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Author Topic: USAF/US NAVY 6th Generation Fighter Programs - F/A-XX, F-X, NGAD, PCA  (Read 785382 times)

Offline Harrier

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Re: USAF/US NAVY 6th Generation Fighter Programs - F/A-XX, F-X, NGAD, PCA
« Reply #2760 on: March 07, 2019, 10:40:03 am »
Quote
Digital design tools may allow a diverse fleet of aircraft to share enough similarities that the sustainment cost is roughly comparable with that for a common fleet


Oh really? Just ask ALIS!
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Offline red admiral

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Re: USAF/US NAVY 6th Generation Fighter Programs - F/A-XX, F-X, NGAD, PCA
« Reply #2761 on: March 07, 2019, 11:00:36 am »
Whilst i can certainly applaud the USAF's aims, I'm not sure whether it's met reality yet.

I don't really see realistic ideas on how to compress the 2-3 year detailed design and 2-5 year development test/qualification/certification phases without doing small changes to a common base airframe. Other parts of the design cycle yes, but not those bits

Its taken Airbus and Boeing about 5 years and a billion $ each to put a new engine on a wing.... Aerospace is expensive

Offline Sundog

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Re: USAF/US NAVY 6th Generation Fighter Programs - F/A-XX, F-X, NGAD, PCA
« Reply #2762 on: March 07, 2019, 11:06:28 am »
One issue with this would potentially be the logistics support costs of having a multitude of new platforms in service.

If the airframes are being manufactured using low cost manufacturing, that shouldn't be too much of an issue and as long as they are all using the same systems, or subsets of components from those systems, I don't think that should be that big of a problem. That's another reason why I said they would recommend a family of powerplants with various bypass ratios, etc, but the cores would essentially be the same. For instance, just look at the F404 and F414 and all of the different variants developed from those. So, similar to what SFerrin said, you could have a basic core F414 type, a basic core F135 type, and something off the shelf/commercial for the high bypass turbofans. In a sense, the USAF/DOD become the contractors for the systems and let the airframers have a catalog of approved systems to choose from; which I think could also help to lower costs, in the way the rapid prototypes office does, because, IMHO, the systems should already be proven.

This allows long development cycle systems to be in continuous development, separate from actual aircraft programs, in the same manner that physical PC's are separate from the OS development cycle. Also, as much of it should be "plug and play," which I know they've been working towards, as possible. I mean right now, look at all of the modifications that have to be done to airframes to upgrade radar systems. It would be nice to have a standard attachment/connection/power system, so they could be rapidly changed out based on new developments. It seems to me, this is what they are working towards.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: USAF/US NAVY 6th Generation Fighter Programs - F/A-XX, F-X, NGAD, PCA
« Reply #2763 on: March 07, 2019, 01:43:00 pm »
SWAP-C considerations for modern avionics, jammers, DEWs, engines (particularly third-stream) and the ensuing requirement
for tight coupling really preclude the above from being a reality.

No one is brave enough to use a 3d printed part extensively in load bearing structures on a fighter.
And no one is going to dive into a new alloy (e.g. al 7085 on F-35) without a very long soak on a fighter (vs. the A380 for al 7085).

Roper has no control over DOT&E and LFT&E which the MDA largely gets around and the century series didn't have.

And the commercial aerospace example is instructive: even the universal pylon on the 787 isn't. 
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 01:46:54 pm by marauder2048 »

Offline DrRansom

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Re: USAF/US NAVY 6th Generation Fighter Programs - F/A-XX, F-X, NGAD, PCA
« Reply #2764 on: March 08, 2019, 04:21:59 pm »
What is SWAP-C?

Offline TomS

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Re: USAF/US NAVY 6th Generation Fighter Programs - F/A-XX, F-X, NGAD, PCA
« Reply #2765 on: March 08, 2019, 04:30:12 pm »
What is SWAP-C?

Space, weight, power, and cooling

Offline martinbayer

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Re: USAF/US NAVY 6th Generation Fighter Programs - F/A-XX, F-X, NGAD, PCA
« Reply #2766 on: March 08, 2019, 10:27:24 pm »
Actually, an alternative interpretation is Size, Weight, Power and Cost, see https://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/SWAP-C (although neither really explains the superfluous "A" in the wrong location).
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 10:34:45 pm by martinbayer »
Would be marching to the beat of his own drum, if he didn't detest marching to any drumbeat at all so much.

Offline TomS

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Re: USAF/US NAVY 6th Generation Fighter Programs - F/A-XX, F-X, NGAD, PCA
« Reply #2767 on: March 09, 2019, 03:31:09 am »
They used to just talk about "space, weight, and power" (SWaP).

Offline DrRansom

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Re: USAF/US NAVY 6th Generation Fighter Programs - F/A-XX, F-X, NGAD, PCA
« Reply #2768 on: March 09, 2019, 09:12:31 am »
Ok, thanks for the description.

The challenge I see is that if you donít design fighters frequently enough than you donít learn how to design fighters. A new fighter every 15 years means your are practically learning from scratch how to design and build them. A faster design cycle leads to an actual learning curve that makes future fighters easier.

Based on the Breaking Defense story about the US losing salvo competition war games, a small elite fighter force is not competitive for the precision strike future.