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      03-28-2023, 05:23 AM   #1079
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Breaking news: Canada to possibly buy Boeing P-8A maritime patrol aircraft to replace the existing CP-140 fleet.

https://www.airforce-technology/news...s-cmma-project

With the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand using the P-8A, this would be a great move by Canada, though no doubt expensive.

The P-8A is also flown by India, Korea and Norway and has been ordered by Germany.
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      03-28-2023, 06:58 AM   #1080
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Japan has chosen to develop and produce its own design to replace its P-3 aircraft. The Kawasaki P-1 is about the same size as the P-8, but has four engines. As is typical for Japanese procurement, the production rate is very low and I suspect that Japan is thus spending far more on their new maritime patrol aircraft.
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      03-28-2023, 07:59 AM   #1081
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      03-28-2023, 03:23 PM   #1082
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      03-28-2023, 03:36 PM   #1083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
The USAF's F-15 replacement (except for the F-15E Strike Eagle) was supposed to be the F-22A. The USAF originally wanted over 700 F-22s to ensure air dominance; under budget pressure, that goal was cut back to fewer than 400, then finally to fewer than 200. Those cuts meant that the F-15 remained active in an air superiority role alongside the F-22.

The F-15 also proved popular in the export market, bought by many nations.

Now the F-15 had been placed back in production for the USAF
What is the reason to not phase out the F-15 in favor of a total commitment to the F-22?

F-22 cost? F-22 (lack of) capability?
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      03-28-2023, 08:15 PM   #1084
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Originally Posted by chassis View Post
What is the reason to not phase out the F-15 in favor of a total commitment to the F-22?

F-22 cost? F-22 (lack of) capability?
I'd say cost -- Congress balked at the cost of the F-22. In hindsight, probably should've bought 400. I think the capability of the F-22 is pretty much unquestioned: supercruise, stealth, agility, etc.
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      03-28-2023, 08:44 PM   #1085
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      03-28-2023, 08:57 PM   #1086
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chassis View Post
What is the reason to not phase out the F-15 in favor of a total commitment to the F-22?

F-22 cost? F-22 (lack of) capability?
The jigs are gone so it would be like starting new.
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      03-28-2023, 09:29 PM   #1087
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-technik-3 View Post
The jigs are gone so it would be like starting new.

And the updated F15EX is pretty badass.
Has a lot of capability.
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      03-29-2023, 04:20 AM   #1088
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Originally Posted by diirk View Post
And the updated F15EX is pretty badass.
Has a lot of capability.
Indeed, but we still need something stealthy to kick down the door on the first day of the air war. A combination of the F-22 & F-35 with stealth and the F-15E/EX & F-16 sounds like the ticket.

I have not kept up with the defense budget the last couple of years, but for 2021, the cost to buy one engine for a Marine F-35B is 30 million! It would be interesting to know what the pair of engines in an F-15EX go for. I'm pretty sure an F-15EX overall costs less than an F-35.
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      03-29-2023, 07:29 AM   #1089
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      03-29-2023, 07:52 AM   #1090
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Myasishchev M-55
Originally conceived as a balloon interceptor for those pesky CIA balloons crossing the USSR with cameras attached. (I do wonder if any of the resulting photos were worth all the fuss.)
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      03-29-2023, 09:07 AM   #1091
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      03-30-2023, 01:29 PM   #1092
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De Havilland DH.177 wind tunnel model circa 1955-56.

Has a bit of F-4 and a bit of F-104 look about it.
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      03-30-2023, 06:51 PM   #1093
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One of my favorite radio control airplanes is this Mini-Avanti. I built it about 5 years ago. It arrives mostly built, but the owner must install all of the electronic goodies. It is powered by a 90mm EDF (Electric Ducted Fan), backed by a pretty beefy LiPo battery. Landing gear retract. I added electric brakes after this photo was taken. With fairly high landing speeds, it needs the brakes.

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      03-31-2023, 01:45 AM   #1094
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I believe I've posted a photo of the Ki-84 Hayate before, but decent quality photos of WW2 Japanese aircraft are few and far between. This CGI image of the Ki-84 caught my eye.

The Ki-84 was probably the best Japanese fighter of the war, although it was hampered by few trained pilots, poor assembly quality and substandard fuel. As I've said before, in post-WW2 tests using U.S. gasoline, the Ki-84 was competitive with the most advanced U.S. fighters.
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      03-31-2023, 06:30 AM   #1095
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
I'd say cost -- Congress balked at the cost of the F-22. In hindsight, probably should've bought 400. I think the capability of the F-22 is pretty much unquestioned: supercruise, stealth, agility, etc.
And relative cost of drones/UAVs probably figures into this.
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      03-31-2023, 05:23 PM   #1096
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      03-31-2023, 09:49 PM   #1097
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It's been quite a few years since the U.S. Air Force bought any helicopter other than the recent HH-60W search and rescue helo, which will replace aging HH-60s throughout the Air Force.

Meanwhile, their is another smallish fleet of old Bell UH-1N helicopters that are used for providing security for ICBM installations and for utility purposes. A few years ago the USAF finally contracted to replace these UH-1Ns and the result is a Boeing-Leonardo design designated MH-139A and based on the Leonardo AW139 helo.
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      04-01-2023, 01:33 AM   #1098
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The MH-139A reminds me of how messed up the U.S. designation system is. The theory is that the next helicopter, for instance, gets the next number in the H series. The Navy's new training helicopter is the TH-73A, so I suspect the next helo should have been the H-74. Instead, the powers-that-be decided to leverage off the Leonardo designation of AW139 and call it the MH-139A.

A similar pattern can be seen in the new/forthcoming presidential VVIP helo for the Marine Corps. The Sikorsky S-92 was the winner (after the whole AW101/VH-71A debacle) and the designation is VH-92A. (I keep expecting to see the VH-92A on the White House lawn on TV but I hear communications problems have delayed the use.)

I suppose you can make a case for going with the manufacturer's designation, though.

The case of the F-35 does not conform to the manufacturer designation, though. There, the Dept of Defense chose two companies to compete for the Joint Strike Fighter program. Those prototypes probably should've been designated XF-24A and XF-25A. Instead they were the Boeing X-32 and the Lockheed Martin X-35; not fighters at all, despite the fact that they were indeed experimental fighters. The winner then should have been designated F-24, the next number for fighters. But the Secretary of the Air Force inexplicably decided that the winning design, the X-35, would be the F-35. Odd.

Then there is the Navy/Marine Corps F/A-18. Which is it: Fighter or attack? The admiral who decided on that designation in the 1970s later explained that he didn't mean for it to be used that way; his thinking was that an F-18 could fly a fighter mission, return to base (or carrier) and within a very short period of time, be converted to an A-18 for an attack mission.

The fact of the matter is that the term "fighter" now really means a high-performance tactical aircraft with air-to-air and/or air-to-ground capabilities. The Navy's F-14A and the Air Force's F-15A and F-15C were used almost exclusively in an air-to-air role, whereas the Air Force's F-111 was used exclusively in an air-to-ground role. It seems to me that the distinction between fighter and attack has virtually disappeared. The Navy retired their A-6 Intruder attack aircraft and the Marines are retiring their AV-8B Harrier attack aircraft. The only surviving true attack airplane will be the A-10 Warthog. Which should be kept or modified for a longer service life or replaced with a like aircraft. Or, what the heck, just redesignate it the F-10 Warthog and abandon A for attack altogether.

One more odd one: The USAF operates three aircraft on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration to check navigation aids. They are Bombardier Challenger CL-600s and designated C-143B by the U.S. I cannot find a photo. The U.S. Coast Guard has a C-143A VIP jet that should be similar -- photo attached.

The Air Force Special Operations Command also operates a number of foreign-sourced aircraft that are generally flown without obvious U.S. military markings in situations or places where U.S. military aircraft might be inappropriate. These are the Polish PZL M-28 (designated C-145A) and the German Do-28 (designated C-146A.) Note the paint jobs on these photos; nothing to see here, huh?
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      04-01-2023, 04:40 AM   #1099
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The U.S. Coast Guard has both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft based along all the coasts.

The "heavies" are HC-130 Hercules. Most of the fleet has converted to the new J model, but there are still some old HC-130Hs in service.

The smaller fixed-wing inventory is made up of two different aircraft:
-- The HC-27J is an interesting case. The program started as an Army program for a smaller airlifter. The Air Force, as is their wont, objected to the Army buying the C-27J and, instead of directly attacking the project, joined in so that each service would operate a small fleet of smaller transports. Then, once the program was well in progress, the Air Force first took over all the C-27Js and finally cut them out of the inventory based on "budget considerations." The C-27J is an interesting aircraft, based on the Italian Alenia G222 but with upgraded engines and cockpit and designed for maximum commonality with the four-engine C-130J. Sort of a C-130J Lite, if you will. The USAF's machinations left orphan C-27Js without a home and the Coast Guard, perennially in a budget pinch, took them in and modified them for medium-range search and rescue.
-- The other medium-range fixed-wing aircraft is smaller than the HC-27J. The HC-144A Ocean Sentry is based on the Airbus CN-235 and also shares some SAR systems with the larger HC-130.

There are also two helicopters in the Coast Guard inventory; the larger MH-60T and the smaller MH-65E:
-- The MH-60T is based on the Navy's SH- or MH-60 and has been recently updated.
-- The MH-65E is based on the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin and is more numerous. Some MH-65s are armed for the counter-narcotics mission.

The Coast Guard also has a couple of VIP aircraft: A Gulfstream (not pictured) and the C-143A in the last post.
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      04-01-2023, 05:47 AM   #1100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chassis View Post
And relative cost of drones/UAVs probably figures into this.
The drone/UAV is the coming revolution in air warfare. I could forsee a battlefield with *clouds* of UAVs and a few manned aircraft above.
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