Applications of a successful F401

RLBH

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Let's imagine that the F401 is successfully developed. It can be assumed that the F-14B would be developed as planned. That territory is well hashed out and I'm not proposing to cover it again. But could it have found other applications?

The XFV-12 was the other aircraft planned for the F401. Its failure wasn't really anything to do with the engine, and I doubt that a working F401 would result in the Convair 200 being picked instead - although the 201 could be an interesting VFAX competitor. The XFV-12 was the other aircraft planned for the F401. Its failure wasn't really anything to do with the engine, and I doubt that a working F401 would result in the Convair 200 being picked instead - although the 201 could be an interesting VFAX competitor.

The other obvious applications are as a replacement for the TF30 on the F-111, and as a new engine for the A-7. In the latter case, either with or without reheat - there would likely be advantages to both options. An A-7 with a reheated F401 would be an interesting comparison to the F100-engined A-7F. I'm not sure how much benefit it would bring to the F-111, as set against the political difficulty of being a Navy engine. There aren't really any other aircraft using the TF30 or TF41 that it could be applied to. Unless someone wanted to resurrect the F6D for some strange reason. The Navy going to an all-F401 force of A-7s and F-14s is a nice thought, but probably unlikely; the F-18 lobby was very strong.

Civil applications would likely be nonexistent, military engines don't seem to do well in that market, which makes sense.
 

Archibald

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Well, selection of the XFV-12 by NAVAIR was not fair to Convair, so who knows. Now, if the 200 is picked in May 1972 and then build even as a prototype(s) only, the 201/218 derivate of it essentially erase the Hornet from existence.

Why ? Because the 218 was proposed to VFAX in 1974 - before VFAX was crushed by Congress NACF decision, that is "USN will navalize one of the two LWF as a low end to the F-14 - or go to hell."

BUT, if a 200 already exists, then Congress NACF argument "hey, we have two LWF already flying, let's dump them to the USN" can be countered by the said USN as
"Hey, if I remove the Convair 200, now flying, two lift jets behind the cockpit - this is a VFAX 218, so your argument is moot".

Congress NACF may have YF-16 & YF-17, the USN VFAX has a Convair 201 / 218 - the 200 prototypes if you remove the lift jets. Not easy fit admittedly BUT unlike YF-16 & YF-17 - it is already a naval aircraft, and that ain't nothing !!!!

Soooo.... Congress NACF versus USN VFAX: score is 1-1.

Imagine a fly off between YF-16, YF-17 and the second Convair 200 prototype... with the lift jets replaced by either ballast or a fuel tank (hello, F-35 A/B/C lift fan !) and rebranded either 201 or 218...

Imagine a fly off between Congress' NACF and the USN VFAX !


Where it gets extremely funny (and weird !) is that General Dynamics / Convair has one feet on NACF (hello, naval YF-16: Vought V-1600) and the other into VFAX (hi, Convair 218 !)

I wonder whether they would play the game or screw one of their two entries ?

Imagine the managers at GD - Convair

"Crap, we can corner the USN low end to the Tomcat, but what game should we play ?
- Congress' NACF with our Vought V-1600 - that is a naval YF-16?
OR
- USN VFAX with our Convair 218 - that is, a non-VSTOL Convair 200 ?

If Convair play smart, they can argue to the USN "Heck, Convair 200's already a naval aircraft, just remove the lift jets and boom, a F401 low end to the F-14B... better than Vought V-1600 naval F-16: too heavy for just one engine... hey, we can REALLY screw Northrop / MDD naval YF-17 if we play smart there."
 
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Nik

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My understanding is that the F-35's lift-fan clutch/gearing is so stressed it may be beyond that era's tech.

IIRC, several UK companies tried that approach, could not transfer the power reliably. Went to barrel-shaped, 'potted' lift-jets with extreme thrust/wt but so thirsty plus dead-weight in flight, and the Pegasus' vectored thrust approach...
 

CV12Hornet

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The F401 probably isn't going to be chosen for the F-111 - proposals for re-engining the plane focused on the F101, which is available sooner thanks to the B-1A testing, and also shows that such proposals did not founder for lack of an engine, much like the XFV-12.

For the A-7 the TF41 offered better fuel economy, as was shown during the YA-7F program. While the F401 would provide more thrust than the TF41 the hit to fuel economy likely wouldn't be seen as worth it.

If you want applications for the F401, look at what the F110 powered. The F401 is in the same size/thrust class and would be the logical candidate to fill its place.
 

RLBH

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Well, selection of the XFV-12 by NAVAIR was not fair to Convair, so who knows. Now, if the 200 is picked in May 1972 and then build even as a prototype(s) only, the 201/218 derivate of it essentially erase the Hornet from existence.
To be honest, I doubt very much that availability of the F401 would have any significant impact on this decision.
My understanding is that the F-35's lift-fan clutch/gearing is so stressed it may be beyond that era's tech.
I don't believe anyone's proposing a lift fan in this scenario. Archibald was drawing a comparison between omitting the lift jets on the Convair 200 and omitting the lift fan on the F-35.
The F401 probably isn't going to be chosen for the F-111 - proposals for re-engining the plane focused on the F101, which is available sooner thanks to the B-1A testing, and also shows that such proposals did not founder for lack of an engine, much like the XFV-12.
That makes sense, especially as the F101 was a bomber engine. The F-111 seems to have done just fine with the TF30, so probably no overwhelming desire to re-engine them either.
For the A-7 the TF41 offered better fuel economy, as was shown during the YA-7F program. While the F401 would provide more thrust than the TF41 the hit to fuel economy likely wouldn't be seen as worth it.
There certainly was a study for an A-7E with a reheated F401, the Vought V-515, proposed in about 1970 in parallel with the F100 powered V-514. Of course, it took nearly two decades for the F100 version to make it to metal: the Navy presumably just wasn't all that bothered. Although it might resurface as part of the A-7X studies, which IOTL looked at an F101 derivative (i.e. the F110) as well as a pair of F404s.
If you want applications for the F401, look at what the F110 powered. The F401 is in the same size/thrust class and would be the logical candidate to fill its place.
Thing is, it's a considerably wider engine than the F100/F110. Which was of course the point, but would mean it couldn't go into an F-15 or F-16. About the only other thing that sticks out is the Mitsubishi F-2, which is substantially a new aircraft anyway so the engineering to accommodate the F401 needn't be a major issue.

Of course, it's perfectly plausible that the F401 remains unique to the F-14. There are plenty of engines which are only used on a single type, after all.
 

Cjc

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I don't know could it have powered the f-16xl? From what I heard it could really used more power then what it had in otl.
 

CV12Hornet

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I don't know could it have powered the f-16xl? From what I heard it could really used more power then what it had in otl.
Potentially, yes. The F-16XL was a pretty comprehensive redesign already, changing the fuselage to accommodate the larger-diameter engine doesn't move the needle too much on that front.
 

Lascaris

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Well, selection of the XFV-12 by NAVAIR was not fair to Convair, so who knows. Now, if the 200 is picked in May 1972 and then build even as a prototype(s) only, the 201/218 derivate of it essentially erase the Hornet from existence.

Why ? Because the 218 was proposed to VFAX in 1974 - before VFAX was crushed by Congress NACF decision, that is "USN will navalize one of the two LWF as a low end to the F-14 - or go to hell."

BUT, if a 200 already exists, then Congress NACF argument "hey, we have two LWF already flying, let's dump them to the USN" can be countered by the said USN as
"Hey, if I remove the Convair 200, now flying, two lift jets behind the cockpit - this is a VFAX 218, so your argument is moot".

Congress NACF may have YF-16 & YF-17, the USN VFAX has a Convair 201 / 218 - the 200 prototypes if you remove the lift jets. Not easy fit admittedly BUT unlike YF-16 & YF-17 - it is already a naval aircraft, and that ain't nothing !!!!

Soooo.... Congress NACF versus USN VFAX: score is 1-1.

Imagine a fly off between YF-16, YF-17 and the second Convair 200 prototype... with the lift jets replaced by either ballast or a fuel tank (hello, F-35 A/B/C lift fan !) and rebranded either 201 or 218...

Imagine a fly off between Congress' NACF and the USN VFAX !


Where it gets extremely funny (and weird !) is that General Dynamics / Convair has one feet on NACF (hello, naval YF-16: Vought V-1600) and the other into VFAX (hi, Convair 218 !)

I wonder whether they would play the game or screw one of their two entries ?

Imagine the managers at GD - Convair

"Crap, we can corner the USN low end to the Tomcat, but what game should we play ?
- Congress' NACF with our Vought V-1600 - that is a naval YF-16?
OR
- USN VFAX with our Convair 218 - that is, a non-VSTOL Convair 200 ?

If Convair play smart, they can argue to the USN "Heck, Convair 200's already a naval aircraft, just remove the lift jets and boom, a F401 low end to the F-14B... better than Vought V-1600 naval F-16: too heavy for just one engine... hey, we can REALLY screw Northrop / MDD naval YF-17 if we play smart there."
If Convair is already flying 200/201 from 1972 why General Dynamics does not enter the LWF with Convair 201 instead of going and designing a new aircraft? It can even cite for Congress... economies of scale. "See our design can fill USAF needs!"
 

Archibald

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Now that'a pertinent question. But don't forget what we presently know as the F-16 was tailored by the Fighter Mafia to USAF needs that is LWF.
God knows whether the Convair 201 or 218 would fit the OTL F-16 requirements... and success.
A former VSTOL delta canard is not OTL F-16 by a long shot and with USAF you never know !!
 

Archibald

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But I readily agree that a YF-17 vs Convair 201-218 flyout would be quite interesting. And packed with lot of ironies.
One of them being that OTL, the VFAX Convair 218 was swept away by Congress' NACF that of course included the YF-17... on its way to become the Hornet !
 

Archibald

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So we have an interesting question here. Could the Convair 201 or 218 fit into OTL F-16 shoes, as USAF LWF ?

The dates are interesting and matches somewhat. Crucially, LWF selection and the SCS fighter one (won OTL by Rockwell XFV-12, against the 200 and AV-16) both hapened in spring 1972: april / may.

Sooo if GD wants to replace their F-16 design by their sister company Convair 201, they have to do that no later than June 1972

Provided of course the 201 is a match for LWF in the eyes of the Fighter mafia AND even more importantly the Air Force.

If they say "hell no it can't be a LWF" then forget it. GD and Convair will have to keep the 200 201 218 AND YF-16 in parallel.
 

F119Doctor

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Though two separate eras, I wonder how the F-111B would have done with the F401 or F101?
The F401 was in the same airflow range (260 pps) as the later TF30-100 used in the F111F, so would probably been compatible with the F111 inlet and made to fit the engine bay. The F101 is a much larger engine in the 350 pps airflow range, so it would take a complete revamp of the inlet and engine bay, although I believe this was an F111 proposal at one time.

You do have to be careful in trying to predict airframe performance with various engines. I remember that performance analysis of the F100-229 and F110-129 in the F111 showed greater acceleration in the middle of the envelope, but were actually lower in installed thrust at the right side of the envelope compared to the TF30-100 above 700 KCAS at low altitude and above M2 at high altitude.
 

SSgtC

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The Vought V-526 is a possibility to use the F401 as well. IIRC, Vought designed it to use the F101FDE/F110, but it's possible that the Navy could ask them to use the F401 if the design is ordered into production. That would have given the USN a common engine on both the F-14 and the Vought VFA design.
 
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sferrin

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Well, selection of the XFV-12 by NAVAIR was not fair to Convair, so who knows. Now, if the 200 is picked in May 1972 and then build even as a prototype(s) only, the 201/218 derivate of it essentially erase the Hornet from existence.

Why ? Because the 218 was proposed to VFAX in 1974 - before VFAX was crushed by Congress NACF decision, that is "USN will navalize one of the two LWF as a low end to the F-14 - or go to hell."

BUT, if a 200 already exists, then Congress NACF argument "hey, we have two LWF already flying, let's dump them to the USN" can be countered by the said USN as
"Hey, if I remove the Convair 200, now flying, two lift jets behind the cockpit - this is a VFAX 218, so your argument is moot".

Congress NACF may have YF-16 & YF-17, the USN VFAX has a Convair 201 / 218 - the 200 prototypes if you remove the lift jets. Not easy fit admittedly BUT unlike YF-16 & YF-17 - it is already a naval aircraft, and that ain't nothing !!!!

Soooo.... Congress NACF versus USN VFAX: score is 1-1.

Imagine a fly off between YF-16, YF-17 and the second Convair 200 prototype... with the lift jets replaced by either ballast or a fuel tank (hello, F-35 A/B/C lift fan !) and rebranded either 201 or 218...

Imagine a fly off between Congress' NACF and the USN VFAX !


Where it gets extremely funny (and weird !) is that General Dynamics / Convair has one feet on NACF (hello, naval YF-16: Vought V-1600) and the other into VFAX (hi, Convair 218 !)

I wonder whether they would play the game or screw one of their two entries ?

Imagine the managers at GD - Convair

"Crap, we can corner the USN low end to the Tomcat, but what game should we play ?
- Congress' NACF with our Vought V-1600 - that is a naval YF-16?
OR
- USN VFAX with our Convair 218 - that is, a non-VSTOL Convair 200 ?

If Convair play smart, they can argue to the USN "Heck, Convair 200's already a naval aircraft, just remove the lift jets and boom, a F401 low end to the F-14B... better than Vought V-1600 naval F-16: too heavy for just one engine... hey, we can REALLY screw Northrop / MDD naval YF-17 if we play smart there."
If Convair is already flying 200/201 from 1972 why General Dynamics does not enter the LWF with Convair 201 instead of going and designing a new aircraft? It can even cite for Congress... economies of scale. "See our design can fill USAF needs!"
It was basically JSF, without the stealth, in the 70s.
 

F-2

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I was actually working on a story with an 80s agile Falcon/Fs-x uses it as its engine. The version for the vought 1600 was updated slightly, I have been able to find much information on it.
 

RLBH

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The Vought V-526 is a possibility to use the F401 as well. IIRC, Vought designed it to use the F101FDE/F110, but it's possible that the Navy could ask them to use the F401 if the design is ordered into production. That would have given the USN a common engine on both the F-14 and the Vought VFA design.
By the time the VFAX competition was being run, the F401 was dead as a production engine. If the engine was a going proposition in 1974, I expect it would be the choice for a lot of the competitors.
 

F-2

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The Vought V-526 is a possibility to use the F401 as well. IIRC, Vought designed it to use the F101FDE/F110, but it's possible that the Navy could ask them to use the F401 if the design is ordered into production. That would have given the USN a common engine on both the F-14 and the Vought VFA design.
By the time the VFAX competition was being run, the F401 was dead as a production engine. If the engine was a going proposition in 1974, I expect it would be the choice for a lot of the competitors.

Different version of the f401 being discussed
 

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