the SH/F allegedly inferior to the F-14D in strike range?

From Spring this year the SH adds LRASM range on top of its current strike range.

As pop pointed out yesterday, if you have the long-range SA advantage you also have more time to plan and act, to get to where you need to be. Other than cruise speed and raw acceleration, the F/A-18F is much superior to the F-14D everywhere. This endless questioning of the Hornet's suitability to replace the F-14D against the available opposition of the day, can't be taken seriously.

But even a classic C/D Hornet would not get owned by the F-14D in A2A. The AIM-54 was for shooting down heavy bombers, not for use against alerted fighters (and it would be alerted). This would be a modern AIM-120D fight. Nor would the C/D flounder against any of the PLAAF/PLAN jets you mentioned, on the contrary.

And then there's the rapid expansion in naval missile capabilities too (the ability for SM-3 to poke out the eyes of OPFOR observation and tracking satellites for instance) and expanded missile sensors and co-op engagement capabilities and EA/EW, for the ship-based defenses that have been constant and on-going during the Hornet-only era in USN service. This is all relevant context to your imagined crisis of NAVAIR capability and asserted USN carrier relative vulnerability.

Where was there ever a risk of Classic Hornets being wiped out? Who was going to do this? The guys who just had their air bases, bunkers and HQ hammered by B-2s?

And this month the F-35C is in initial-operational service.

Then there's MQ-25A tankers to come and BKIII CFTs, so any further dissing of the reach (and A2A relevance) of Hornets or the SH as replacement of the F-14D, is clearly irrelevant BS.

The Classic Hornets and the SH have been the right jets for the prevailing times and conditions, and the precision-strike firepower of the USN carriers went up by at least an order of magnitude since their introduction, requiring less bombs to get more targets destroyed. The present USN carrier air is more deterring and effective than ever before, and is about to become a lot more deterring. And a large part of that increase in capability to come is because of the fuller exploitation of the F/A-18E/F/G's still latent untapped range and capability potential, not just due to the F-35C.

Frankly, your view is just a personal bias that can not be taken seriously, and is not commensurate with objective comparisons of the Hornet or SH's actual abilities, their comparative numbers, or their operational service context.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 11:36
by marsavian
and BKIII CFTs


another 3,500 pounds (515 gallons) of fuel each or 7000 lb in total. Indirectly too we may have been told that the frontal stealth of the Super Hornet clean is less than those two external 480 gal tanks and their pylons.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... ornet.html

The conformal fuel tanks are aerodynamically designed to help the F/A-18 have a lower detectability or signature. Boeing officials have said the conformal fuel tanks reduce the signature of the aircraft by over 50 percent.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 12:29
by element1loop
marsavian wrote:
and BKIII CFTs


another 3,500 pounds (515 gallons) of fuel each or 7000 lb in total. Indirectly too we may have been told that the frontal stealth of the Super Hornet clean is less than those two external 480 gal tanks and their pylons.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... ornet.html

The conformal fuel tanks are aerodynamically designed to help the F/A-18 have a lower detectability or signature. Boeing officials have said the conformal fuel tanks reduce the signature of the aircraft by over 50 percent.


And even if it keeps the EFTs and adds CFTs and AAMs, plus 2 x LRASM (i.e. for standoff which makes the RCS considerations more or less irrelevant) it's still under its max load and is approaching F-15E fuel loads and comparable ranges, with a tactical tanker in support. Add in F-35C data and the Hornet of next decade has some serious sting.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 12:35
by marsavian
But even a classic C/D Hornet would not get owned by the F-14D in A2A. The AIM-54 was for shooting down heavy bombers, not for use against alerted fighters (and it would be alerted). This would be a modern AIM-120D fight.


Somebody (Growling Sidewinder) has explored this in DCS with all the provisos about inaccuracies of simulations, still it gives you a flavor of how it might turn out.

Only the F-15 survived (3rd video) and won doing a lot of dodging/notching/hiding against a Phoenix barrage. F-18C didn't make it but no doubt the F-18E with its more powerful radar and missiles and lower stealth would be a different story. The Phoenix is already proven against Iraqi MiG fighters of all types (21/23/25) as well as Mirage F1.






.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 14:21
by element1loop
Let's not forget a prowler or growler would be supporting. :wink:

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 14:41
by mixelflick
Nothing about this so called "objective comparison" changes this..

The Hornet is a compromise, and a lesser aircraft than we could have procured to fly, fight and win in. It is cheap though, I'll give you that. Like a $10 pair of WalMart sneakers...

Also..

"Other than cruise speed and raw acceleration, the F/A-18F is much superior to the F-14D everywhere. This endless questioning of the Hornet's suitability to replace the F-14D against the available opposition of the day, can't be taken seriously."

As if cruise speed and raw acceleration are minor predictive values of combat capability LOL. It would have controlled vastly greater areas of airspace, gotten there faster, stayed longer, imparted much greater energy to AMRAAM shots etc. Better range for the SH you say? Then why were only F-14D's capable of hitting targets deep in Afghanistan when it came time to do so? And your comparison to the F-14D is disingenuous, because the Navy had before it options to procure the Super Tomcat 21 and related aircraft in the F-14 family, vs. buying the "Super" Hornet. It was not contemplating procuring additional F-14D's. By almost any measure, the Super Tomcat 21 had it all over the SH, including all of its advanced systems/tricks that have been added since your vaunted SH joined the fleet.

"The Super Tomcat 21 would be a modification of the original F-14 design and it was to feature GE-F110-129 motors that would allow the Tomcat to super-cruise (achieve mach 1+ without using afterburner) continuously at mach 1.3 (something only the F-22 could accomplish (in service) in 2005). Additionally, the jet would have an upgraded APG-71 radar (with a nose much larger/capable of holding a far more powerful radar than the SH) modified and enlarged control surfaces, and enlarged leading edge root extensions (LERX) that would house more fuel and enhance the jet's low speed handling capabilities. Thrust vectoring nozzles tied directly to a new digital flight control system were also an option. These modifications would give the "Turkey Bird" true super-maneuverability and eye-watering acceleration and sustained speed. Additionally, super-cruise combined with its additional internal fuel carriage capacity would have given the Super Tomcat much greater range than it already had. The jet would also be able to carry targeting and navigation pods, giving it true multi-role capability. Finally, a new single-piece windscreen would be added to provide much better forward visibility."

THIS is the aircraft the Navy would have built, were it not for its unfortunate decision to build the SH. NOT the F-14D. ST21 had it all over the SH in virtually every available metric. So instead of Super Compromises littering CVN decks today, we could have a super-cruising, super-maneuverable, REAL long legged, ultra-fast kick a$$ strike fighter that would have a decisive edge over any Russian or Chinese Flanker (pick one).

More from Foxtrotalpha article on ST21..

"A side note: I once talked to an accomplished engineer that worked for Grumman on the Super Tomcat 21 proposal. He told me that the performance models they were seeing with the Super Tomcat design were absolutely stunning and the jet's low speed handling, especially with thrust vectoring and the bigger engines, and the sheer amount of territory it could cover in a single mission were unprecedented. This man went on to work for "other contractors" on major fighter programs, but he maintains that the Super Tomcat's maneuvering performance and ability to operate as a fighter [b][i]independent of tanker assets (Hornets of all types overly depend on tankers) over large distances has still not been accomplished in any US or foreign design to this day."[/b][/i]

That's what we gave up, to produce the Super Compromise. NOT the F-14D...

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 14:43
by marsavian
element1loop wrote:Let's not forget a prowler or growler would be supporting. :wink:


Also ECM against Phoenix was one of the first projects done after the fall of the Shah. I presume that is now standard in all US aircraft.

soon after the Shah’s demise, its Naval Test Center at Point Mugu, California, was assigned a series of top-priority tasks. It was instructed to develop electronic countermeasures aimed at defeating the AIM-54A systems sold to Iran, and to ensure that US AIM-54s would be invulnerable to Iranian electronic countermeasures. The test center was also told to modify the F-14’s ICWD radar warning devices to detect emissions from Iranian AWG-9 radars at extreme range.
From the start of the Tomcat programme, the US Navy had never invested additional funds on upgrades. However, with the fall of the Shah, it was now apparently prepared to spend $200 million on these two projects alone.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 15:13
by element1loop
mixelflick wrote:Nothing about this so called "objective comparison" changes this..

The Hornet is a compromise, and a lesser aircraft than we could have procured to fly, fight and win in. It is cheap though, I'll give you that. Like a $10 pair of WalMart sneakers...


Day VFR A2A F-16A.

Not like that changed much. :roll:

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 16:03
by Tiger05
hornetfinn wrote:
mixelflick wrote:No tears shed here. If anything, it's long over-due.

It served, although I'm hesitant to say with distinction. Yes, it downed 2 Mig-21's en route to bomb a target, did so and returned to the carrier etc.. But a victory over such an old airframe is to be expected IMO. As it stands, it's the only teen series fighter to be downed by a Mig (Mig-25 that downed Spike's F-18 opening night of the gulf war).

So a very mixed bag IMO. Now we must wait for the SH to go, and that's going to be around for a long, long time as the Navy's still buying them. The F-35C isn't going to replace it 1 for 1, so we'll have to wait for FA/XX to get here. Oh well, maybe the Super Duper will turn into something special. Not without up rated engines though, and the Navy doesn't want to spring for those...


I don't think that one isolated incident where one aircraft is shot down means it's bad aircraft. Shooting down couple of MiG-21s is not a big deal in itself, but to make it during air-to-ground mission while carrying 4 Mk84s, AIM-7, AIM-9 and EFT the whole time was pretty impressive then. Especially when they proceeded with their original mission right after the event. Of course I don't doubt that F-15E or possibly even F-16 (but without AIM-7) could not have done the same given chance.


To be fair, the two MiG-21s were downed during a frontal engagement. There was no dogfight. One of the two Hornet pilots involved in the shoot down even said that they would have jettisoned their bombs (thus aborting the mission) if the MiGs had survived to the merge so i think the significance of that performance should be downplayed a bit...

That said, i think the Hornet was a decent aircraft that served the USN well but it clearly had some deficiencies. Short legs and poor bring-back capability come to mind. Its poor range and endurance is especially damning for a carrier-borne aircraft when carrier aviation is all about power projection. I guess it wasnt too much of a problem when the A-6 and the F-14 were still there to pick up the slack but once they were gone, the ability to project large scale air power over long distances diminished dramatically with those all-F/A-18 air wings... so the Hornet is a mixed bag IMO. It had many undeniable qualities but also a few (severe) limitations.

I am even more critical of the Super Hornet which was barely an improvement over the Classic Hornet. Just two more hardpoints, a modest increase in range (13% IIRC) and inferior kinematics. I do not consider that money well spent. Especially when the USN sacrified an awful lot to pay for the SH, an aircraft that they didnt even want in the first place and that was forced on them for political reasons.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 16:09
by marsavian
Another reason why Iranian F-14s, at least as originally delivered, would be less effective against Western aircraft.

Indeed, Iranian Tomcats were even equipped with the ‘top secret’ APX-81-M1E (designated APX-82-A in US Navy service) IFF (identification friend/foe) interrogator. This ‘Combat Tree’ equipment was not only capable of detecting enemy aircraft without the help of radar by interrogating their IFF, but could also supply data such as true airspeed and accurate ranging. The only difference between the APX-81-M1E and similar systems fitted into the Navy F-14s was that the Iranian equipment could only detect and interrogate IFF transponders of Soviet origin.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 16:31
by element1loop
mixelflick wrote:The Super Tomcat 21 would be a modification of the original F-14 ... blah blah blah ...


:mrgreen:

Given you want to carry on and pretend I've misrepresented something vital to you, I'll just remind you that you bought up the F-14 and the Superhornet within the thread and sprouted bunk remarks about them and the classic hornets. All sufficiently debunked at this point. Though I see you're determined to inject more nonsense with no end in sight so good luck with all that.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2019, 18:17
by basher54321
marsavian wrote:
But even a classic C/D Hornet would not get owned by the F-14D in A2A. The AIM-54 was for shooting down heavy bombers, not for use against alerted fighters (and it would be alerted). This would be a modern AIM-120D fight.


Somebody (Growling Sidewinder) has explored this in DCS with all the provisos about inaccuracies of simulations, still it gives you a flavor of how it might turn out.


Or you could get a much better idea from someone who might have done such a thing outside of a computer game.



Having fought the Tomcat from Miramar a lot while stationed at Luke (in the Blk25), here's my two pennies.

Tomcat - Big radar: Yes; but also huge RCS.
Radar contact on F-14 with the old [F-16] C model radar was well outside anyone's usable range, including the Phoenix. Sure a Phoenix is a big missile with long legs but it's SLOW. Bottom line, we could safely drag at 12 miles if targeted. Just don't turn back too soon.
Simulating 'Rammers we'd all end up dragging out 12-15 miles out and everyones' shots were wasted. BFD.

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=2708&start=45

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2019, 01:58
by element1loop
basher54321 wrote:Or you could get a much better idea from someone who might have done such a thing outside of a computer game.

Having fought the Tomcat from Miramar a lot while stationed at Luke (in the Blk25), here's my two pennies.

Tomcat - Big radar: Yes; but also huge RCS.
Radar contact on F-14 with the old [F-16] C model radar was well outside anyone's usable range, including the Phoenix. Sure a Phoenix is a big missile with long legs but it's SLOW. Bottom line, we could safely drag at 12 miles if targeted. Just don't turn back too soon.
Simulating 'Rammers we'd all end up dragging out 12-15 miles out and everyones' shots were wasted. BFD.

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=2708&start=45


Yes, and note in that 3rd video down, at 4 min 33 seconds, the guy says: “Again, in a real fight I wouldn’t be closing distance like this, but this is a fight to the death, so I’m going to close, so that if I miss with all these Fox-3s [i.e. he already doubts his 5 x AIM-54C will succeed] I can hit him with a Fox-2.

And did that work? Nope.

In the ACM analysis he fired his last AIM-54C at 10 nm range and almost immediately lost lock the moment the F-15C fired a pitbull AMRAAM, then turns to notch and dumps chaff (at ~8 nm separation) and the F-14 can’t support the Fox-3 as it's forced to immediately go defensive against a pitbull AMRAAM (which the F-14 defeated).

Then it’s SARH Sparrow fighter against active AMRAAM fighter, inside 10 miles.

So the simulation did show the AIM-54C being readily trashed at close range but the outcome was not that surprising either, when the other guy used air density, terrain, diving turns, CMs and very low-level to add extra clutter-noise.

If EA support is provided to that AMRAAM fighter for a noise floor increase, to allow a much more direct and faster path to close to AIM-120 NEZ, then the jet firing the AMRAAMs is clearly more likely to win such a fight (and also questionable if a low-ish RCS F/A-18F is going to be locked before it gets to that NEZ with dedicated EA support). But SH with AIM-120D, LPI radar and much lower RCS (with a towed decoy, not to mention AMRAAM implementation on F/A-18E/F/G is genuinely fire-and-forget when turning away long-range) it becomes questionable if EA support would even be needed to smoke the F-14 at much higher radius but inside AIM-120D NEZ, where the AIM-54C would be rendered ineffective. Nevertheless, EA is available, which frankly, all else being equal (it sure isn't), will make it a one-sided fight.

So then the F-14 pilot is faced with a choice, "Do I close with a much lower RCS SH with AIM-120D and a towed active-decoy and dedicated EA support, or not bother engaging and run?"

Which is why the F-14 is gone from the deck and the SH is not going anywhere soon.

So much for the incessant "mighty F-14" mantra.

And the same applies to Classic Hornet with a long-range AMRAAM and EA support, but they're worn out plus the F-35 is here, and something has to go to make way for the newer, vastly better F-35C Lightning.

Hornetfin is correct, the Classic Hornets have "served with distinction", everywhere they've been employed.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2019, 17:39
by mixelflick
element1loop wrote:
mixelflick wrote:The Super Tomcat 21 would be a modification of the original F-14 ... blah blah blah ...


:mrgreen:

Given you want to carry on and pretend I've misrepresented something vital to you, I'll just remind you that you bought up the F-14 and the Superhornet within the thread and sprouted bunk remarks about them and the classic hornets. All sufficiently debunked at this point. Though I see you're determined to inject more nonsense with no end in sight so good luck with all that.


But you did mis-represent when comparing the F-14D to the Hornet/SH. The fact is, the Navy was presented with the Super Tomcat 21 at the same time the SH was being pitched. And facts are facts: On many counts, the ST21 was a much superior platform for fleet air defense, long range strike etc etc.. No amount of nitpicking is going to make up for those facts, and other posters here have corrected noted it's lesser legs, sub-par bring back capability and inferior kinematics to other aircraft, and certainly the ST21.

Was it cheap? Cheaper, yeah. Reliable and easy to service? Yes. Delivered on time and within budget by Boeing? Yep. But it could most charitably be described as "adequate" vs. giving the warfighter a clear and dominating edge vs. other platforms that could have been bought. The Navy was going to buy and like the F-18 no matter what the facts said though, so I see you as a sort of extension of that.

I didn't like it when it got here. I don't like it now and no amount of Super, Super-Duper etc Boeing tacks on to its name is going to change that. Now there's talk of re-engineering the F-35C for fleet air defense (bigger engine, more range etc). b/c pop quiz, why again? The "Super" Hornet currently assigned to that role isn't cutting it.

Had we bought ST21's, we wouldn't be having that discussion because it would have a drastically superior radar, air to air missile loadout, range, speed, time on station etc vs. the "Super" Hornet. We could let F-35C's be the strike fighters they were meant to be, vs. having to re-engineer them to pick up the slack for the Super Compromise..

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 06:11
by element1loop
mixelflick wrote:But you did mis-representwhen comparing the F-14D to the Hornet/SH. The fact is, the Navy was presented with the Super Tomcat 21 at the same time the SH was being pitched.


"Mis-represent"? LOL The bullcrap is strong with this one.

“The first production F-14D was flown on February the 9th, 1990 and officially rolled out in a ceremony at the Calverton plant on the 23rd of that month. The first delivery to a Navy unit was in May 1990, to VX-4 at Point Mugu, California. Among other tests they carried out the first carrier landings of the new variant.” … As the F-14D was produced in such limited numbers, new builds only numbering 37 while 18 F-14A's were converted to F-14D's (known as F-14D(R)), there have been problems keeping the three deployable squadrons, the RAG and the various test units (VX-9, PMTC) up to strength. Thus in mid 1996 it was decided that VF-11 would convert back to the F-14B and shift to join VF-143 as part of CVW-7. … While the Navy is continuing to convert small numbers of F-14A's into F-14B's none are being converted to F-14D standard, presumably because of the high extra cost, a great pity given the massive increase in capabilites that the F-14D brings.

http://www.topedge.com/alley/text/f14d/f14d.htm


“While the F-14 had been developed as a lightweight alternative to the 80,000 lb (36,000 kg) F-111B, the F-14 was still the heaviest and most expensive fighter of its time. VFAX was revived in the 1970s as a lower cost solution to replacing the Navy and Marine Corps's fleets of F-4s, and A-7s. VFAX was directed to review the fighters in the USAF Light Weight Fighter competition, which led to the development of the F/A-18 Hornet as roughly a midsize fighter and attack aircraft. In 1994, Congress would reject Grumman proposals to the Navy to upgrade the Tomcat beyond the D model (such as the Super Tomcat 21, the cheaper QuickStrike version, and the more advanced Attack Super Tomcat 21).”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_F ... d_variants


However, in the present military drawdown mode, both of these Tomcat 21 proposals were never proceeded with.

http://www.joebaugher.com/navy_fighters/f14_13.html


Mere paper proposals, nothing to even compare anything with.

The F-14D was an actual in-service jet at the same time the F/A-18E/F first flew, the F-14D is clearly the appropriate comparison, if any at all need be made. But to you, that warrants a claim of “mis-representation”?

Your legendary SouperTomcat never existed! I compared the actual jets of the day.

And there are no published 'specs' available to compare any version of a SouperTomcat to SouperHornet, so what are you even talking about?

That is the actual "mis-representation".

Thanks for the free baloney sandwich and licorice-all-sorts excursion. ... now back to the topic please.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 11:09
by zaltys
What Rear Admiral Paul T. Gillcrist (Ret.) writes about F/A-18 in his book "Vulture's Row" in 1996 (?):

"The Hornet is one hell of an airplane! Someday some base commander is going to mount a Hornet on pedestal at his main gate. The inscription on the plaque had better say "The Main Battery of the Fleet!"
But there needs to be one very serious caveat added to what has been stated above. The Hornet is a wonderful airplane as long as it is employed for what it is... a wonderful strike fighter representing the low side of Naval Aviation's "high-low" mix!
It turns out, unfortunately, that in 1990, the Navy embarked on an extremely expensive program to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear! By 1995 they will have spent over ten billion dollars trying to make the Hornet something it could never be... an advanced strike fighter!"

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 14:15
by mixelflick
Yep, the Navy threw as much $ as necessary toward this turd, in order to make it.... average. Speaks volumes..

And lol at the assertion the ST21 was a "paper airplane". So was the SH at one time. The only difference is the Navy funded one of them (the wrong one). This "paper airplane" assertion is being made btw b/c its obvious to any objective 3rd party that the ST21 was drastically superior to the SH in almost every metric. Then, elemental loop claims... converting F-14B's to D's is expensive. This matters... why? So what. At least we would have gotten what we paid for... But again, the F-14D is loopy's disingenuous comparison. He doesn't want to compare the Stupid Hornet vs. ST21 because it's obvious to him (and the world) it would have drastically out-performed the SH (and to this day, most other jets in the world) with it's monster radar, incredible speed (true super-cruise) and astounding range.

Yet even IF the F-14D is the correct comparison (and it's not), why was it again the Tomcat was the ONLY aircraft that could fly deep into Afghanistan to bomb targets? Where was the SH when the sh!t hit the fan???

Noticed "elemental loop" didn't touch that one...

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 15:51
by madrat
if you look at defense consolidation you quickly see patterns of Congress members working with defense contractors to kill off competition rather than compete. So many players were involved once upon a time and now the power sits in the hands of a few. We have nobody to blame for the outcomes except the politicians. It is disingenuous to blame leadership, because politicians ultimately decide. The Super Hornet was orchestrated to make people money at the expense of the taxpayer. It could have performed half as well and still won.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 16:38
by f-16adf
People can criticize the Super Hornet all they want. But, the problem with ANY F-14 variant remains (even the Tomcat 21, and I am a big fan of the Tomcat) is you simply cannot change its GIANT RCS (like the F-15 Eagles). Plus, there is a reason why Variable Geometry jets are no longer designed. It is a relic of a by gone era.


One can say that the SH is not fit for the job, but neither is a variable geometry design (F-14) that originated in the late 1960's, no matter how much you attempt to modernize it. I guess one can say that they are BOTH inadequate for the 21st century.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 16:51
by basher54321
mixelflick wrote:Yet even IF the F-14D is the correct comparison (and it's not), why was it again the Tomcat was the ONLY aircraft that could fly deep into Afghanistan to bomb targets? Where was the SH when the sh!t hit the fan???


What date was it? - assuming OEF which started in 2001. Initially only Navy jets were close enough to get to areas (Well as far as tactical jets go).

If the E/F only hit IOC in 2001 with a few squadrons (not FOC) then the question would be how many were in theatre at the time of this mission?

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 17:39
by sferrin
f-16adf wrote:People can criticize the Super Hornet all they want. But, the problem with ANY F-14 variant remains (even the Tomcat 21, and I am a big fan of the Tomcat) is you simply cannot change its GIANT RCS (like the F-15 Eagles).


Wut?

Tomcat II-1.jpg


f-16adf wrote:Plus, there is a reason why Variable Geometry jets are no longer designed. It is a relic of a by gone era.


One of the stupidest comments I've seen in a while. Both the LM NATF (navalized F-22) and the A/FX would have had a swing-wing.

f22-natf.jpg


AFX-653-3.jpg

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 17:44
by f-16adf
Yes, and it was CANCELLED-



And I wonder why all the US defense contractors, Dassault, Saab, Chinese, and even the Russians were smart enough to dump VG.



And do you really think that with the Tomcat 21, the F-14 would have lost weight?

That first pic looks like it is easily over 45,000-50,000lbs (maybe more) empty. Seriously, is that pic from that F-14 DCS fanboy site, or the keypub kids?

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 18:00
by f-16adf
It seems as though the "Super Tomcat 21" has the same old giant Tomcat RCS:

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 19:59
by element1loop
mixelflick wrote:Yep, the Navy threw as much $ as necessary toward this turd, in order to make it.... average. Speaks volumes..


The Rafale could be its only possible better, and it's been argued here, at tedious length, that Rafale and SH are roughly equivalent, so both must be "average" then, according to you, within their historical and operational contexts. Or maybe that's just your bias once more? Maybe you think the Su33, MiG29K or AV8B were superior to both Rafale and Superhornet (I would not be at all surprised if you really thought that ... ).

mixelflick wrote:And lol at the assertion the ST21 was a "paper airplane".


Yes, that's what it is, a fictional proposal. I'm miffed as to why you struggle to accept the simple fact that it never existed.

mixelflick wrote:So was the SH at one time. The only difference is the Navy funded one of them (the wrong one). This "paper airplane" assertion is being made btw b/c its obvious to any objective 3rd party that the ST21 was drastically superior to the SH in almost every metric.


A non-existent proposal was 'superior'? Riiiiiiight.

mixelflick wrote:Then, elemental loop claims... converting F-14B's to D's is expensive.


Not my claim, yet another "mis-representation" by you, I provided a text quote that claimed it, and a link to it.

mixelflick wrote:This matters... why? So what. At least we would have gotten what we paid for...


Because cost is why the F-14s were replaced with a cheaper jet, and the pet paper-planes of your fantasy-world were rejected on a basis of exorbitant cost.

mixelflick wrote:But again, the F-14D is loopy's disingenuous comparison. He doesn't want to compare the Stupid Hornet vs. ST21 because it's obvious to him (and the world) it would have drastically out-performed the SH (and to this day, most other jets in the world) with it's monster radar, incredible speed (true super-cruise) and astounding range.


So in your bizarre reality, the total lack of the existence of the imaginary SouperTomcat21 is no great barrier to an impossible comparison being made, or having any comparative meaning? I notice you can't help but impart insults, instead of arguing a cogent case, but that's because you can't.

mixelflick wrote:Yet even IF the F-14D is the correct comparison (and it's not), why was it again the Tomcat was the ONLY aircraft that could fly deep into Afghanistan to bomb targets? Where was the SH when the sh!t hit the fan??? Noticed "elemental loop" didn't touch that one...


Ah, the desperate grasping at straws on fuel range.

On 8 September 2006, VFA-211 F/A-18F Super Hornets expended GBU-12 and GBU-38 bombs against Taliban fighters and Taliban fortifications west and northwest of Kandahar. This was the first time the unit had participated in an active combat capacity using the Super Hornet.

https://www.onwar.com/weapons/aircraft/ ... ollapseOne


W and NW of Kandahar is in Afghanistan, Superhornets dropped bombs there. Duh!

Global Aircraft -- F-14 Tomcat:
Deck launched intercept F-14D - 656 nautical miles radius combat range with two 280-gallon drop tanks
F-14D - With two 280-gallon drop tanks retained, 1,591 nautical miles ferry range
https://www.globalaircraft.org/planes/f-14_tomcat.pl

US Navy fact sheet
Hornet 1089 nm internal only 2 AIM-9 ferry range (one-way only)
Hornet 1546 nm 3 external tanks (330 gal) 2 AIM-9 ferry range (one-way only)
Super Hornet 1275 nm internal only 2 AIM-9 ferry range (one-way only)
Super Hornet 1660 nm 3 external tanks (480 gal) 2 AIM-9 ferry range (one-way only)
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_displ ... =1200&ct=1

Ferry ranges (converted to a radius):
F-14D with max bags and full fuel = 795.5 nautical miles (no weapons)
F/A-18C/D with max bags and full fuel = 773 nautical miles (2 AAM)
F/A-18E/F with max bags and full fuel = 830 nautical miles (2 AAM)

Quit your petty dissembling and sniping, the USN Hornets and Carriers were never in any danger of being wiped-out, as you claimed at the beginning. That was total bunk and it has been debunked. But even so, you continue to argue to compare SH specs with a plane that never existed, and for which no such 'specs' even exist to make a comparison with. While the F-14D was a contemporaneous in-service jet when the F/A-18E/F were in their flight testing program. Then all the F-14s were finally retired, and replaced by a better air-to-air fighter, and a better air-to-ground attack jet, that had a lot more survivability due much lower RCS, towed decoy and '4.5' integration and automation, far better weapons in the pipeline, much better avionics by far, flew much better for pilots, and had better evolution potential.

Jets evolve in service, the SH has evolved (and still is) into a naval jet that's second to none, to this day. It doesn't have any competition in that domain, except an extremely expensive low-rate of production Rafale. Only this month has the SH finally been displaced as the best naval Strikefighter ever produced, anywhere, by the extraordinary F-35C.

Your 'arguments' are a laughable crock.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 21:27
by sferrin
f-16adf wrote:Yes, and it was CANCELLED-


Not because of the swing-wing. :roll: As a matter of fact, one of the reasons the YF-22 won over the YF-23 was because it's NATF was more viable than the YF-23 based NATF- which did not have a swing-wing.

f-16adf wrote:And do you really think that with the Tomcat 21, the F-14 would have lost weight?


Where did I say anything about weight? Given the original Tomcat was mostly metal though, it's not difficult to believe that a larger use of composite could have reduced the weight.

f-16adf wrote:That first pic looks like it is easily over 45,000-50,000lbs (maybe more) empty.


Yeah? Based on what? Your calibrated eye-ball and a chicken scratch drawing?

f-16adf wrote:Seriously, is that pic from that F-14 DCS fanboy site, or the keypub kids?


From Secret Projects:

"Actually, that design, the Tomcat II, is a Grumman design, and my guess is it was a new build version designed to use as much of the existing jigs, etc and the knowledge base of the Tomcat structurally. But it was sort of a cheap attempt to get into the stealth game in much the same way that the B-1B was an attempt to get a "Stealth Bomber" out of the original B-1A design.

In much the same way that there have been drawings of design studies of a "stealthier" Tornado from BAE with the reshaped forward fuselage and inlets."

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/ ... 589.0.html


f-16adf wrote:And I wonder why all the US defense contractors, Dassault, Saab, Chinese, and even the Russians were smart enough to dump VG.


When did SAAB or China ever produce a swing-wing aircraft? As for the rest, as I already pointed out, the NATF and replacement A/FX would have had swing-wings. What next, you gonna tell us Air Launched Ballistic Missiles are "obsolete" because Skybolt was cancelled and SAAB, Dassault, and the Chinese don't have any? :roll:

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 22:33
by f-16adf
From what I remember, also, it was cancelled in part because of its projected high gross weight. And using a little common sense here, a standard F-22 Raptor empty is 43,000lbs +. Do you seriously think with the added wing box and mechanism weight that it would get any lighter? You would probably have a jet at 50,000lbs or over. Not to mention with the wings out, it probably would even have greater span than the Tomcat. The Navy only had few very large RA-5 and A-3 jets on its carriers. -They were huge. They certainly did not populate their squadrons as did Phantoms, Skyhawks, and Corsairs.



My point was, even those defense contractors have not ventured into VG, because they know it's not worth it-

F-22 not VG
F-35 not VG
Rafale not VG
Grip-hen not VG
Typhoon not VG
Mig-29 not VG (or any of its derivatives)
Su-27-35 not VG
Su-57 not VG
Chinese jets J-XX not VG



The last tactical VG jet was the Tornado; even the French were not dumb enough to join in on that failure.




Here is further stupidity from a "Grumman engineer":

Tyler Rogoway said: "A side note: I once talked to an accomplished engineer that worked for Grumman on the Super Tomcat 21 proposal. He told me that the performance models they were seeing with the Super Tomcat design were absolutely stunning and the jet's low speed handling, especially with thrust vectoring and the bigger engines, and the sheer amount of territory it could cover in a single mission were unprecedented. This man went on to work for "other contractors" on major fighter programs, but he maintains that the Super Tomcat's maneuvering performance and ability to operate as a fighter independent of tanker assets over large distances has still not been accomplished in any US or foreign design to this day. He did mention that he does see a large degree of the Super Tomcat's potential in the Russia's late model Flanker series, especially with its thrust vectoring and large internal fuel, but according to him it still does not really compare."


It seems the Grumman mafia is forever frozen in 1969/70. If they had their way we still would be flying Tomcats in the year 2070, since according to them VG is the apex of aerospace design. And there is nothing better?



And for this guy to be deferring back to the "Flanker" series as some sort of criterion is completely laughable.

And to further state that "the Super Tomcat's maneuvering performance has not been accomplished in any US or foreign design to this day" AGAIN COMPLETELY LAUGHABLE, has this dullard ever seen the F-22 Raptor?


FYI, when French Navy Rafales fought D Tomcats and C and E Hornets back in 2002. They said the Tomcat was the easiest to beat, and the Legacy Hornet the most difficult (out of those three they fought).
According to one Rafale pilot: "... Against the Tomcat, it's a real butcher's shop ... The Rafale is incomparably more manageable than the heavy F-14 and we take advantage of the commitment ..."

But let me guess, you think that just because he is French his is full of sh*t ....Right?

Read the full article, it's in Combat Aircraft Oct 2002. The Rafale with its far superior aerodynamics trashed the very heavy VG Tomcat.




Your photos are only "concepts". Read "Advance Fighter Technology", there were tons of ATF "concepts" that never made it.

And "Secret Project" should not be taken any more seriously than the keypub kids, DCS, Airliners, or any of the other aviation forums.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 22:47
by f-16adf
Again, I guess this Tomcat has "invisa-blocker" down its intakes, LOL

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2019, 23:33
by f-16adf
Sferrin, here is the F-14B/D performance manual:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/3krzacmc4 ... D+PERF.pdf




Read the charts, once the wings on the Tomcat start to go back turn performance goes down the toilet.



AND.....


here is the GAO report on the ATF and NATF. Read pg 17. One must also remember when this was published in the early 1990's the Air Force YF-22 weighed in only at about 32,000lbs. So it gained over 10,000lbs in becoming the F-22.

"In April 1989 the ATF contracts were again modified to continue the NATF'S demonstration and validation and further define the NATF. The Navy specified a maximum take-off gross weight of 65,000 pounds and a carrier landing weight of 52,000 pounds as design goals and set limits on the NATF'S length and size. The NATF is not to exceed the F-14 in length, and with its wings folded, it is to take up no greater deck space than the F-14."


AND

bottom of pg 20:

"Accordingly, a land-based aircraft’s landing gear, wings, and fuselage must be strengthened with additional materials and/or redesigned structure to enable the aircraft to withstand the stress of catapult launches and arrested landings. Air Force and Navy program officials estimate that, to accommodate these and the other Navy requirements, the empty
weight” of the NATF will have to be about 4,000 pounds heavier than the ATF. "

http://archive.gao.gov/t2pbat11/141083.pdf
I give credit to Spaz for that link.



So how on God's green earth would you realize a NATF 52,000lb carrier landing weight if the Air Force F-22 version gained over 10Klbs from YF-22 and weighs in at 43,300lbs empty? The answer------it's impossible-

43,000lbs+4,000lbs =47,000lbs And I dare say their 4,000lbs estimate seems a tad too conservative (remember this was published in 1990) including the VG box and strengthened undercarriage. So will the NATF be flying the ball on Bingo fuel and with zero weapons?

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 02:40
by element1loop
f-16adf wrote:Again, I guess this Tomcat has "invisa-blocker" down its intakes, LOL


Devastating image adf, I hadn’t realized the fan exposure angle was that abominable. No wonder USN didn’t try to retain it and put so much stock in reduced RCS of SH.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 08:04
by disconnectedradical
Super Hornet intake isn't much better though, you still see lots of the engine and it uses a radar blocker. Lots of Super Hornet reduced RCS comes from redesigned doors and radar blocker, no reason a Tomcat 21 variant can't also do that.

Also, why would Tomcat 21 be more expensive to develop than Super Hornet. Super Hornet airframe is mostly new compared to classic Hornet. If Tomcat 21 had all the same treatment as the Super Hornet it is probably better but also more expensive.

But I also don't get mixelflick's weird hate for the F/A-18, it's a good airplane, and even aerodynamically it's not bad, it doesn't have energy of F-16 but it's got much better high AoA and nose pointing and also bigger radar. Hornet has best high AoA of any 4th gen US fighter.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 09:58
by element1loop
disconnectedradical wrote:Super Hornet intake isn't much better though, you still see lots of the engine and it uses a radar blocker. Lots of Super Hornet reduced RCS comes from redesigned doors and radar blocker, no reason a Tomcat 21 variant can't also do that.

Also, why would Tomcat 21 be more expensive to develop than Super Hornet. Super Hornet airframe is mostly new compared to classic Hornet. If Tomcat 21 had all the same treatment as the Super Hornet it is probably better but also more expensive.

But I also don't get mixelflick's weird hate for the F/A-18, it's a good airplane, and even aerodynamically it's not bad, it doesn't have energy of F-16 but it's got much better high AoA and nose pointing and also bigger radar. Hornet has best high AoA of any 4th gen US fighter.


I don't think the cost of development was the problem, more likely the cost of building and operating them contrasted with an ex-Soviet airforce corroding on the ground, and their pilots getting 25hr per year at best, and the Russian navy rusting away and sinking for lack of maintenance. Any threat that re-emerged would be manageable and the F-35C would come, so why expend money now on an expanded cold-war interceptor come bomber, when a Superhornet would still be the best thing on anyone's deck? Seems to me H and SH was a smart path to take.

The good thing that came out of the Hornet and SH era is that LO drone tanking will soon become the way things are done. That is going to catch on.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 14:43
by hornetfinn
disconnectedradical wrote:But I also don't get mixelflick's weird hate for the F/A-18, it's a good airplane, and even aerodynamically it's not bad, it doesn't have energy of F-16 but it's got much better high AoA and nose pointing and also bigger radar. Hornet has best high AoA of any 4th gen US fighter.


I agree. F/A-18A-D Hornets were very good fighters for their day. When Finland evaluated most of the operational 4th gen fighters (except the large ones like F-15 and Su-27) during early 1990s, it was found to have the best overall performance. Only air-to-air performance was compared then, although Hornets strongest point probably would've been the multi-role capability. Especially the radar, avionics, combat systems and firepower were considered quite a bit better than in competition at the time, including F-16C Block 50. Also flight performance with -402 engines was considered very good overall. All the competitors went through the same air-to-air scenarios in realistic settings and Hornet performed clearly the best.

I think F/A-18C Hornets were and still are very good fighter jets and were really good and flexible multi-role strike fighters with very good air-to-air performance. They always had pretty considerable BVR capability with APG-65/-73 radars and AIM-7 and AIM-120 missiles. It might not carry Phoenix missiles to shoot down Badgers and Backfires, but otherwise it was very capable fighter jet.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 14:56
by sferrin
element1loop wrote:
f-16adf wrote:Again, I guess this Tomcat has "invisa-blocker" down its intakes, LOL


Devastating image adf, I hadn’t realized the fan exposure angle was that abominable. No wonder USN didn’t try to retain it and put so much stock in reduced RCS of SH.


They could have used a radar blocker in the intake like the Super Hornet uses. (And like the X-32 would have used had it not lost to the X-35.)

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 15:17
by sferrin
f-16adf wrote:From what I remember, also, it was cancelled in part because of its projected high gross weight. And using a little common sense here, a standard F-22 Raptor empty is 43,000lbs +. Do you seriously think with the added wing box and mechanism weight that it would get any lighter? You would probably have a jet at 50,000lbs or over. Not to mention with the wings out, it probably would even have greater span than the Tomcat. The Navy only had few very large RA-5 and A-3 jets on its carriers. -They were huge. They certainly did not populate their squadrons as did Phantoms, Skyhawks, and Corsairs.


The F-14 and Phantom squadrons were the same size - 12 aircraft. RA-5 and A-3s had different missions so they had fewer of them. The Intruder wasn't exactly B-52 sized and yet their squadron size was the same as the previous A3D. 10 aircraft. The F-14 and NATF F-22 had (or would have had) wing oversweep to keep the foot print down.



f-16adf wrote:My point was, even those defense contractors have not ventured into VG, because they know it's not worth it-

F-22 not VG
F-35 not VG
Rafale not VG
Grip-hen not VG
Typhoon not VG
Mig-29 not VG (or any of its derivatives)
Su-27-35 not VG
Su-57 not VG
Chinese jets J-XX not VG


You seem to think aircraft engineers base their layouts on what is fashionable. I'm reminded of the Mark Twain quote, "best to remain silent, and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt". Swing-wings are meant to solve a very specific problem - lots of lift at low speed while having the ability for lots of speed and/or a smooth ride at low altitude at high speed.



f-16adf wrote:the performance models they were seeing with the Super Tomcat design were absolutely stunning and the jet's low speed handling, especially with thrust vectoring and the bigger engines, and the sheer amount of territory it could cover in a single mission were unprecedented.


Entirely believable. The F-22 isn't exactly known for long-legs.


f-16adf wrote:This man went on to work for "other contractors" on major fighter programs, but he maintains that the Super Tomcat's maneuvering performance and ability to operate as a fighter independent of tanker assets over large distances has still not been accomplished in any US or foreign design to this day. He did mention that he does see a large degree of the Super Tomcat's potential in the Russia's late model Flanker series, especially with its thrust vectoring and large internal fuel, but according to him it still does not really compare."


Again, entirely believable.

f-16adf wrote:And for this guy to be deferring back to the "Flanker" series as some sort of criterion is completely laughable.


He's not wrong. As far as airframes go, what beats it all around? The F-15? The Flanker has more range, more maneuverability, and is cheaper. Anything "better" about the F-15 is not airframe related.

f-16adf wrote:And to further state that "the Super Tomcat's maneuvering performance has not been accomplished in any US or foreign design to this day" AGAIN COMPLETELY LAUGHABLE, has this dullard ever seen the F-22 Raptor?


1. That's not what he said. 2. When did he say it? 3. "Tyler Rogoway" *snicker*

f-16adf wrote:Your photos are only "concepts". Read "Advance Fighter Technology", there were tons of ATF "concepts" that never made it.


That was the real deal NATF F-22. Deal with it.

f-16adf wrote:And "Secret Project" should not be taken any more seriously than the keypub kids, DCS, Airliners, or any of the other aviation forums.


That must be why so many aviation authors post there, and people like your hero Tyler Rogoway, lurk there looking for stories. :lmao:

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 15:57
by f-16adf
I never said Tyler Rogoway was my hero, all I did was post a quote from him. The thing about him being my "hero" those are your words.




Here is the quote again:

Tyler Rogoway said: "A side note: I once talked to an accomplished engineer that worked for Grumman on the Super Tomcat 21 proposal. He told me that the performance models they were seeing with the Super Tomcat design were absolutely stunning and the jet's low speed handling, especially with thrust vectoring and the bigger engines, and the sheer amount of territory it could cover in a single mission were unprecedented. This man went on to work for "other contractors" on major fighter programs, but he maintains that the Super Tomcat's maneuvering performance and ability to operate as a fighter independent of tanker assets over large distances has still not been accomplished in any US or foreign design to this day. He did mention that he does see a large degree of the Super Tomcat's potential in the Russia's late model Flanker series, especially with its thrust vectoring and large internal fuel, but according to him it still does not really compare."





The Grumman engineer said "that the Super Tomcat's maneuvering performance AND ability to operate as a fighter independent of tanker assets over large distances has still not been accomplished in any US or foreign design to this day".


AND is a conjunction, hence it joins 2 statements here by this individual. (used to connect grammatically coordinate words, phrases, or clauses)



The truth is as far as maneuvering is concerned, the F-22 and Rafale easily kickes the Tomcat's a**. It's no contest-





The "real" as you say NATF was cancelled, it couldn't cut it weight or size wise, read the GAO report. Your one pic looks like a F-111 extrapolated for stealth.




Sferrin posted:
"You seem to think aircraft engineers base their layouts on what is fashionable. I'm reminded of the Mark Twain quote, "best to remain silent, and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt". Swing-wings are meant to solve a very specific problem - lots of lift at low speed while having the ability for lots of speed and/or a smooth ride at low altitude at high speed."

I suggest you read the F-14BD Performance manual EM charts. AS THE WINGS GO BACK, MANEUVERABILITY GOES DOWN HILL.

The "smooth ride at low altitude at high speed", yes if you are in a F-111 or B-1 (low level AG mission). The F-14 never (even the Bombcat, I believe) was employed or flown 200ft above the deck as the -111.



Why has not one VG jet been designed since the Tornado? Or one VG jet for the fighter role?

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 16:40
by element1loop
sferrin wrote:
element1loop wrote:
f-16adf wrote:Again, I guess this Tomcat has "invisa-blocker" down its intakes, LOL


Devastating image adf, I hadn’t realized the fan exposure angle was that abominable. No wonder USN didn’t try to retain it and put so much stock in reduced RCS of SH.


They could have used a radar blocker in the intake like the Super Hornet uses. (And like the X-32 would have used had it not lost to the X-35.)


Agree.

Though if the Russians built an F-14 derivative aircraft now everyone here would scoff at it, pan it, call it unflattering names, consider it obsolete, and not an aircraft of the future, nor of the present.

A young guy without old-guy baggage is going to ask one unadorned question, "Which tool will kill the best and survive the best? They aren't going to care about the past winners, losers, also-rans and almost-rans. They will not care about the history or design heritage (maybe later on). They will only care about the current capabilities which work and how to use them. We all know what they'll want, it won't be any of the teen fighters, or any 'new' derivatives of them.

But the other thing I find interesting is a fairly common view that F/A Hornets and F/A SH are 'cheap', ordinary, average 'compromises', nothing exceptional, flawed in some areas, yet are keen on the next F/A-XX "being done right this time", etc. Good! But they seem to not realize that F/A jets are multirole compromises by their very nature and use, and there is no chance that the next F/A will aim to be other than a cheap reliable quality multirole all-round good compromise as well.

There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth and a great tumult will arise! Many will lose their faith and complain bitterly about how it was, "not done right", and it's "cheap", and it has, "serious and troubling weaknesses", and it's so "compromised" (i.e. it's a very well balanced F/A-XX jet).

I would say the F/A Hornets were 'done right', they are a good balance (call it a derogatory 'compromise', whatever, don't care too much for those so inclined), so much so that the F-16A which was comparatively out of balance jet, and not a good compromise at all in its initial block, then converged to become progressively a lot like a Hornet. But the Hornet didn't converge toward an F-16C/D. It just kept doing what it does.

As for "cheap", RAAF bought 72 and still has 71 originals 36 years later. If it was cheap in a bad way, they would be gone now, there would be nothing left for Canada to buy. Partisan views slam it as 'cheap' in a pejorative way, rather than as cheap being excellent value for money, which is undeniable at this point. It's mission was to be a cheap. Cheap is not bad, cheap is extremely good when it provides quality. The Hornet was "done right".

I hope a next F/A is just as 'cheap', another amazing 'compromise' which bitterly disappoints those with unrealistic expectations for an F/A type. The cheapest and best compromise ever created is the F-35A/B/C.

I would say prepare to be disappointed by F/A-XX. This does not mean it will be sub-par, it won't be or it'll get canned, it just means some don't like what a good cheap F/A must be.

:slap:

Frankly I don't see the point in converging another F/A to become like an F-35C, but that's what will happen. I'd just evolve the F-35C into an F-35D, and stop wasting everyone's time and money pretending F/A-XX won't just converge with the F-35C anyway.

/soapbox confiscated

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 16:55
by disconnectedradical
I think f-16adf is going way to hard on F-14 and VG and not all for right reasons. NATF F-22 and A/F-X both had VG wings and their cancellation is more to do with budget and politics than design flaws. Lockheed took the NATF and A/F-X seriously and their design proposals were the most developed of all the companies.

Also, the one role where an upgraded F-14 would excel over Super Hornet is fleet air defense, but with the fall of Soviet Union that isn't such a big concern anymore, so for all of the mission that did happen in the 2000s and 2010s the Super Hornet was completely fine. An upgraded F-14 like Tomcat 21 is probably more overall capable than a Super Hornet, but it will be more expensive to manufacture and operate. But the problem is that the biggest difference in capability is in air defense, which hasn't been needed, so with this hindsight the Super Hornet is the better option.

Also, F-14BD chart shows the aircraft has pretty good acceleration and pretty good turning too, especially with just AIM-7 and AIM-9.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 17:12
by f-16adf
According to the GAO report it couldn't make the weight.

from above:

here is the GAO report on the ATF and NATF. Read pg 17. One must also remember when this was published in the early 1990's the Air Force YF-22 weighed in only at about 32,000lbs. So it gained over 10,000lbs in becoming the F-22.

"In April 1989 the ATF contracts were again modified to continue the NATF'S demonstration and validation and further define the NATF. The Navy specified a maximum take-off gross weight of 65,000 pounds and a carrier landing weight of 52,000 pounds as design goals and set limits on the NATF'S length and size. The NATF is not to exceed the F-14 in length, and with its wings folded, it is to take up no greater deck space than the F-14."


AND

bottom of pg 20:

"Accordingly, a land-based aircraft’s landing gear, wings, and fuselage must be strengthened with additional materials and/or redesigned structure to enable the aircraft to withstand the stress of catapult launches and arrested landings. Air Force and Navy program officials estimate that, to accommodate these and the other Navy requirements, the empty
weight” of the NATF will have to be about 4,000 pounds heavier than the ATF. "

http://archive.gao.gov/t2pbat11/141083.pdf



So how on God's green earth would you realize a NATF 52,000lb carrier landing weight if the Air Force F-22 version gained over 10Klbs from YF-22 and weighs in at 43,300lbs empty? The answer------it's impossible-

43,000lbs+4,000lbs =47,000lbs And I dare say their 4,000lbs estimate seems a tad too conservative (remember this was published in 1990) including the VG box and strengthened undercarriage. So will the NATF be flying the ball on Bingo fuel and with zero weapons?



It clearly says they had a weight and size limit. 52K for carrier landing weight. The current F-22 weighs in at a little over 43K. The NATF would be heavier, conservatively it would probably be near 50K empty.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 17:20
by sferrin
f-16adf wrote:According to the GAO report it couldn't make the weight.

from above:

here is the GAO report on the ATF and NATF. Read pg 17. One must also remember when this was published in the early 1990's the Air Force YF-22 weighed in only at about 32,000lbs. So it gained over 10,000lbs in becoming the F-22.

"In April 1989 the ATF contracts were again modified to continue the NATF'S demonstration and validation and further define the NATF. The Navy specified a maximum take-off gross weight of 65,000 pounds and a carrier landing weight of 52,000 pounds as design goals and set limits on the NATF'S length and size. The NATF is not to exceed the F-14 in length, and with its wings folded, it is to take up no greater deck space than the F-14."


As has been said before, NATF was cancelled due to budget not weight. Consider even the Forrestals could handle aircraft up to 80,000lbs. Obviously you'd like to keep weight down but weight is largely a result of requirements. At one point the ATF was supposed to be a 50,000lb gross aircraft. Requirements said that was never going to happen.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 17:27
by f-16adf
The Tomcat is pretty good around the 300KIAS number, give or take. I will admit that. But its Ps are in a spike, meaning he cannot decelerate across the board as the F-16 can. And generally after .7-.8IMN the Ps are in a steep decline, why? because the wings are starting to go back. He's losing trailing edge span.

Now how is it that the F-16 beats a VG F-14BD Tomcat, even a crummy underpowered one say a Block 25? At those speeds?


Here it is:

viewtopic.php?p=387607#p387607 (read JBGator's post)


As JBGator said, the F-16 can DECELERATE : "I can't translate the 800-1000 -Ps the F-16 has during that turn but I can tell you over 23 years of flying the F-16 that I would be around 330-350 KCAS (about .61+) still doing about the 14 DPS of the Tomcat at Ps=0,"



And if it is simply too hard for all the F-14 mafia to understand, well, here are the words of GD pilot Neil Anderson at the 1985 Paris Airshow. And the F-16 version he is talking about and in the demo is an underpowered BLOCK 25. Now how can an underpowered Block 25 complete a 360 degree turn in only 13.5-15 seconds (it cannot do it at P=0, but....), because he is decelerating across his horizontal plateau. He is going from 350KIAS down to 240-250KIAS. Listen to his words beginning at 7:50 mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo74tX10JSQ



Even if you strip off all the F-14BD's armament and drop down to sea level. The Variable Geometry jet cannot match that turn at P=0 and it cannot decelerate across the board, because its Ps are in a spike. Meaning it loses more energy than the fixed wing F-16.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 17:29
by f-16adf
Sferrin, I trust what the GAO report says concerning weight.


The YF-22 in becoming the F-22 gained over 10Klbs. The NATF would have probably gain much, much more.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 20:10
by tomcattech
f-16adf wrote:And if it is simply too hard for all the F-14 mafia to understand.


LOL.... "F-14 Mafia"

Haven't heard THAT term in a while...

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 14:06
by mixelflick
But I also don't get mixelflick's weird hate for the F/A-18, it's a good airplane, and even aerodynamically it's not bad, it doesn't have energy of F-16 but it's got much better high AoA and nose pointing and also bigger radar. Hornet has best high AoA of any 4th gen US fighter.

Mixel still hates the F/A-18 and always will. Mostly b/c it's "not bad". Not bad isn't American. Fearsome. Dominant. Overkill is American.

You made some good points though, so your postings weren't entirely wasted on me. Mix still hates it.

But he hates it less now... :)

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 14:15
by sferrin
mixelflick wrote:But I also don't get mixelflick's weird hate for the F/A-18, it's a good airplane, and even aerodynamically it's not bad, it doesn't have energy of F-16 but it's got much better high AoA and nose pointing and also bigger radar. Hornet has best high AoA of any 4th gen US fighter.

Mixel still hates the F/A-18 and always will. Mostly b/c it's "not bad". Not bad isn't American. Fearsome. Dominant. Overkill is American.

You made some good points though, so your postings weren't entirely wasted on me. Mix still hates it.

But he hates it less now... :)


My favorite "version" of the line was the P.530 Cobra. (Though this probably isn't it as the 530 lost the inlet cones.)

Northrop-P530-Cobra.jpg


This one is though:

97b21feb2f68fbba6529502df919a4ed.jpg


The F-18L would have probably been a hell of a plane.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 15:24
by sprstdlyscottsmn
sferrin wrote:
The F-18L would have probably been a hell of a plane.

Especially with -402 motors.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 15:35
by sferrin
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
sferrin wrote:
The F-18L would have probably been a hell of a plane.

Especially with -402 motors.


Just imagining that Swiss routine someone posted but with a lighter airframe. :shock:

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 15:56
by quicksilver
"And to further state that "the Super Tomcat's maneuvering performance has not been accomplished in any US or foreign design to this day" AGAIN COMPLETELY LAUGHABLE..."

Agree. To the armchair critic, the only thing more attractive than 'the one that was never built' is the vaporware that might be built in the future.

"FYI, when French Navy Rafales fought D Tomcats and C and E Hornets back in 2002. They said the Tomcat was the easiest to beat, and the Legacy Hornet the most difficult (out of those three they fought)."

Completely consistent with the experience of everyone I know re: Tomcats and Hornet types in BFM. As we've discussed here before, the Tomcat wasnt built as a knife fighter and, in BFM, suffered from the limitations of the TF-30. By the time the new engines showed up, lotsa stuff had passed it by systems-wise. It was also a very maintenance-intensive aircraft, largely reflective of the design/technology era that birthed it. Many people forget (or never knew) how seemingly revolutionary Hornet reliability was in its early years.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 22:57
by kdub104
Trying to sus all the info here out.

Rhetoric for years has been it was a huge mistake to retire the F-14 and replace it with the Super Hornet. Range, speed and payload are the sited factors for the poor decision. And let us not forget the poor kinematics of the S/H as the main culprit for this "travesty".

Yet the defence of the S/H here in this thread has opened my eyes, most noticeably the range facts and fuel capacity numbers, yet both sides of the argument mostly agree on one thing; poor kinematics.

I have read in (I believe it is the Australian publication) "AirPower" that any Hornet model will get whooped by the Flanker, particularly in regards to kinematics.

Okay, so the S/H is not an energy fighter and the Tomcat is. Got it. But let us pretend the Tomcat was retained and upgraded, etc.... My question then surrounds the kinematics of 3 aircraft:

1. Super Tomcat
2. S/H with 414 EPE producing 26,400 lbs thrust
3. Mig-31

Will the 414 EPE with 26,400 lbs thrust realize the S/H as an energy fighter?
How will this engine upgrade fair against the F-14D or Super Tomcat regarding kinematics?
And...
How do these both compare against the M2.8, 65,000 ft+ MIG-31 carrying the potent R-37? Would this combination not make any version of the Tomcat or Hornet a moot point in the kinematic argument?

Or we would never see this face off due to the F-14/F-18 being naval and the MIG-31 being land based?

Who is the threat now to the fleet? Russian Naval Flanker?

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2019, 15:41
by knowan
f-16adf wrote:Sferrin, I trust what the GAO report says concerning weight.


The YF-22 in becoming the F-22 gained over 10Klbs. The NATF would have probably gain much, much more.


I've always found that weight gain to be bizarre, given it uses a much greater amount of composites than a F-15.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2019, 16:26
by mixelflick
kdub104 wrote:Trying to sus all the info here out.

Rhetoric for years has been it was a huge mistake to retire the F-14 and replace it with the Super Hornet. Range, speed and payload are the sited factors for the poor decision. And let us not forget the poor kinematics of the S/H as the main culprit for this "travesty".

Yet the defence of the S/H here in this thread has opened my eyes, most noticeably the range facts and fuel capacity numbers, yet both sides of the argument mostly agree on one thing; poor kinematics.

I have read in (I believe it is the Australian publication) "AirPower" that any Hornet model will get whooped by the Flanker, particularly in regards to kinematics.

Okay, so the S/H is not an energy fighter and the Tomcat is. Got it. But let us pretend the Tomcat was retained and upgraded, etc.... My question then surrounds the kinematics of 3 aircraft:

1. Super Tomcat
2. S/H with 414 EPE producing 26,400 lbs thrust
3. Mig-31

Will the 414 EPE with 26,400 lbs thrust realize the S/H as an energy fighter?
How will this engine upgrade fair against the F-14D or Super Tomcat regarding kinematics?
And...
How do these both compare against the M2.8, 65,000 ft+ MIG-31 carrying the potent R-37? Would this combination not make any version of the Tomcat or Hornet a moot point in the kinematic argument?

Or we would never see this face off due to the F-14/F-18 being naval and the MIG-31 being land based?

Who is the threat now to the fleet? Russian Naval Flanker?


The Super Tomcat would be able to super-cruise (without afterburners). The Mig-31 can also super-cruise, although I don't know if it can without burner. The ST's Phoenix missiles would pose a tremendous threat to the Mig-31, as the Mig-25 was even faster and several were brought down by Iranian Tomcats/phoenix. And bear in mind, that was with the old TF-30's/AWG-9. The ST21 would have had it all over the up-engined Hornet or Mig-31 in the radar department too, and it's electro-optical equipment would also be of great benefit. See below, two F-14A's tracking Foxbats (in burner!) all day long..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zGWXjk1__w

The first shots are of it tracking a Mig-23. At the 3:00 mark though, they're sticking to maneuvering Foxbats in burner. Dead meat, had they chosen to engage..

The Mig-31 is a fine aircraft, but would fall to a ST quickly. The up-engined F-18... doubtful it could super-cruise. Doubtful its radar would have been as capable. Doubtful it's Sparrow could bring a Foxbat down, given it couldn't catch up to one, and gain a firing solution. Doubtful it had to the legs after using so much fuel trying to catch up.

I will say this: The up-rated F-404/s/414's are incredibly impressive engines. So much thrust (especially the 26,000lb version!), for such a tiny engine..

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2019, 03:12
by crosshairs
knowan wrote:
f-16adf wrote:Sferrin, I trust what the GAO report says concerning weight.


The YF-22 in becoming the F-22 gained over 10Klbs. The NATF would have probably gain much, much more.


I've always found that weight gain to be bizarre, given it uses a much greater amount of composites than a F-15.


The demonstrators were not built to be flown for 25 years and lacked in avionics and systems.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2019, 09:14
by linkomart
sferrin wrote:
This one is though:

97b21feb2f68fbba6529502df919a4ed.jpg


The F-18L would have probably been a hell of a plane.


Funny thing, the F-18L COULD have been the Gripen. MDD pitched the L as JAS for replacement of the Gripen. GD presented the F-16 and Northrop the F-5 and F-20.
F-18L were the true performer since it was much lighter than 18A and the aerofixes would probably have been implemented, F-16 were not far behind but the avionics were not good enough and the air intake was deemed unsuitable for road base use. (No walking of the runway/road before operation begins). F5 and F-20 were not suited for roadbases either, I think the wing was too small (not enough payload for TO and Land).
And, if it were to be made, the engines could have been RM12.
Question Sferrin, where is this picture (artists impression) taken from? haven't sen the strake on the radome before...

regards

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2019, 13:25
by mixelflick
YF-17 looked to be a very good design.

Unfortunately, it ran into the penultimate energy fighter of its day - the F-16. One thing I keep wondering about though.. Why on Earth did the YF-17 design team choose NOT to use the F-100, being it's common to the F-15?

Not enough thrust to meet the thrust to weight ratio requirements?

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2019, 13:34
by marsavian
Unfortunately, it ran into the penultimate energy fighter of its day - the F-16.


So what was the ultimate ? Typhoon ? F-16 may actually be a little better close to sea level. Flanker was pretty good at sea level too, check airshow best turns which f-16adf has a list of.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2019, 19:22
by johnwill
linkomart wrote:

Question Sferrin, where is this picture (artists impression) taken from? haven't sen the strake on the radome before...

regards



YF-17 had the same strake.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2019, 15:22
by mixelflick
marsavian wrote:
Unfortunately, it ran into the penultimate energy fighter of its day - the F-16.


So what was the ultimate ? Typhoon ? F-16 may actually be a little better close to sea level. Flanker was pretty good at sea level too, check airshow best turns which f-16adf has a list of.


I've been told the F-16 with the GE big mouth was hard to beat, even today. The Typhoon though, would be my pick and in particular the uprated one I read about just recently. It's already ferociously powerful, turns on a dime and plenty of fast. I've heard "stock" Typhoons regularly beat F-15's and 16's in exercises so..

Flankers are mighty impressive, but draggy. They also carry a LOT of internal fuel, which impairs maneuverability until a good 40% of it is burned off. Their AAM's are heavier too, and with full internal fuel have to further drag it down (pun intended).

But we can't discount a lightly loaded F-35, can we? Remember LM's comment, "as good or better than any 4th generation fighter today", from a kinematic perspective. Certainly with a new, more powerful motor it will be. It's internal fuel load is staggering, 18,000lbs. If it carried an F-16 like internal fuel load (circa 7,000lbs), it would be awful sprightly. In a non stealth aircraft, that may seem desirable, but not in an F-35. I'll take that extra gas all day long, because it's going to allow me to stay longer, kill more bad guys and help 4th gen birds kill more bad guys too.

And let's not forget: The F-35 is the ONLY aircraft mentioned here that's going to be flying "clean". That alone is going to contribute to its positioning as the ultimate "high energy fighter" ...

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2019, 09:03
by linkomart
johnwill wrote:
YF-17 had the same strake.


Thanks JW, hadn't seen that before, that I can remember. Anyone know if it's there for Alpha or Beta stability?

Best regards.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2019, 14:00
by sprstdlyscottsmn
mixelflick wrote: The Typhoon though, would be my pick and in particular the uprated one I read about just recently. It's already ferociously powerful, turns on a dime and plenty of fast.

What uprated one? AFAIK not a single operational Tiffy has been built with the AMK or high output EJ200s.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2019, 15:04
by mixelflick
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
mixelflick wrote: The Typhoon though, would be my pick and in particular the uprated one I read about just recently. It's already ferociously powerful, turns on a dime and plenty of fast.

What uprated one? AFAIK not a single operational Tiffy has been built with the AMK or high output EJ200s.


"Eurofighter chief executive Volker Paltzo, speaking at the ILA air show in Berlin on 25 April, said that the consortium intends to increase the thrust of the Typhoon’s Eurojet EJ200 engine by “about 15%”, in order to boost payload and range. Each Typhoon is powered by a pair of the 13,500lb-thrust (60kN) engines."

A 15% increase in thrust is quite substantial, and should result in it being the most powerful energy fighter (excluding the F-22). Now yes, it still needs an AESA (although I thought Quatar was getting that too) and a few other modifications, but by all accounts Typhoons are terrific at recovering energy, sustaining G's and as tough in the vertical as they are the horizontal. When you hear of it beating F-15 and 16's with regularity, that really says something, doesn't it?

Other than the F-22, I can't think of a single other fighter that can make that claim...

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2019, 15:23
by sprstdlyscottsmn
mixelflick wrote:
consortium intends to increase the thrust

That is my point. They intend to. It has not been funded or ordered by anyone, unlike the AESA which has been funded and ordered. Until there is a program of record, even so much as stating "Beginning in year 202x RAF Typhoons or TR3 or later will be outfitted with the uprated EJ200 motors and AMK." No such statement has been issued that I am aware of. Likewise, PW intends to increase the thrust of the F135, but that means nothing until it is ordered and funded.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2019, 18:10
by johnwill
linkomart wrote:
johnwill wrote:
YF-17 had the same strake.


Thanks JW, hadn't seen that before, that I can remember. Anyone know if it's there for Alpha or Beta stability?

Best regards.


During the Lightweight Fighter competition my good friend in Stability & Control (still a good friend) told me about the strakes. He said they were used to generate vortices at high AoA that improved the directional (Beta) stability by interacting with the vertical tails. It was obvious even then that the YF-17 had exceptional high AoA capability. Also part of that capability was the positioning of the vertical tails farther forward than usual. Although that reduced the yaw moment arm, it kept the tails in clear air at high AoA, at the cost of higher weight and drag for two tails.

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2019, 05:33
by quicksilver
I thought this might be of particular interest here as well...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4xJBvKJht78

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2019, 07:03
by Corsair1963
mixelflick wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
mixelflick wrote: The Typhoon though, would be my pick and in particular the uprated one I read about just recently. It's already ferociously powerful, turns on a dime and plenty of fast.

What uprated one? AFAIK not a single operational Tiffy has been built with the AMK or high output EJ200s.


"Eurofighter chief executive Volker Paltzo, speaking at the ILA air show in Berlin on 25 April, said that the consortium intends to increase the thrust of the Typhoon’s Eurojet EJ200 engine by “about 15%”, in order to boost payload and range. Each Typhoon is powered by a pair of the 13,500lb-thrust (60kN) engines."

A 15% increase in thrust is quite substantial, and should result in it being the most powerful energy fighter (excluding the F-22). Now yes, it still needs an AESA (although I thought Quatar was getting that too) and a few other modifications, but by all accounts Typhoons are terrific at recovering energy, sustaining G's and as tough in the vertical as they are the horizontal. When you hear of it beating F-15 and 16's with regularity, that really says something, doesn't it?

Other than the F-22, I can't think of a single other fighter that can make that claim...


Have they "actually" funded the upgraded EJ200's???

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2019, 07:05
by Corsair1963
quicksilver wrote:I thought this might be of particular interest here as well...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4xJBvKJht78



I often post it for Canadian Critics of the F-35.... :wink:

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2019, 08:00
by linkomart
johnwill wrote:
During the Lightweight Fighter competition my good friend in Stability & Control (still a good friend) told me about the strakes. He said they were used to generate vortices at high AoA that improved the directional (Beta) stability by interacting with the vertical tails. It was obvious even then that the YF-17 had exceptional high AoA capability. Also part of that capability was the positioning of the vertical tails farther forward than usual. Although that reduced the yaw moment arm, it kept the tails in clear air at high AoA, at the cost of higher weight and drag for two tails.


Thank you.
It was my guess, but since I'm a structures guy I wanted to ask.
Long time ago I met a guy who had worked at MDD with the F-18 early on. He were on the structure team and he told me he had worked with reinforcing the tails since the buffeting were causing overstress on the structure.
From what I understand, some of the extra (extra) weight on the tails came from the reinforcements needed since the tails is in the vortex from the LEX.

best regards

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2019, 19:42
by crosshairs
linkomart wrote:
johnwill wrote:
During the Lightweight Fighter competition my good friend in Stability & Control (still a good friend) told me about the strakes. He said they were used to generate vortices at high AoA that improved the directional (Beta) stability by interacting with the vertical tails. It was obvious even then that the YF-17 had exceptional high AoA capability. Also part of that capability was the positioning of the vertical tails farther forward than usual. Although that reduced the yaw moment arm, it kept the tails in clear air at high AoA, at the cost of higher weight and drag for two tails.


Thank you.
It was my guess, but since I'm a structures guy I wanted to ask.
Long time ago I met a guy who had worked at MDD with the F-18 early on. He were on the structure team and he told me he had worked with reinforcing the tails since the buffeting were causing overstress on the structure.
From what I understand, some of the extra (extra) weight on the tails came from the reinforcements needed since the tails is in the vortex from the LEX.

best regards



For a company without a history of building fighters, Northrop designed a great plane when they designed Boeing's F/A-18. :D

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2019, 20:04
by sprstdlyscottsmn
crosshairs wrote:For a company without a history of building fighters, Northrop designed a great plane when they designed Boeing's F/A-18. :D

The P-61, F-89, and F-5 would like to have a word with you. LOL.

On the YF-17...
"The F-5 was so successful that Northrop spent much of the 1970s and 1980s attempting to duplicate its success with similar lightweight designs. Their first attempt to improve the F-5 was the N-300, which featured much more powerful engines and moved the wing to a higher position to allow for increased ordnance that the higher power allowed. The N-300 was further developed into the P-530 with even larger engines, this time featuring a small amount of "bypass" (turbofan) to improve cooling and allow the engine bay to be lighter, as well as much more wing surface. The P-530 also included radar and other systems considered necessary on modern aircraft. When the Light Weight Fighter program was announced, the P-530 was stripped of much of its equipment to become the P-600, and eventually the YF-17 Cobra, which lost the competition to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Nevertheless, the YF-17 Cobra was modified with help from McDonnell Douglas to become the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet in order to fill a similar lightweight design competition for the US Navy."

Re: U.S. Navy farewells F/A-18C Hornet aircraft

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2019, 20:12
by crosshairs
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
crosshairs wrote:For a company without a history of building fighters, Northrop designed a great plane when they designed Boeing's F/A-18. :D

The P-61, F-89, and F-5 would like to have a word with you. LOL.

On the YF-17...
"The F-5 was so successful that Northrop spent much of the 1970s and 1980s attempting to duplicate its success with similar lightweight designs. Their first attempt to improve the F-5 was the N-300, which featured much more powerful engines and moved the wing to a higher position to allow for increased ordnance that the higher power allowed. The N-300 was further developed into the P-530 with even larger engines, this time featuring a small amount of "bypass" (turbofan) to improve cooling and allow the engine bay to be lighter, as well as much more wing surface. The P-530 also included radar and other systems considered necessary on modern aircraft. When the Light Weight Fighter program was announced, the P-530 was stripped of much of its equipment to become the P-600, and eventually the YF-17 Cobra, which lost the competition to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Nevertheless, the YF-17 Cobra was modified with help from McDonnell Douglas to become the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet in order to fill a similar lightweight design competition for the US Navy."


F-89! Damn it. Forgot about that one. :bang: