"Arsenal Plane" Concepts

BAROBA

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Could 3d printing save the last of the B-1's?
Looks to me like a most cost-effective method to keep them flying for some time...
You strip one to the bone, 3d-scan every part and send it to the printer. ( No doubt big areospace companies have this in-house already)

The B-52 seems to be the most logical choice, everything else seems to be doomed to be stuck in development hell forever...
 
D

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Could 3d printing save the last of the B-1's?
Looks to me like a most cost-effective method to keep them flying for some time...
You strip one to the bone, 3d-scan every part and send it to the printer. ( No doubt big areospace companies have this in-house already)

The B-52 seems to be the most logical choice, everything else seems to be doomed to be stuck in development hell forever...

I'm a Machinist for a turbine engine supplier. The problem with 3D printing is that it is difficult to get the tight tolerances that aerospace parts generally demand, 3D metal printing is almost always followed up by traditional material removal processes, be that machining, EDM, or other methods. While the technology has come a long way, it still is not a silver-bullet for parts production.
 
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Foo Fighter

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It won't take 300 years mate.
 

TomcatViP

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Preserving the cowling aerodynamic and dynamic weight balance is a necessity due to the age of the plane.
Since no one with a proper budget to finance a research study stepped forward (most contractors wanted only to sell engines by truck loads without much investment) that's why we are where we are today.
 

BAROBA

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I'm a Machinist for a turbine engine supplier. The problem with 3D printing is that it is difficult to get the tight tolerances that aerospace parts generally demand, 3D metal printing is almost always followed up by traditional material removal processes, be that machining, EDM, or other methods. While the technology has come a long way, it still is not a silver-bullet for parts production.

I know that too, also a machinist by education, and a 3d print fan from the first hour ( and I work next to Materialise) But industry 4.0 has made a lot more possible, with the same "blueprints" you can now do your 3d-printing and 3d-milling afterwards. There will always be some postprocessing involved, but the point is that it can be done much cheaper and with better tools then it could be done in the time that the planes were made. So in theory the B-1s could be saved by more modern technology, but the question is how badly wants the Airforce keep them flying?
 
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I'm a Machinist for a turbine engine supplier. The problem with 3D printing is that it is difficult to get the tight tolerances that aerospace parts generally demand, 3D metal printing is almost always followed up by traditional material removal processes, be that machining, EDM, or other methods. While the technology has come a long way, it still is not a silver-bullet for parts production.

I know that too, also a machinist by education, and a 3d print fan from the first hour ( and I work next to Materialise) But industry 4.0 has made a lot more possible, with the same "blueprints" you can now do your 3d-printing and 3d-milling afterwards. There will always be some postprocessing involved, but the point is that it can be done much cheaper and with better tools then it could be done in the time that the planes were made. So in theory the B-1s could be saved by more modern technology, but the question is how badly wants the Airforce keep them flying?
All valid arguments. I think that functional/structural validation of 3D printed parts is also a consideration. The time and testing involved with any processing changes to validate the requirements for functionality/longevity would be considerable. “Known and slow” is sometimes better than “new and needs testing” in a financial and scheduling sense.
 

Foo Fighter

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Could 3d printing save the last of the B-1's?
Looks to me like a most cost-effective method to keep them flying for some time...
You strip one to the bone, 3d-scan every part and send it to the printer. ( No doubt big areospace companies have this in-house already)

The B-52 seems to be the most logical choice, everything else seems to be doomed to be stuck in development hell forever...

It strikes me that there are options to fabricate replacements from man made fibres of various types.
 
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TomcatViP

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Just to add what have just been said perfectly above, we should not forget that the difficulty of fibers comes with having a mould. And then if one is needed, the financial interest decreases.
So a case by case analys is a must do. It's only afterward that you can choose the optimum technology for your need (part, quality and qty in function of cost (yes, sometime qlty can be traded to lower cost with the result of flight hours experience)). But thankfully today you can 3D print a reverse imprint to cast the final mould, what should be enough in many cases for the smaller parts.

Having a 3D model of the assembly eases also system integration. It's often that precious time and money are lost in back and forward exchange b/w each design iteration because a contractor don't have the full picture of the real configuration.
With a contracted work, often parted and then subcontracted, the losses in knowledge b/w each iterations can be detrimental to long time planification.
So 3D scanning should insure projects stay on track cost and time wise for the USAF.

And much more could be said...
 
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Foo Fighter

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There are more than a few of those to take a mould from so it should not be too difficult. I may be wrong but also believe that there are autoclaves available that are big enough for the job.
 

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uk 75

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It ought to be possible to design a large unmanned platform with the same weapons and elctronic load as a B52. We have enough experience of operating UAVs.
 

sferrin

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It ought to be possible to design a large unmanned platform with the same weapons and elctronic load as a B52. We have enough experience of operating UAVs.
What we continue to fail to demonstrate is that it wouldn't be compromised 15 seconds after they start cutting metal, if not before.
 

uk 75

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so a 60 year old bomber is not compromised? can you enlarge?
 

marauder2048

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It ought to be possible to design a large unmanned platform with the same weapons and elctronic load as a B52. We have enough experience of operating UAVs.
Guess you haven't been following their accident rates
 

uk 75

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so essentially you want to spend huge.amounts of money to put a large bomber and its crew in harm's way rather than expendable UAVs. Good luck selling that one.
 

marauder2048

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so essentially you want to spend huge.amounts of money to put a large bomber and its crew in harm's way rather than expendable UAVs. Good luck selling that one.
If only bombers could fly as fast as you move goalposts....

Yeah. It's been sold. The B-21 program is like this thing with a production contract.
 

uk 75

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Sorry I thought we were talking about converting/rebuilding or even a new version of a B52.
The B21 is a very different proposition which should reduce the risk to its crew and use them to advantage.
 

marauder2048

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Sorry I thought we were talking about converting/rebuilding or even a new version of a B52.
It only does standoff; not exactly putting a crew in harm's way especially given its *very* low accident rate.
And since nobody yet feels comfortable turning over nuclear attack to autonomous aircraft...

If you want conventional standoff, that's what current palletized roll-on/roll-off kits for the flat-floored
transports are all about.
 

uk 75

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Interesting. A more sophisticated version of barrel bombs from Antonovs. Sounds reasonable.
I agree that in the nuclear role UAVs might be step too far, not least because nuclear tipped weapons are too valuable to be expendable.
The UK looked at using VC10s to carry Skybolt ALBMs. In a stand off role would not a modern twin engine airframe be a better answer?
 

marauder2048

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In a stand off role would not a modern twin engine airframe be a better answer?
They are looking at weaponizing the KC-46 but Orbital's experience with Pegasus on the L-1011 is
a cautionary tale in terms of adapting a commercial widebody to carrying heavy, outsized loads i.e. what's
probably not practical to regularly drop out of the back of a C-17 with roll-on/roll-off.

The B-52 is going to be doing the standoff nuclear thing so it's probably cheaper and more straightforward
to do the engine upgrade and do the Heavy Weapon Release Capability (HRC) Pylon they are doing.
 

uk 75

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Wouldnt a purpose built twin engined airframe be more reasonable than trying to keep the B52s going? It could be more compact and efficient but still carry a massive load. Start with a KC46 or even a 777/787 wing and components?
 

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Wouldnt a purpose built twin engined airframe be more reasonable than trying to keep the B52s going? It could be more compact and efficient but still carry a massive load. Start with a KC46 or even a 777/787 wing and components?
I like that idea.
 

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Wouldnt a purpose built twin engined airframe be more reasonable than trying to keep the B52s going? It could be more compact and efficient but still carry a massive load. Start with a KC46 or even a 777/787 wing and components?
It would be relatively cheap and fast to build a missile truck but the problem is things like that have been tried and the brass never supports anything but gold plated eagles with bleeding edge tech. The military industrial complex is a business... One that takes 25 years to build a new jet fighter for example. An engineer today is very lucky if they ever in their lives work on a single new airplane. Its like if the f15 didn't enter service until after or around GWI
 

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Wouldnt a purpose built twin engined airframe be more reasonable than trying to keep the B52s going? It could be more compact and efficient but still carry a massive load. Start with a KC46 or even a 777/787 wing and components?
Arsenal Plane in short...I thought it was discussed here before. Gunzinger says no as advanced VLO long range stand-off weapons are EXPENSIVE and VLO platforms is a must (let me speculate that Mitchell studies are fueled by NG money flow)
 

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Sorry I thought we were talking about converting/rebuilding or even a new version of a B52.
The B21 is a very different proposition which should reduce the risk to its crew and use them to advantage.
Yeah, all this talk about new versions of the BUFF is crazy talk. Now, when it comes to keeping existing bombers the BUFF wins out over the Bone. Recapitalization of the bomber fleet is squarely on the B-21, lets hope they keep the line open for more than 100, 150 would be good, 175 better.
 

marauder2048

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Wouldnt a purpose built twin engined airframe be more reasonable than trying to keep the B52s going? It could be more compact and efficient but still carry a massive load. Start with a KC46 or even a 777/787 wing and components?
For carrying what? Outsized hypersonic payloads?
I can't see how you get even some commercial widebody derivative designed, built and inducted at scale for
less than the cost of upgrading the B-52s.

For reference, the P-8 which cut holes in a mix-and-match fuselage/wing based on about the most widely
produced airframe ever was about an $8 billion development program.

If it's JASSM sized payload, the cargo bombers are going to be so much cheaper.

And if we are talking sub-strategic standoff, the end of the INF treaty starts to play since
TELs are so much cheaper than... well any other launch platform.
 
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uk 75

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Basically you just want to keep B52s flying. Fine by me its not my country's money.
 

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As a side note, please be ensured that nobody with an airliner industry will buy a single derivative airframe for Nuke strike. That day, every airframe from that national contractor flying around will become a potentially valid target. This is not how you build deterrence.
 

jsport

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this discussion leaves one more in favor of a 1000mile gun using RAPs.
 

Foo Fighter

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Or the Easter bunny as security.

Just to clarify I am talking about the state of this topic as in how it is taking more time than it should to achieve, not having a dig at anyone at all.
 
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uk 75

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As a side note, please be ensured that nobody with an airliner industry will buy a single derivative airframe for Nuke strike. That day, every airframe from that national contractor flying around will become a potentially valid target. This is not how you build deterrence.
Just to give you a helping hand on IDing "potentially valid target"
 

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sferrin

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As a side note, please be ensured that nobody with an airliner industry will buy a single derivative airframe for Nuke strike. That day, every airframe from that national contractor flying around will become a potentially valid target. This is not how you build deterrence.
Just to give you a helping hand on IDing "potentially valid target"
When did it serve in that capacity?
 

marauder2048

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Just to give you a helping hand on IDing "potentially valid target"
When did it serve in that capacity?
Never; that configuration in particular was practically a complete redesign of the VC10.

The more sober SAC analysis of the KC-135 (I don't think its load factor was that different than the VC10)
indicated that the KC-135 might be able to carry two Skybolts.

As much as I criticize the cruise missile carrier aircraft concepts, they do at least preserve the aero-efficient
OMLs that the widebody designers spend so much time and money to achieve.
 

sferrin

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Just to give you a helping hand on IDing "potentially valid target"
When did it serve in that capacity?
Never; that configuration in particular was practically a complete redesign of the VC10.

The more sober SAC analysis of the KC-135 (I don't think its load factor was that different than the VC10)
indicated that the KC-135 might be able to carry two Skybolts.

As much as I criticize the cruise missile carrier aircraft concepts, they do at least preserve the aero-efficient
OMLs that the widebody designers spend so much time and money to achieve.
True, but they're designing for a different payload. Note how much narrower the B-52's fuselage is compared to a 777 or even 767. A 777 with a slim fuselage will have less drag than one designed for passengers.

1608149653573.png
 

mkellytx

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Just to give you a helping hand on IDing "potentially valid target"
When did it serve in that capacity?
Never; that configuration in particular was practically a complete redesign of the VC10.

The more sober SAC analysis of the KC-135 (I don't think its load factor was that different than the VC10)
indicated that the KC-135 might be able to carry two Skybolts.

As much as I criticize the cruise missile carrier aircraft concepts, they do at least preserve the aero-efficient
OMLs that the widebody designers spend so much time and money to achieve.
True, but they're designing for a different payload. Note how much narrower the B-52's fuselage is compared to a 777 or even 767. A 777 with a slim fuselage will have less drag than one designed for passengers.

View attachment 646639
Just bring that out a little bit and draw a circle around it and you get peace the old fashioned way!

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url...ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCIDfmp--1O0CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAp
 

rooster

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Just to give you a helping hand on IDing "potentially valid target"
When did it serve in that capacity?
Never; that configuration in particular was practically a complete redesign of the VC10.

The more sober SAC analysis of the KC-135 (I don't think its load factor was that different than the VC10)
indicated that the KC-135 might be able to carry two Skybolts.

As much as I criticize the cruise missile carrier aircraft concepts, they do at least preserve the aero-efficient
OMLs that the widebody designers spend so much time and money to achieve.
True, but they're designing for a different payload. Note how much narrower the B-52's fuselage is compared to a 777 or even 767. A 777 with a slim fuselage will have less drag than one designed for passengers.

View attachment 646639
Just being an automotive engineer I had always tthoughtthe buff was so slender was because it didn't need to carry 300+ people. It was designed around the ordnance. Just because a widebody airliner isn't optimized for alcms doesn't mean it can't still do that mission.

When you look at the bone and blackjack its a little trickier to say how narrow or wide it is as its a pseudo blended design... And still supersonic even though neither resemble a concord.

I guess the thing about passenger planes serving as nuclear bombers is misidnentification. A number of passenger planes have already been shot down for thinking they were military aircraft... That puts a lot of innocent people at risk building a 100 or so boeings with missile bays.

You could also build business jets with aesa/ datalinks and internal aams.... But no one talks about that
 

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