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Adapting land based planes for carriers

AeroFranz

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frank said:
Note also the new nose gear.

WOW :eek:...looks like somebody needed the extra angle of incidence on the cat shot...shades of F7U ...:)
This is a very nice design exercise, but McAir was fighting a valiant uphill battle from the start. The conversion of land based aircraft to carrier based has few (successful) precedents. Aside from one-offs, like U-2 and C-130 (oh, and B-25s!), when was the last time that the US Navy had an air force plane operate regularly off their decks? I am actually drawing a blank here, even going as far back as WWII.
 

frank

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Those weren't excatly one-offs that operated regularly off carrier decks. ISTR P-47s & P-40s were carried aboard & took off from carriers on occasion. I think OV-10s have flown off even helo carriers.


AeroFranz said:
frank said:
Note also the new nose gear.

WOW :eek:...looks like somebody needed the extra angle of incidence on the cat shot...shades of F7U ...:)
This is a very nice design exercise, but McAir was fighting a valiant uphill battle from the start. The conversion of land based aircraft to carrier based has few (successful) precedents. Aside from one-offs, like U-2 and C-130 (oh, and B-25s!), when was the last time that the US Navy had an air force plane operate regularly off their decks? I am actually drawing a blank here, even going as far back as WWII.
 

Abraham Gubler

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The F-14 project was in some serious trouble in the early 1970s with funding and the naval F-15 did offer a way out. The USN however stayed true to their aircraft but at the cost of the production standard F-14B with the F401 engine and had to suffer with the TF-30 for years.

The only time the US Navy ever adopted an air force plane was the FJ-2 Fury derived from the F-86 Sabre. The OV-10 was designed for carrier operations being a USMC lead project with the USN as an original partner planning to acquire LARAs for their own purposes. The RN operated Spitfires, Hurricanes and Mosquitoes from carriers because they had too.
 

Rickshaw

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overscan said:
If you go out of the US Navy, there's the USSR with Su-27, MiG-29 & Su-25.

There's actually quite a few. Personally I suspect this is more of a myth, perpetuated by those in the US Navy who are extremely anti the idea of utilising aircraft not purposefully designed for their needs. Off the top of my head I can think of the Seafire, the Sea Fury, the Sea Mosquito, the Sea Vampire/Venom, to name a few. While they may have been simpler aircraft in those days, the fUSSR's adaption of their land aircraft, which you've named, tend to indicate that it is quite possible to stress land-based designs for carrier duties still.
 

AeroFranz

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[/quote]
Personally I suspect this is more of a myth, perpetuated by those in the US Navy who are extremely anti the idea of utilising aircraft not purposefully designed for their needs. [/quote]

Quite likely. That was probably a big part (besides objective technical aspects) in why the navy fought the F-111 so hard.

[/quote]
Off the top of my head I can think of the Seafire, the Sea Fury, the Sea Mosquito, the Sea Vampire/Venom, to name a few. While they may have been simpler aircraft in those days, the fUSSR's adaption of their land aircraft, which you've named, tend to indicate that it is quite possible to stress land-based designs for carrier duties still.
[/quote]

All the straight-winged planes, and in particular the prop-driven ones, are probably easier to adapt both aerodynamically and structurally since the approach speeds are lower than for the extreme case of a navalised F-15. Regarding the Russian airplanes, that's proof that it can be done. What it doesn't tell us is how much the MiG and the Sukhoi lose in terms of payload/range performance due to heavier empty weight, and possibly restriction on maximum takeoff weight and 'bring-back' weight. So, from that point of view, I can understand how a Navy with an unlimited budget would prefer an airplane designed specifically for deck use, and less likely to suffer performance degradation.
 

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It's a long-running debate.

In the case of the US Navy, the list of non-negotiable requirements is so pervasive that you do, indeed, end up with a new airplane if you want to adapt a land-based jet for carrier use. It's approach speed, over-the-nose visibility, cat and arrest loads, impact loads, even main landing gear location for tip-over issues.

I suspect the Soviet central planners told the Navy, "no you cannot haz new jetz" or the equivalent and that they were simply forced to eat any penalties (like folding horizontal stabs on the Su-33. Eeeks).

The best approach so far is the Rafale, where the two versions were designed in parallel, using what was then very good CAD software - I suspect that the challenge is what made CATIA so dominant - so that the extra weight was concentrated in a small number of components.
 

F-14D

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Abraham Gubler said:
The F-14 project was in some serious trouble in the early 1970s with funding and the naval F-15 did offer a way out. The USN however stayed true to their aircraft but at the cost of the production standard F-14B with the F401 engine and had to suffer with the TF-30 for years.

The only time the US Navy ever adopted an air force plane was the FJ-2 Fury derived from the F-86 Sabre. The OV-10 was designed for carrier operations being a USMC lead project with the USN as an original partner planning to acquire LARAs for their own purposes. The RN operated Spitfires, Hurricanes and Mosquitoes from carriers because they had too.


The naval F-15 was partially in reaction to the proposed F-14 (ADC) USAF interceptor, of which there was no chance of USAF buying. The navalised F-15 didn't go very far because it would have cost more to do than continuing the F-14, and probably wouldn't have performed as well.

It's intersting to note that on the F-14 (ADC) the conformal fuel tanks are gone and that the wing root pylons were now "wet". I can't remember if the belly extension carried fuel as well.
 

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Rickshaw

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LowObservable said:
It's a long-running debate.

Yep, sure is. Personally I believe the internecine rivalry between the services in the US military is pretty insane and wastes far more money than it saves.

In the case of the US Navy, the list of non-negotiable requirements is so pervasive that you do, indeed, end up with a new airplane if you want to adapt a land-based jet for carrier use. It's approach speed, over-the-nose visibility, cat and arrest loads, impact loads, even main landing gear location for tip-over issues.

They aren't constraints, they are merely a wish-list for optimisation. If the US Navy was more willing to accept compromises, it would end up with more money to spend on either more aircraft or perhaps (shock! Horror!) ships.

I suspect the Soviet central planners told the Navy, "no you cannot haz new jetz" or the equivalent and that they were simply forced to eat any penalties (like folding horizontal stabs on the Su-33. Eeeks).

I rather suspect they have suffered few penalties. Have you seen the video of the Su-27 which crashlanded at the East European airshow when the pilot forgot to put his landing gear down? It slid gently to a stop on the runway, they jacked it up and replaced the missile rails and it was ready to fly again. I cannot imagine that happening with say an American fighter without major structural damage occurring. It appears to me that the Sukhoi family in particular is built, as we like to say downunder like a "brick dunny". :D

The best approach so far is the Rafale, where the two versions were designed in parallel, using what was then very good CAD software - I suspect that the challenge is what made CATIA so dominant - so that the extra weight was concentrated in a small number of components.

CAD eases design, without a doubt, allowing rapid changes between structural parts. If they'd had it in the late 1950s/early 1960s, then the F-111A/B design process would have been a lot easier IMO.
 

Abraham Gubler

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How could we all forget the greatest Navy plane that started as an Air Force aircraft – the F/A-18A to G Hornets, which are really the Northrop F-17C to I Cobras… Sure USN insisted on McAir re-working the design but I’m sure its all stuff that Northrop probably could have done anyway and much of the rework of the F-17 was to add capability not just carrier suitability.
 

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In retrospect all of them are -were- practiced without much trouble, since there numbers of them serving off flightdecks.

I Believe the F-4 was the other way around, a naval fighter which served on land.

What calls my attention the most today are the Rafale and Seaphoon(?) naval versions. Are they waaay different from their land versions?

What about the Sea Jaguar?

I am starting to believe (OT?) if the lack of sufficient naval versions of aircraft have something to do with the so-called "increasing risk aversion" alleged to be suffered here in the west?

Why not practical versions of F-16, F-22, A-10, even Hercules (I saw a photo of one landing and taking off from a flightdeck, also saw an OV-10)?

Rafa
 

F-14D

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Abraham Gubler said:
How could we all forget the greatest Navy plane that started as an Air Force aircraft – the F/A-18A to G Hornets, which are really the Northrop F-17C to I Cobras… Sure USN insisted on McAir re-working the design but I’m sure its all stuff that Northrop probably could have done anyway and much of the rework of the F-17 was to add capability not just carrier suitability.


You could open quite a debate by calling the F/A-18 the greatest Navy plane. There are quite a few people (including me) who consider that airplane probably the most devastating thing to hit Naval Aviation in its histroy. Without going too much into it, because it's outside the scope of this thread and the Postwar Secret Projects area n general, keep i ind that the original F/A-18 missed its objectives by more than any naval plane to make it to service since at least WWII. To cite one example, even the "longer range" E/F model doesn't have the range that was promised for the A/B. Ha the Hornet has is the most effective and powerful lobby since who knows when. When it wouldn't be able to meet requirements, requirements were simply to changed to meet what it could do.

That said, Northrop-MDD deserve credit for what they did accomplish. When Congress said that the Naval Air Combat fight re had to be based on a version of the Air Force's Air Combat Fighter program (a similar sounding but totally unrelated concept), all concepts but the YF-16 and YF-17 were eliminated. USAF and GD argued that USN had to buy a version of the YF-16, but Northrop and USN argued that Congress would accept a competition between both AF types. Congress agreed. GD basically tried to make a navalized F-16, which wasn't really the way to go (at one point they even proposed wrapping fuel tanks around the intake, which meant that any hit that penetrated that area would end up dumping raw fuel down the throat of a running jet engine--not a desirable state). Northrop realised they couldn't just make a Naval F-17 and partnered with MDD to produce a design based on or "inspired by", but not a derivative of, the YF-17. It was a new plane. The F/A-18A/B, while IMHO not the plane the Navy needed, was a much more capable plane than the F-16A/B, although with the improvements in electronics that came in the mid to late '80s the Falcon caught up with the C/D models.

Wow! this post is too long! Let me address the issue in general in an attempt to reply to Rickshaw's post
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Low Observable,
In the case of the US Navy, the list of non-negotiable requirements is so pervasive that you do, indeed, end up with a new airplane if you want to adapt a land-based jet for carrier use. It's approach speed, over-the-nose visibility, cat and arrest loads, impact loads, even main landing gear location for tip-over issues.

I thought the over-the-nose visibility requirements were relaxed by the time the F-14 was around? What are the requirements anyway and why were they so important?

Also, what's the difference in the main-landing gear location on USAF and USN planes?


RickShaw,
They aren't constraints, they are merely a wish-list for optimisation. If the US Navy was more willing to accept compromises, it would end up with more money to spend on either more aircraft or perhaps (shock! Horror!) ships.

Hah, probably true!


Abraham Gubler,
Ha the Hornet has is the most effective and powerful lobby since who knows when. When it wouldn't be able to meet requirements, requirements were simply to changed to meet what it could do.

How did they get such an effective lobby?


KJ_Lesnick
 

F-14D

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rickshaw said:
LowObservable said:
It's a long-running debate.

Yep, sure is. Personally I believe the internecine rivalry between the services in the US military is pretty insane and wastes far more money than it saves.

In the case of the US Navy, the list of non-negotiable requirements is so pervasive that you do, indeed, end up with a new airplane if you want to adapt a land-based jet for carrier use. It's approach speed, over-the-nose visibility, cat and arrest loads, impact loads, even main landing gear location for tip-over issues.

They aren't constraints, they are merely a wish-list for optimisation. If the US Navy was more willing to accept compromises, it would end up with more money to spend on either more aircraft or perhaps (shock! Horror!) ships.

I suspect the Soviet central planners told the Navy, "no you cannot haz new jetz" or the equivalent and that they were simply forced to eat any penalties (like folding horizontal stabs on the Su-33. Eeeks).

I rather suspect they have suffered few penalties. Have you seen the video of the Su-27 which crashlanded at the East European airshow when the pilot forgot to put his landing gear down? It slid gently to a stop on the runway, they jacked it up and replaced the missile rails and it was ready to fly again. I cannot imagine that happening with say an American fighter without major structural damage occurring. It appears to me that the Sukhoi family in particular is built, as we like to say downunder like a "brick dunny". :D

The best approach so far is the Rafale, where the two versions were designed in parallel, using what was then very good CAD software - I suspect that the challenge is what made CATIA so dominant - so that the extra weight was concentrated in a small number of components.

CAD eases design, without a doubt, allowing rapid changes between structural parts. If they'd had it in the late 1950s/early 1960s, then the F-111A/B design process would have been a lot easier IMO.


There are certain requirements you simply have to meet in order to have a non-V/STOL carrier based plane. The most obvious, of course, is that you have to be strong enough. It's not just having a nose gear that won't get torn off and thrown down the catapult when it fires. It's equally bad if the whole tail of the aircraft is ripped off when you make repeated arrested landings. While a number of land-based fighters now have arresting hooks, they are there for emergency, not repeated, use, they are not intended to be used on every landing and the deceleration is less than that on a carrier landing. You also need an entire keel structure that can take the stress of repeated cat launches and arrested landings, including the higher vertical impact speed at touchdown. In addition, the whole aircraft, including electronics, has to be strong enough to take the shock of catapult launches and "controlled crash" landings. These are not wish-list items, they are absolutes. If you don't have these, you don't get to operate from a carrier.

In addition, the final approach has to be flown at a fixed angle of attack, essentially flared all the way to touchdown. This requires more tail control authority in both planes. This is the bugaboo that affected both JSF designs and required redesign of the whole planform. There must also be a safe line of sight to the deck from this higher angle of attack position on approach (which has to be flown at a slower speed than a landbased plane can enjoy).

There are other constraints as well. To cite just one, there is only a fixed amount of deckspace and hangar bay area available. The engine(s) and other major components have to be able to be removed/installed in the "shadow" of the aircraft. You don't have the room to do the simpler in/out through the tail that a land-based plane enjoys. The waveoff requirements are also more sever for a carrier plane.

All of these things add weight/complexity that landbased air forces often aren't willing to accept. I'm not going to go into performance requirements, because that's more a function of mission execution design philosophy.

You can get a good plane that can operate from both land and sea in a couple of ways. First, you can adapt a sea base designed aircraft to land use. The A-1, A-3, A-7, F-4 and Buccaneer come to mind. It doesn't work that well the other way. The only ones that come immediately to mind is the FJ-2 Fury derivative of the F-86 Sabre, but a good case can be made that the F-86 inherited a good portion of its design from the FJ-1 Fury, and certain British adaptations at the start of the jet era.

Second, you can design those features into the aircraft from the start. France is doing this to superb effect with the Rafale (which as an aside I would argue is a better basic design than the Hornet E/F). It was done with the Jaguar N, but that plane died for a number of reasons, one of which was that the Adour engines kept the entire Jaguar series underpowered for its entire career, and this was especially critical for Jaguar N. They tried to do it with the F-111, but that concept was so flawed from the start and such a stupid idea to reconcile two totally incompatible roles that it would be virtually impossible even today. The F-35 will do it because it's designed in from the start. However, USAF and USMC have accepted that their versions will have to be heavier than they could have been because certain basic structural features have to be in there to allow for commonality with the USN version. It's worthy of note that had the NATF gone forward, this is not what would have happened. These would have been substantially redesigned aircraft sharing some systems. o different that both bidders envisioned building their NATFs on totally separate production lines.

The Soviets/Russians pulled if off with the SU-25, SU-27 and MiG-29 because of a couple of special factors. Even if their carrier fleet had gone on as originally envisioned, there would be a need for so few aircraft that it simply wouldn't be viable for many years to design totally new aircraft for the fleet. Second, the Soviet requirement that all of its fighter/attack aircraft be required to operate from short. rough and semi-prepared fields. They already had the landing strength and approach visibility necessary built in, could fly a controllabel approach "in the flare" and they could blast off the front end of the boat with a catapult via ski-jump (as an aside, test in the 1980s showed that all USN aircraft could as well except the S-3). The Navy was essentially told, "Since this will take off and land on a carrier, for now this is what you get".

As far the posited Sea Typhoon, that would have operated in much the same as the Soviet aircraft, STOBAR (Short Take Off But Arrested Landing). There was a big caveat though. Although it had the structural strength for repeated arrested landings, it couldn't fly the "flared" carrier approach. The idea was that some as yet non-existent flight control system would sense when it was time to flare and transition the aircraft to the right attitude at the last second (literally over the deck). I imagine a number of potential crews sort of went, "Weelll.... Can I get back to you on that"?
 

F-14D

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KJ_Lesnick said:
Low Observable,
In the case of the US Navy, the list of non-negotiable requirements is so pervasive that you do, indeed, end up with a new airplane if you want to adapt a land-based jet for carrier use. It's approach speed, over-the-nose visibility, cat and arrest loads, impact loads, even main landing gear location for tip-over issues.

I thought the over-the-nose visibility requirements were relaxed by the time the F-14 was around? What are the requirements anyway and why were they so important?

Also, what's the difference in the main-landing gear location on USAF and USN planes?


RickShaw,
They aren't constraints, they are merely a wish-list for optimisation. If the US Navy was more willing to accept compromises, it would end up with more money to spend on either more aircraft or perhaps (shock! Horror!) ships.

Hah, probably true!


Abraham Gubler,
Ha the Hornet has is the most effective and powerful lobby since who knows when. When it wouldn't be able to meet requirements, requirements were simply to changed to meet what it could do.

How did they get such an effective lobby?


KJ_Lesnick

Ovre-the nose requirements were not relaxed below Navy standardsfor the F-14. If you can't see the meatball or the deck, you can't land the plane. I might also note that the Tomcat came into the trap slower than the Hornet.


As for how they got such an effective lobby, there were a number of reasons. Congress considered the Hornet the embodiment of "their" invention, so they let it be known that this program would be successful, by definition. There's sort an institutional memory about thatwithin Congress. Congress, as we all know, is also by definition never wrong. Second, the F-14 drivers in the '70s didn't fight that hard at the time to preserve the F-14s air-to-ground capabilities and missions, because air-to-air is more macho and pure. Third, given the above two, those who saw which way the wind was blowing got on board and gradually moved into high postions at NAVAIR and DoD and now their careers were tied to the concept.
 

Rickshaw

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I'd actually expect that the Gripen would make a good carrier aircraft. It is designed like Russian aircraft to operate from short, rough airstrips and designed to be landed without "flare" straight onto the deck and utilise arrested landings as well.

While F14D is speaking of an optimised design, I think he still has to acknowledge that all those things are not, as the Russians have proved, absolutely necessary for the operation of aircraft from carriers. If the aircraft is designed to be strong, the pilots trained properly, a land based design can be adapted to carrier use.

The massive amount of money wasted in designing two separate aircraft to do the same job, merely operating from different types of platforms is IMO very silly. Not even the US can continue to sustain this and instead is adopting a common platform. I would suggest the day of the specialised naval aircraft is coming to a close and military aviation is going full circle back to its beginnings when aircraft were merely designed to be flown off either a land or sea based airstrip.
 

AeroFranz

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F-14D said:
You could open quite a debate by calling the F/A-18 the greatest Navy plane. There are quite a few people (including me) who consider that airplane probably the most devastating thing to hit Naval Aviation in its histroy.

Amen to that. And how about the fact that Super Hornets -supersonic attack aircraft - are flying the tanker mission... Pretty soon we'll have a one-airplane Navy with F-18s flying the ASW and CODmission! :(

F-14D, excellent discussion of naval requirements. To that list I would add the 'turnover angle', which in the case of Navy planes is limited to 53 degrees IIRC, compared to 64 in the AirForce. Basically the requirement is there to prevent planes on the deck to flip on one side while making turns or coming in to catch a wire on a rolling deck. It forces designers to either lower the c.g. of the plane, or give the landing gear a wide track. The F-16 has a very narrow track, obviously a great disadvantage if you are trying to 'navalise' it. In contrast, Russian planes have pretty wide tracks, and no such problem exists.

rickshaw said:
I'd actually expect that the Gripen would make a good carrier aircraft. It is designed like Russian aircraft to operate from short, rough airstrips and designed to be landed without "flare" straight onto the deck and utilise arrested landings as well.

See comment above regarding narrow tracks. Now, the new Gripen (Gripen NG or Demo, I think it's called), with wider track (relocated landig gear), might stand a chance.


rickshaw said:
I would suggest the day of the specialised naval aircraft is coming to a close and military aviation is going full circle back to its beginnings when aircraft were merely designed to be flown off either a land or sea based airstrip.

Back in the day, prop driven aircraft had inherent STOL capabilities. They had low wingloading, nice static thrust, and weighed next to nothing. So a Seafire could differ very little from a Spitfire, and takeoff unassisted in the length of a small carrier.

Today, fighters weigh ten times as much, have 2-2.5 times the wingloading, and reach lower lift coefficients. The first major hurdle is slowing them down on approach without having them fall out of the sky. So you have to build-in either a big wing or high-lift devices that the land counterpart simply does not want to be embarassed with. F-35 has a way bigger wing in the navy version, to the point that you can't quite say it's the same plane.
 

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F-14D
Ovre-the nose requirements were not relaxed below Navy standardsfor the F-14. If you can't see the meatball or the deck, you can't land the plane. I might also note that the Tomcat came into the trap slower than the Hornet.

But I thought the F-16 and F-15 both could have been able to see the meatball or the deck with the nose-configuration, and alphas they flew at during approach speeds?

Also, what speeds, may I ask did the F-14, and F-18 approach, and come into the trap at?

As for how they got such an effective lobby, there were a number of reasons. Congress considered the Hornet the embodiment of "their" invention, so they let it be known that this program would be successful, by definition. There's sort an institutional memory about thatwithin Congress. Congress, as we all know, is also by definition never wrong. Second, the F-14 drivers in the '70s didn't fight that hard at the time to preserve the F-14s air-to-ground capabilities and missions, because air-to-air is more macho and pure. Third, given the above two, those who saw which way the wind was blowing got on board and gradually moved into high postions at NAVAIR and DoD and now their careers were tied to the concept.

So, the F-14 pilots might have been able to retain Air to Ground capability if they were willing to fight for it? Or would the F-14 have still been relegated to Intercept and Air-Superiority?


KJ_Lesnick
 

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F-14D said:
Second, you can design those features into the aircraft from the start. France is doing this to superb effect with the Rafale.

Yes, in some ways Dassault is getting too little credit for this achievement. Commonality between the Rafale M and C is much higher than between the respective F-35 variants, I believe. Granted, the French did not burden themselves with a STOVL version but I think it has to be considered a huge engineering success nevertheless.

F-14D said:
The Soviets/Russians pulled if off with the SU-25, SU-27 and MiG-29 because of a couple of special factors. Even if their carrier fleet had gone on as originally envisioned, there would be a need for so few aircraft that it simply wouldn't be viable for many years to design totally new aircraft for the fleet.

I doubt it. Unlike the Harrier, the Yak-38 was developed specifically for naval use and produced in much smaller numbers (due to the STOVL carriers having less hangar space) than the later STOBAR airframes would have been built in had the USSR not collapsed. The Soviets were certainly not reluctant to commit resources if they felt like it.

F-14D said:
Second, the Soviet requirement that all of its fighter/attack aircraft be required to operate from short. rough and semi-prepared fields. They already had the landing strength and approach visibility necessary built in, could fly a controllabel approach "in the flare" and they could blast off the front end of the boat with a catapult via ski-jump (as an aside, test in the 1980s showed that all USN aircraft could as well except the S-3). The Navy was essentially told, "Since this will take off and land on a carrier, for now this is what you get".

Not entirely correct either. It is worth pointing out that the Su-33 airframe differs substantially from the landbased Su-27, think about the canards and the completely redesigned wing for instance. The changes are far deeper than with the Rafale, not that this is entirely surprising since the aircraft just wasn't designed for naval use originally. Similarly, the MiG-29K is to the basic Fulcrum what the Super Hornet is to the F/A-18A/B/C/D - although here you'd even struggle to find a structural assembly that is virtually unchanged from the landbased model (the nose section and tailfins at least are the same on both Flankers...). About the only one of the Soviet aircraft that got by without significant alterations is actually the Su-25UTG.

Sukhoi still pulled off a commendable feat, the Su-33 is arguably one of very few land based aircraft that were successfully navalised as an afterthought. At the same time it is a very instructive example of the magnitude of the structural and aerodynamic changes required to make it happen.
 

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You also have to consider the corrosive effects of seawater on the airframe, which affects material specifications.

Also, as I mentioned in the thread on the F-111, the landing gear on naval aircraft has to be placed further behind the center of mass than on land based aircraft, because you don't want the aircraft tipping off of of the carrier when it pitches and rolls. This is one of the reasons when F-18s take off on land they 'fly off' as opposed to rotating off.

Also, when F-14D talks about the lower approach speeds required, that means that the tails also have to be larger to have the control power needed at the lower approach speeds.

Then you also have to consider "bring back weight," which generally refers to how large a weapons/fuel load an aircraft can still have when it returns to the carrier. Jettisoning weapons and fuel just to reach your landing weight costs money.

What it basically has always come down to is there is a weight penalty incurred to operate from a carrier and many air forces haven't wanted to be saddled with that penalty.

However, one of the major differences has been due to the fact that their mission requirements were vastly different from each other. The F-14 and F-15 are similar generation aircraft, but their mission requirements were quite different. That, in and of itself, is the main reason you usually don't see the same type being used by both branches.

In fact, both services "sacrificed," in terms of the JSF mission requirements, in order to get their mission definitions close enough to be able to use a common "core" to fulfill their requirements. However, their requirements are still dis-similar enough that they would not be able to use as common an airframe as France has done with the Rafale. In fact, the main reason France did that is because they simply couldn't afford to do otherwise.
 

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rickshaw said:
I'd actually expect that the Gripen would make a good carrier aircraft. It is designed like Russian aircraft to operate from short, rough airstrips and designed to be landed without "flare" straight onto the deck and utilise arrested landings as well.

While F14D is speaking of an optimised design, I think he still has to acknowledge that all those things are not, as the Russians have proved, absolutely necessary for the operation of aircraft from carriers. If the aircraft is designed to be strong, the pilots trained properly, a land based design can be adapted to carrier use.

The massive amount of money wasted in designing two separate aircraft to do the same job, merely operating from different types of platforms is IMO very silly. Not even the US can continue to sustain this and instead is adopting a common platform. I would suggest the day of the specialised naval aircraft is coming to a close and military aviation is going full circle back to its beginnings when aircraft were merely designed to be flown off either a land or sea based airstrip.


Actually, all those things are absolutely necessary. Which characteristics would you eliminate from a plane designed to be sea based? In the case of the Russians, for very different reasons, they have built in most of those things that happen to be necessary for carrier ops (except catapult capability). I do not know how they get the engines out on their K models, but room for maintenance, plus the inability to use catapults may be why their carrier was designed to carry so few planes and slow rate of operation.

Getting into a "one size fits all" discussion may be a little broad for this topic. I would opine, though, that always designing an airplane for land or sea use may actually be as expensive as designing two different aircraft. At least in the past, naval and air force ops have been sufficiently different that you either have to compromise the naval mission or sacrifice performance for the land based plane. The F-8, F-4 and F-14 show that doesn't have to be so anymore. However, by building their force around the F/A-18, the USN has effectively ceded the leadership to USAF.

F-35 is not all that Navy wanted, but essentially the program and mission is "Take the USAF version and hang what you want on it, but you're basically limited to adaptations of that". It must be pointed out that USMC is perfectly happy with that, a STOVL, marinized USAF version does all they need and then some.

Actually, once carriers got to be a going concern, you saw different aircraft operated for land and sea based use almost from the very beginning.
 

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F-14D said:
You could open quite a debate by calling the F/A-18 the greatest Navy plane. There are quite a few people (including me) who consider that airplane probably the most devastating thing to hit Naval Aviation in its histroy. Without going too much into it, because it's outside the scope of this thread and the Postwar Secret Projects area n general, keep i ind that the original F/A-18 missed its objectives by more than any naval plane to make it to service since at least WWII. To cite one example, even the "longer range" E/F model doesn't have the range that was promised for the A/B. Ha the Hornet has is the most effective and powerful lobby since who knows when. When it wouldn't be able to meet requirements, requirements were simply to changed to meet what it could do.

I don’t think it’s fair to malign the Hornet and Super Hornet as an aircraft for the US Navy’s problems in maintaining a complete carrier air wing force structure. It’s a tough, capable fighter with a lethality overmatch against its potential threats (Su-27, MiG-29). While it does not provide the carrier battle group outer air defence screen or a deep strike capability this isn’t its fault. The Super Hornet was the backfill response to the US defence apparatus comprehensively failing in the acquisition of the Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA) and the Advanced Air to Air Missile (A3M) that would have provided these capabilities.

To bring this thread back into a Secret Projects theme rather than a Super Hornet for or against – with both sides using different terms – perhaps some more exploring of the ATA project is in hand. The mind boggles at what would have happened if the US Navy, Pentagon, et al had selected the more industrial reasonable and capable Northrop/Grumman/LTV ATA offering. Especially if it was in service by 2001, where a USN carrier air wing built around the Northrop Grumman A-12A Avenger II would have provided a significant combat power boost to Allied forces operating in Afghanistan in the early days of the anti-Taliban/AQ counter-offensive.
 

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Grippen is'nt that ideal for navalisation compared to the Viggen, due to being designed for a lower landing g-load. The landing gear would require more serious beefing up to take the punishment.
 

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Abraham Gubler said:
F-14D said:
You could open quite a debate by calling the F/A-18 the greatest Navy plane. There are quite a few people (including me) who consider that airplane probably the most devastating thing to hit Naval Aviation in its histroy. Without going too much into it, because it's outside the scope of this thread and the Postwar Secret Projects area n general, keep i ind that the original F/A-18 missed its objectives by more than any naval plane to make it to service since at least WWII. To cite one example, even the "longer range" E/F model doesn't have the range that was promised for the A/B. Ha the Hornet has is the most effective and powerful lobby since who knows when. When it wouldn't be able to meet requirements, requirements were simply to changed to meet what it could do.

I don’t think it’s fair to malign the Hornet and Super Hornet as an aircraft for the US Navy’s problems in maintaining a complete carrier air wing force structure. It’s a tough, capable fighter with a lethality overmatch against its potential threats (Su-27, MiG-29). While it does not provide the carrier battle group outer air defence screen or a deep strike capability this isn’t its fault. The Super Hornet was the backfill response to the US defence apparatus comprehensively failing in the acquisition of the Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA) and the Advanced Air to Air Missile (A3M) that would have provided these capabilities.

To bring this thread back into a Secret Projects theme rather than a Super Hornet for or against – with both sides using different terms – perhaps some more exploring of the ATA project is in hand. The mind boggles at what would have happened if the US Navy, Pentagon, et al had selected the more industrial reasonable and capable Northrop/Grumman/LTV ATA offering. Especially if it was in service by 2001, where a USN carrier air wing built around the Northrop Grumman A-12A Avenger II would have provided a significant combat power boost to Allied forces operating in Afghanistan in the early days of the anti-Taliban/AQ counter-offensive.

You're right, this isn't really the place to deal with the Bug and Super Bug. I must note, though, that from the very beginning DoD/USN have always stated that the E/F would not be as good air-to-air as was the C/D. Going further with this wouldn't be productiive here.

Regarding the hypothetical choice of the Grumman-Northrop-Vought ATA, that really wasn't an option. About the middle of the competition, that team essentially said, "This is silly, you can't do this this way for the amount of money you say you're willing to spend". Navy responded with a postion that was, in effect, "Do it our way or else"!. To which the team responded, "OK, Else!", and walked away from the whole thing. Navy continued to negotiate with GD/MDD never telling them that there was no longer a competition, the other team had withdrawn. It should be mentioned that although Lockheed tried to join every team it could for AX-A/FX, it deliberately chose not to bid on ATA because they thought it was a bad idea as envisioned. I was personally told by a very senior official at Lockheed that they thought the only thing worse than losing that contract would be winning it.
 

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KJ_Lesnick said:
F-14D
Over-the nose requirements were not relaxed below Navy standardsfor the F-14. If you can't see the meatball or the deck, you can't land the plane. I might also note that the Tomcat came into the trap slower than the Hornet.

But I thought the F-16 and F-15 both could have been able to see the meatball or the deck with the nose-configuration, and alphas they flew at during approach speeds?

Also, what speeds, may I ask did the F-14, and F-18 approach, and come into the trap at?

As for how they got such an effective lobby, there were a number of reasons. Congress considered the Hornet the embodiment of "their" invention, so they let it be known that this program would be successful, by definition. There's sort an institutional memory about thatwithin Congress. Congress, as we all know, is also by definition never wrong. Second, the F-14 drivers in the '70s didn't fight that hard at the time to preserve the F-14s air-to-ground capabilities and missions, because air-to-air is more macho and pure. Third, given the above two, those who saw which way the wind was blowing got on board and gradually moved into high postions at NAVAIR and DoD and now their careers were tied to the concept.

So, the F-14 pilots might have been able to retain Air to Ground capability if they were willing to fight for it? Or would the F-14 have still been relegated to Intercept and Air-Superiority?


KJ_Lesnick


The navalized F-16 required a modified forward section to achieve the required visibility, and I don't know if they ever convinced the evaluators that they could have flown the constant positive AoA approach. Over the nose visibility is but one of the factors involved. There were other factors involved working against GD's design.

Early F-14s approached at 115-123 knots depending on weight dropping slightly over the ramp. With the B/D they could come aboard heavier thanks to the F110 engines and I believe the approach speed at those weights went up a couple of knots. Don't remember Hornet offhand but believe it was at least 5-10 knots faster. James Stevenson in his writings noted that there was real concern on the E/F that it would not be able to meet the Navy's approach speed requirements. According to him, the plan might have to be that the E/F would demonstrate the required approach speed at lighter weights or using whatever technique would get them there, and after satisfying that demonstration the requirement would be relaxed to whatever the E/F actually needed. I don't believe that actually happened, but it was close.

Don't know what would have happened had the Tomcat community stood up fro finishing the a/g weapons integration, given the power of those behind the Hornet, but higher-ups said that the F/A-18 was the designated platform for that role and the Tomcat community was willing to give it to them. Big mistake
 

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Sundog said:
You also have to consider the corrosive effects of seawater on the airframe, which affects material specifications.

Also, as I mentioned in the thread on the F-111, the landing gear on naval aircraft has to be placed further behind the center of mass than on land based aircraft, because you don't want the aircraft tipping off of of the carrier when it pitches and rolls. This is one of the reasons when F-18s take off on land they 'fly off' as opposed to rotating off.

Also, when F-14D talks about the lower approach speeds required, that means that the tails also have to be larger to have the control power needed at the lower approach speeds.

Then you also have to consider "bring back weight," which generally refers to how large a weapons/fuel load an aircraft can still have when it returns to the carrier. Jettisoning weapons and fuel just to reach your landing weight costs money.

What it basically has always come down to is there is a weight penalty incurred to operate from a carrier and many air forces haven't wanted to be saddled with that penalty.

However, one of the major differences has been due to the fact that their mission requirements were vastly different from each other. The F-14 and F-15 are similar generation aircraft, but their mission requirements were quite different. That, in and of itself, is the main reason you usually don't see the same type being used by both branches.

In fact, both services "sacrificed," in terms of the JSF mission requirements, in order to get their mission definitions close enough to be able to use a common "core" to fulfill their requirements. However, their requirements are still dis-similar enough that they would not be able to use as common an airframe as France has done with the Rafale. In fact, the main reason France did that is because they simply couldn't afford to do otherwise.


I left out marinization, but everything you say here is true. You also have to design into the structure channels and drains for the water to drain out of. A fortuitous byproduct of this is that that also helps in sandy environments.

I know that on the last attempts to salvage the F-111B they were talking about moving the main gear aft, but I believe in the original F-111B it was in the same location as on the F-111A ("commonality" don't you know). This was an area of concern, because on carriers you often park a/c with their tails out over the water. So in addition to you not wanting your a/c to become tailsitters on the deck, there is the danger with t he gear in the location it is on a landbased aircraft of them pitching back of the deck into the sea if some chains snap.

The F/A-18 is an intersting case. When they redesigned the F-17 to become the F/A-18, they did indeed move the main gear aft, for the reasons stated above (the proposed landbased F-18L would have moved them back to the F-17 position) . However, they found that with the gear in the new location, their estimates on the amount of downward force at the rear to rotate the aircraft were too low. The horizontal stabilators didn't have enough authority to raise the nose at the desired speeds on land (doesn't apply to a cat launch since you leave the deck already flying). Northrop/MDD actually came up with a very clever idea. Watch an F/A-18 takeoff on land and you'll see the rudders toe in right at the moment of rotation. By toeing the rudders in they got enough additional downward force to lift the nose without having to achieve ground speeds similar to the B-58's.
 

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F-14D said:
It should be mentioned that although Lockheed tried to join every team it could for AX-A/FX, it deliberately chose not to bid on ATA because they thought it was a bad idea as envisioned. I was personally told by a very senior official at Lockheed that they thought the only thing worse than losing that contract would be winning it.

Maybe they were just applying Kelly Johnson's unwritten 15th rule: "Never deal with the Navy" ;D
 

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AeroFranz said:
F-14D said:
It should be mentioned that although Lockheed tried to join every team it could for AX-A/FX, it deliberately chose not to bid on ATA because they thought it was a bad idea as envisioned. I was personally told by a very senior official at Lockheed that they thought the only thing worse than losing that contract would be winning it.

Maybe they were just applying Kelly Johnson's unwritten 15th rule: "Never deal with the Navy" ;D


Yeah! Thank goodness we can look to the Air Force for smoothly handled procurements. Why, there's the KC-135 replacement...uh, never mind. Well, just look at the Army's LHX...no, on second thought, don't look at that.
 

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AeroFranz,
Maybe they were just applying Kelly Johnson's unwritten 15th rule: "Never deal with the Navy" ;D

Did Kelly Johnson ACTUALLY ever say that
 

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Again, I find it interesting that we see an unwillingness to compromise on the part of the Naval enthusiasts. When the Spitfire was adapted to the naval role, it was believed that it would be impossible to land on deck because of the long nose. However, a curving approach was developed which offset the nose's length and allowed the pilot to see the deck as he approached, astern. When the Corsair was developed, the US Navy refused to qualify it for decklandings until well after the FAA had been doing it for about 18 months before hand, because they felt it had too much bounce and would miss the arrestor wires. Yet the RN could and did operate both types, despite them being less than optimal in their design. The early jets weren't easy to operate off carriers, either and usually didn't have the magic land-gear location, the over-the-nose view, yet they were still used. Sometimes "the perfect is the enemy of good enough".
 

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Rickshaw
Again, I find it interesting that we see an unwillingness to compromise on the part of the Naval enthusiasts. When the Spitfire was adapted to the naval role, it was believed that it would be impossible to land on deck because of the long nose. However, a curving approach was developed which offset the nose's length and allowed the pilot to see the deck as he approached, astern. When the Corsair was developed, the US Navy refused to qualify it for decklandings until well after the FAA had been doing it for about 18 months before hand, because they felt it had too much bounce and would miss the arrestor wires. Yet the RN could and did operate both types, despite them being less than optimal in their design. The early jets weren't easy to operate off carriers, either and usually didn't have the magic land-gear location, the over-the-nose view, yet they were still used. Sometimes "the perfect is the enemy of good enough".

I'd have to agree with you. The Navy can be a bit ridiculous sometimes.


LowObservable,

KJ - CLJ was cited in Rich's Skunk Works as saying that.

LOL!!!! I guess he felt the Navy was too difficult to work with...


KJ Lesnick
 

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Again, I find it interesting that we see an unwillingness to compromise on the part of the Naval enthusiasts. When the Spitfire was adapted to the naval role, it was believed that it would be impossible to land on deck because of the long nose. However, a curving approach was developed which offset the nose's length and allowed the pilot to see the deck as he approached, astern. When the Corsair was developed, the US Navy refused to qualify it for decklandings until well after the FAA had been doing it for about 18 months before hand, because they felt it had too much bounce and would miss the arrestor wires. Yet the RN could and did operate both types, despite them being less than optimal in their design. The early jets weren't easy to operate off carriers, either and usually didn't have the magic land-gear location, the over-the-nose view, yet they were still used. Sometimes "the perfect is the enemy of good enough".

Were they landing those Seafires in bad weather at night? Did they have the operational range required? Etc, etc. The answer, btw, is no. Which is why the RN ended up aquiring Wildcats, Corsairs, Hellcats and Avengers. The U.S. Navy operating in the vast Pacific would have been greatly hampered, operationally, if they had to go with Seafires.

I'd have to agree with you. The Navy can be a bit ridiculous sometimes.

That's weird, because I thought it was the USAF that was being ridiculous. Afterall, as an engineer, many of us know you design to the more stringent requirement and adapt that to other roles, not the other way around.

But, what it ultimately gets down to is just because the aircraft designation begins with 'F', they aren't all equal. The mission defines the aircraft, not the other way around. When one looks at how the Navy and Air Force have historically applied their air assets there are huge differences in mission profiles. To think one aircraft can perform both of those roles with equal efficiency is just silly. Either one service will be greatly hampered operationally, or both will be to one extent or another.
 

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F-14D said:
Yeah! Thank goodness we can look to the Air Force for smoothly handled procurements. Why, there's the KC-135 replacement...uh, never mind. Well, just look at the Army's LHX...no, on second thought, don't look at that.

Sorry, didn't mean to single out the Navy ;)
I haven't seen many procurement processes lately that sailed smoothly in any branch. Even less when multiple branches of the military are involved.
I wonder what program prompted CLJ to add the 15th rule. The Pogo maybe? It didn't prevent Lockheed from winning the S-3 proposal.
 

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rickshaw said:
Again, I find it interesting that we see an unwillingness to compromise on the part of the Naval enthusiasts. When the Spitfire was adapted to the naval role, it was believed that it would be impossible to land on deck because of the long nose. However, a curving approach was developed which offset the nose's length and allowed the pilot to see the deck as he approached, astern. When the Corsair was developed, the US Navy refused to qualify it for decklandings until well after the FAA had been doing it for about 18 months before hand, because they felt it had too much bounce and would miss the arrestor wires. Yet the RN could and did operate both types, despite them being less than optimal in their design. The early jets weren't easy to operate off carriers, either and usually didn't have the magic land-gear location, the over-the-nose view, yet they were still used. Sometimes "the perfect is the enemy of good enough".

The RN’s WW2 naval air squadrons used the Spitfire and early F4Us because they had to, they desperately needed a high performance fighter. But it cost them in high numbers of landing crashes with dead and injured crews. This is a price that is often paid in wartime when the alternative is to lose the battle and the whole ship, fleet, war, nation...

But don’t make the mistake of assuming this means the aircraft in question were good enough as opposed to perfect. They were slightly better than not having them, in that they killed our men at a lower rate than the enemy would have killed them if they used the older uncompetitive fighters.
 

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AeroFranz said:
F-14D said:
Yeah! Thank goodness we can look to the Air Force for smoothly handled procurements. Why, there's the KC-135 replacement...uh, never mind. Well, just look at the Army's LHX...no, on second thought, don't look at that.

Sorry, didn't mean to single out the Navy ;)
I haven't seen many procurement processes lately that sailed smoothly in any branch. Even less when multiple branches of the military are involved.
I wonder what program prompted CLJ to add the 15th rule. The Pogo maybe? It didn't prevent Lockheed from winning the S-3 proposal.


In the old days, the Navy used to require Enormous amounts of paperwork, which was often hard to decipher if you didn't have a familiarity with the way the Navy did things. They actually didn't get better, everyone else just "caught up". And even thought that was the 15th rule, Lockheed was eager to be on the AX-A/FX program. Unlike the ATA, to Lockheed (and a lot of folks in the fleet) A/FX actually made sense.
 

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rickshaw said:
Again, I find it interesting that we see an unwillingness to compromise on the part of the Naval enthusiasts. When the Spitfire was adapted to the naval role, it was believed that it would be impossible to land on deck because of the long nose. However, a curving approach was developed which offset the nose's length and allowed the pilot to see the deck as he approached, astern. When the Corsair was developed, the US Navy refused to qualify it for decklandings until well after the FAA had been doing it for about 18 months before hand, because they felt it had too much bounce and would miss the arrestor wires. Yet the RN could and did operate both types, despite them being less than optimal in their design. The early jets weren't easy to operate off carriers, either and usually didn't have the magic land-gear location, the over-the-nose view, yet they were still used. Sometimes "the perfect is the enemy of good enough".


I'm not sure why this topic is hitting such a nerve. It doesn't seem to me to be unreasonable to expect that an aircraft that's going to be seabased be designed in such a manner that it can reliably and repeatedly be operated from a sea base. BTW, over-the-nose visibility is only one aspect that has to be considered.

Using your examples, the Seafire at first proved insufficiently strong in the rear for repeated arrested landings. It was difficult to control at low speeds with its further aft cg and its stall characteristics contributed to a very high accident rate. While a good (albeit short-ranged) interceptor, its weapons options were really too limited for the limited numbers of a/c aboard a carrier. It also had dangerous ditching characteristics, because the underwing radiator openings rapidly scooped up large amounts of water causing it to flip over or sink quickly. A better example would be the Sea Fury, although it and the land based Fury (which didn't enter service) were developed in parallel, so naval features were built in from the start.

Regarding the Corsair, you are correct that USN waited a while before qualifying it for carriers, because of the bounce and because of poor landing visibility. The RN solved the latter with the curved approach, which is why they carrier qualified the plane in June 1943, whilst the USN waited until February, 1944 after the revised Oleo leg cured the bounce problem. USN had the luxury of having lots of F6Fs which, while not matching the Corsair's performance, were much easier to bring aboard.

You can't extrapolate directly forward from props to jets (although it's intersting to note that even in props there weren't that many "land to sea" aircraft). As weight and speeds increased, some of the techniques that had gotten around the problems with props simply wouldn't work You can see this in the difference in landing procedures between jet and prop, A prop gets the "cut" signal from the LSO and chops power to then fall settle to the deck. A jet, on the other hand as he crosses the fantail adds power just before impact in order to be able to get airborne again in cast of a bolter. As an aside, if Britain hadn't invented the angled deck, it's arguable that jets never would have succeeded on carriers. The loss rate was approaching appalling even by those days' standards!

Regarding the early jets, if the landbased jets were good enough, why did the RN spend so much time developing its own? Here in the US, the USN was busy developing its Banshee, Panther, Phantoms and Cougar, with all the naval features (including magic landing gear) built in. They did adapt the F-86 into the FJ-2, although the nose and line of sight was revised. However, would a seabased F100 been practical and cheaper than the F-8 (which was a worlds better fighter, but not as versatile)? The mind quails at the thought of a Sea Lightning or Aqua-Starfighter? Would we have been better off without the Phantom (USAF never would have developed anything like that if left to their own devices), Skyhawk or A-7?
 

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I would suggest that the RN "developed their own" because that was what they preferred to do, just as the USN does now. As we've seen though, the RN got out of the CTOL fixed wing aviation business when the money ran out. Th USN is, I would suggest actually facing a similar predicament. It can either continue doing what it does or it can learn from the lessons of history and adapt to the changing circumstances.

While having a purposed designed aircraft would obviously be the preferred option, it is simply becoming far too expensive to actually do it any more. That was obvious after the A-12 Avenger fiasco and with the development of the F-22. The USN opted for a less capable F/A-18 variant. The F-35 will go someway towards addressing the problem but it is still in many ways, less capable than the F-22, which is the USAF's premier fighter. The emphasis is turning towards the USAF and the US Army in the present war. the USN is seen very much as the poor cousin with the end of the Cold War.
 

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rickshaw said:
I would suggest that the RN "developed their own" because that was what they preferred to do, just as the USN does now. As we've seen though, the RN got out of the CTOL fixed wing aviation business when the money ran out. Th USN is, I would suggest actually facing a similar predicament. It can either continue doing what it does or it can learn from the lessons of history and adapt to the changing circumstances.

While having a purposed designed aircraft would obviously be the preferred option, it is simply becoming far too expensive to actually do it any more. That was obvious after the A-12 Avenger fiasco and with the development of the F-22. The USN opted for a less capable F/A-18 variant. The F-35 will go someway towards addressing the problem but it is still in many ways, less capable than the F-22, which is the USAF's premier fighter. The emphasis is turning towards the USAF and the US Army in the present war. the USN is seen very much as the poor cousin with the end of the Cold War.


This seems a tad revisionist. RN got out of the fixed wing business because, as part of a series of bad decisions made in the mid '60s, the British Government canceled CVA-01, the first of the RN's Queen Elizabeth class carriers. Eventually the remaining carriers, especially Ark Royal, wore out. If you don't have any carriers, that kind of puts a Navy out of the fixed wing (non-V/STOL) business.

The USN did not opt for a less capable F/A-18 in lieu of a navalized F-22. The F/A-18E/F was imposed on the USN by the Department of Defense as a "bridge" between the canceled A-12 and the future A/FX. With the letter cancellation of the A/FX under pressure, it became a "bridge to nowhere". F-35 is not as good a fighter as the F-22, even as originally envisioned. There are a number of reasons for that. One of them is that in the post Cold War environment, there is the question of whether as powerful a fighter as the F-22 is needed in large quantities right now. The F-35 is, though, a good fighter and a much better strike aircraft. Aside from its payload flexibility and more versatile avionics, it has the feature of actually being able to share its data with the ground forces it is intended to support.

The present war (which sadly won't be the last one the world will see) is arguably turning the emphasis more on the deployed Army and Marines than USAF. That's why USAF is practically in hysterics over the fact that it might have to take the kind of cuts that other services have had to face in order to provide more resources to those two.
 

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Bad decisions go wayyy back.

1944 and the RN does'nt focus on the Davenport Malta type.

1945 and the third Audacious/Eagle class carrier is 26% complete when scrapped.

1946 and their talking about a new CV

1947 and its all talk about modernising the Illustrious class

1952 and Victorious's modernisation is going so badly that its time to think about a new CV again.

1953 the '1952 CV' is canceled.
First they look at new Trade Protection CV types.
New Medium Fleet designs
1954 the 35,000ton ship is favoured.
This one stays in discussion until a NARC meeting at Bath where sketches are shown sometime 1956 to 1957.

This Medium Fleet CV was probably the most practical option to persue.

Defence White paper in April '57, a couple of months later the RN's DLI fighter the P.177 is canceled along with the DLI mission despite DAW's insistance its still a valid mission until at least 1965.

1958 and its OR346, superlative performance = big and heavy and too fast a set of TO and L speeds = longer pullout and longer stroke length + higher consumption of consumables (fuel ammo etc...) = bigger CV for a valid airwing.

1959 and we're finaly going down the route that leads to CVA-01.
But early on its A1/D1 and about 50,000tons, until the minister of the time challenges why that tonnage (which is what the RN thought it could get away with).
Then we're headed down the shute fast to a '53,000ton' ship, which by 1962 is more limited by the Treasureys insistance it stays at 53,000tons than anything else.
1964/65 and we have a new Labour government, Tories have set the economy up to implode and their friends in the City do just that (in those days there really was an establishment).

1966 CVA-01 is canceled, finance is really down the tube by this time.
1967 CV fleets to be scrapped. Vicky is first after a minor galley fire.

And I've missed a lot out here.
 

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