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

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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sferrin

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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 21:27

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:
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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 22:33

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.
Last edited by f-16adf on 10 Feb 2019, 23:24, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 22:47

Again, I guess this Tomcat has "invisa-blocker" down its intakes, LOL
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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 23:33

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?
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 02:40

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.
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 08:04

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.
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 09:58

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.
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 14:43

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.
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 14:56

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.)
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 15:17

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:
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 15:57

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?
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 16:40

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
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 16:55

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.
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 17:12

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.
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Unread post11 Feb 2019, 17:20

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.
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