Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet

rousseau

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For starting this thread, I want to study this advanced fighter not simply post some interjections.
Now, this fighter seem to be more better than I imaged before, with superior ECM, high T/W rate, CRAET airintakes etc. But right now, I really hope to know is are there other pix which showed not prototype reveal this phenomenon as circled in pic below? Or could you please post other clear pix to show prototype of F-18E that revealed this phenomenon?
Could u tell me what this for? The three missiom you chosen I believe you can do it!

[post edited to include picture as attachment - moderator]
 

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elmayerle

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Er, there was no picture attached so it's a bit difficult to respond.
 

rousseau

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This is SERECTPROJECT forum, so the thread ought ot be more difficult than other common forum, but just little bit difficult, compare with what I asked in ATS.
I do have some, just ask more.
 

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elmayerle

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Thanks, but I didn't see anything circled. I know they had a few problems early in the flight test program, but as far as I know they've all been corrected.
 

Sentinel Chicken

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Are you referring to what looks like a small leading edge flap just outboard of the LERX that's hinged down lower than the rest of the leading edge flaps?
 

rousseau

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Not quite sure, the leading edge flap hinging down I only saw on prototype of F/A-18E, never saw showed on other F/A-18.
I did search alot of big pix of Super Hornet, some pivotal pix show me that flap just a part of LERX not unattached.
 

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elmayerle

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I think that flap may have had something to do with controlling the vortex of the LERX and they managed to find simpler and more effective approaches during the flight test phase.
 

Sundog

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The biggest problem I heard of on the Super Hornet was a wing drop problem it had at high AOA. However, that was fixed to the best of my knowledge. My understanding is they used a porous material at the hinge to allow the airflow to seep through and apparently re-energize the airflow on top of the wing and either control/stabilize the separation that was occuring or prevent it.
 

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the hornet you named f/a 18 e super hornet.
i found a similar aircraft known as a f/a 18 f super hornet.
 

Akaikaze

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Yeah, I heard about the pitch-up problem, too. Someone please explain to me how a 'brand new', computer designed fighter could could have such a flaw? The last time I read about this happening was with aircraft from the 50's. That spells trouble right there. I also heard about less than predicted range and other problems. 'Stupid Hornet' is what I call it. This is a great example of why I won't join the service. Give the Navy back it's Tomcats until they get it right, meaning, get rid of the F/A-18E/F. It'll be a whole lot cheaper and safer in the long run. :D
 

elmayerle

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Ah, but CFD doesn't cover every eventuality, that's why you do flight testing. All things considered, it seems to have gone through the flight-testing shakeout fairly well. As to why the F-14 wasn't developed further, there's a lot of bureaucratic politics within the USN behind that. Email or PM me if you want the details.
 

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Akaikaze said:
Give the Navy back it's Tomcats until they get it right, meaning, get rid of the F/A-18E/F. It'll be a whole lot cheaper and safer in the long run. :D
Tomcats are cheaper in the long run? The plane is an immense maintenance hog and that alone costs you in maintenance hours needed per flight hour. Even the newer F-14Ds had their share of maintenance issues. Thankfully the engines were better!
 

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Sentinel Chicken said:
Akaikaze said:
Give the Navy back it's Tomcats until they get it right, meaning, get rid of the F/A-18E/F. It'll be a whole lot cheaper and safer in the long run. :D
Tomcats are cheaper in the long run? The plane is an immense maintenance hog and that alone costs you in maintenance hours needed per flight hour. Even the newer F-14Ds had their share of maintenance issues. Thankfully the engines were better!

I think the F-14, if it had been developed further, would have had to go through a major redesign to reduce the maintenance and reliability issues. R&M (Reliability and Maintainability) are a much, much bigger concern these days than when the F-14 was originally designed. Not as extensive, externally, as Hornet --> Super Hornet, but extensively on the internals.
 

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Not to mention, the Super Hornet is actually a totally new airframe that was just "based' off of the Hornet. To me, it was a way for the Navy to get a new fighter while convincing the politicians it was just a new "version" of the Hornet. The only thing I can't understand is why the Navy once again developed an underpowered still too short a range fighter.

At least that mistake won't be repeated on the F-35. The F-35 has an amazing fuel fraction, which I don't know if that was a fall out of the range requirement or a supercruise requirement or both. Most supercruise fighters aim for a fuel fraction of .27 or greater. I think the F-22 actually came in at .25 due to weight growth in development.
 

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elmayerle said:
I think that flap may have had something to do with controlling the vortex of the LERX and they managed to find simpler and more effective approaches during the flight test phase.

The LERX of the F/A-18E is quite huge. I think that during normal AOA operations the LERX is rather useless and undisturbed airflow on the leading edge of the wing is desired. So this "gap" is created, allowing a better flow on the wing. Otherwise a turbulence would emerge and disturb the flow on this important inner wing section. Just guessing, I am not fluent on CFD.
 

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Sundog said:
The biggest problem I heard of on the Super Hornet was a wing drop problem it had at high AOA. However, that was fixed to the best of my knowledge. My understanding is they used a porous material at the hinge to allow the airflow to seep through and apparently re-energize the airflow on top of the wing and either control/stabilize the separation that was occuring or prevent it.

They added a saw-tooth, too. These problems were solved with a variety of measures, for example new control laws for the flaps/slats.
 

F-14D

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Sentinel Chicken said:
Akaikaze said:
Give the Navy back it's Tomcats until they get it right, meaning, get rid of the F/A-18E/F. It'll be a whole lot cheaper and safer in the long run. :D
Tomcats are cheaper in the long run? The plane is an immense maintenance hog and that alone costs you in maintenance hours needed per flight hour. Even the newer F-14Ds had their share of maintenance issues. Thankfully the engines were better!

Maintenance numbers quoted for the F-14D are often misleading. As a plane approaches its retirement date, the parts supply dries up, forcing you to repair parts that before would be replaced. Fewer maintenance personnel are available or even being trained and some non-safety things are allowed to slide. At the end of its service, and as part of trying to justify its retirement in favor of the Super Hornet, you saw the figure of 50mmh/fh for a Tomcat being thrown around constantly. This number was accurate but misleading. The numbers were really high for the reasons above (and to make the Hornet look good; also F-14A maintenance figures were thrown into the mix to slew the comparison). However, if you looked at the figures for the F-14D as it was making early deployments the numbers were 17 mmh/fh and trending downward.

An F-14D with the Quickstrike enhancements built at equal production rates would cost about $2 million more per unit than an F/A18E (the delta would be less if an F/A-18F was the point of comparison). The resulting Tomcat would be both a better strike aircraft as well as a better fighter than the Super Bug. The R&D for the Super Bug also cost at least 20 times what the development work on adding all weather strike to the -14D would have cost. The Hornet E/F would cost less to maintain, but in addition to the cost of the E/F's R&D you should add in the cost of all those extra Hornet C/Ds that had to be ordered to keep the product in line "warm" (which were not included in figures detailing the cost of the E/F) until the E/F could enter production.

An excellent case can be made that the Tomcat would have been cheaper overall, but now it's a moot point. It would be impossible to bring the F-14 back.
 

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Super Bug WT model for stores configuration tests
 

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Blaze1

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Schorsch said:
Sundog said:
The biggest problem I heard of on the Super Hornet was a wing drop problem it had at high AOA. However, that was fixed to the best of my knowledge. My understanding is they used a porous material at the hinge to allow the airflow to seep through and apparently re-energize the airflow on top of the wing and either control/stabilize the separation that was occuring or prevent it.

They added a saw-tooth, too. These problems were solved with a variety of measures, for example new control laws for the flaps/slats.

My understanding is that the wing drop and wing rock problems were never completely resolved. The reprogramming of the control laws combined with the redesign of the wing fold covers help to mitigate the issues. The final design is apparently much improved but not perfect.
 

AeroFranz

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Gotta find the precise information, but I remember sitting at a conference paper presentation, and someone was saying that the problem was 'cured' by limiting the angle of attack so that one wing would not drop before the other. Or maybe it was dropping the wing opposite of the wing developing the problem, so that asymmetric conditions were prevented. Either way, that hardly seems a cure to me, because you have capped the turning/lifting performance of the airplane. I'll be grateful if anyone can find more on this ;)
 

mz

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I read at http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/planes/q0099.shtml that the original (well, not the prototype which was superflexy but the as-produced) Hornet wing was quite flexible and needed a lot of washout but the super hornet wing is much stiffer.

As for the difference in twist between the earlier F-18 Hornet and newer F-18E/F Super Hornet, you are correct in pointing out that the newer model does indeed have less twist than the original. The twist on the original Hornet is slightly more than 4°, but you are mistaken in stating that the E/F has none. In actuality, the wing twist on the E/F model is about 1.5°.

Also possibly related about lerxes and vortex generators: http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/planes/q0176.shtml
 

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Note also that the Growler has a different "soft" leading edge notch and a fence. It was offered for the E/F but declined.
 

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US Navy may add conformal fuel tanks to F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-navy-may-add-conformal-fuel-tanks-to-fa-18ef-super-hornet-fleet-383701/

The US Navy is considering adding conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) onto its fleet of Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighters, sources say. The twin dorsally mounted tanks are expected to be tested this summer.

The USN does not deny that it is interested in the conformal tanks, but says that it cannot comment on the project at this time. "As of right now this information is proprietarily owned between Boeing and Northrop [Grumman] and PMA-265 cannot talk to it," the Naval Air Systems Command says. PMA-265 is the US Navy programme office responsible for managing the F/A-18 and EA-18G fleets.

Boeing officials did not respond to queries prior to publication...
 

Triton

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Source:

Extended range would be an important factor for operations in the Pacific theatre, but some analysts suspect that there might be more to it. The Navy might be hedging its bets against further delays on the Lockheed Martin F-35 program or it might even be preparing for the eventuality that it will have to abandon the stealthy single-engine fighter entirely.

The Navy is already working on a series of other upgrades to the Hornet including adding an infrared search and track sensor and fusing the aircraft's sensor data.

While Boeing is working to reduce the Super Hornet's signature for future international variants, the F/A-18E/F already has a fair number of features built-in to reduce its radar cross section. This is an excerpt from the jet's Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) manual which describes some of those features.

Entire F/A-18E/F NATOPS manual save for the section on the aircraft's weapons systems and performance diagrams:

 

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blackstar

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According to Defense News, last week at the Sea-Air-Space conference Boeing discussed an F-18 Super Hornet upgrade with over-wing fuel tanks.

 

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HeavyG

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Maybe they can add it along the aircraft's spine, a la some variants of the F-16.
 

quellish

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Triton said:
Will it look like the Boeing F/A-18F with mock conformal fuel tanks shown at AeroIndia 2011 proposed for MRCA?

Source:
http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&p=310093

The CFTs are part of the "International Roadmap" F-18E feature set. US Navy has expressed interest in the CFTs and some other components of the International Roadmap, but also has said they are not interested in funding development. So if Boeing can sell these features to someone else, which would subsidize development costs, US Navy may buy in after that.
 

blackstar

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HeavyG said:
Maybe they can add it along the aircraft's spine, a la some variants of the F-16.

See the picture I posted. They are clearly visible above the wings.
 

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The Growler could sure benefit from this. More time to loiter and those ECM pods can be draggy and hurt range.
 

TaiidanTomcat

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quellish said:
Triton said:
Will it look like the Boeing F/A-18F with mock conformal fuel tanks shown at AeroIndia 2011 proposed for MRCA?

Source:
http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&p=310093

The CFTs are part of the "International Roadmap" F-18E feature set. US Navy has expressed interest in the CFTs and some other components of the International Roadmap, but also has said they are not interested in funding development. So if Boeing can sell these features to someone else, which would subsidize development costs, US Navy may buy in after that.

Maybe I'm naive, but I dont think a F-18E/F with over wing tanks is the "JSF slayer" that people are trying to paint it as. I don't think its a zero sum game.

I think its going to be done eventually anyway (if no one else jumps in to make it happen before the USN has to pony up the cash in a couple years). an SH with more range is a good thing, an F-35C is also a good thing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgk-lA12FBk

The other trick is that adding the tanks also means the engines need a little more umph so its not just a "bolt these on, high five and walk away" kind of project. Things still need to be measured, and the consequences examined and weighed the trade offs need to be checked. The USN may add them only to newer hornets, etc.
 

donnage99

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TaiidanTomcat said:
The other trick is that adding the tanks also means the engines need a little more umph so its not just a "bolt these on, high five and walk away" kind of project. Things still need to be measured, and the consequences examined and weighed the trade offs need to be checked. The USN may add them only to newer hornets, etc.
As far as remembered, the conformal fuel tanks on the "stealth" hornet helps with lift and adds no drag (I don't remember exactly what flight envelop or all flight envelops we talking about). So it's a win win situation.
 

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Boeing had their F/A-18E/F/G simulator demonstration trailer at KCPS for the Youth Aviation Day a few weeks back. Most, if not all, of the photo posters on the walls inside were of 18s with these tanks. Sadly, they weren't giving out copies of those posters.
 

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donnage99 said:
TaiidanTomcat said:
The other trick is that adding the tanks also means the engines need a little more umph so its not just a "bolt these on, high five and walk away" kind of project. Things still need to be measured, and the consequences examined and weighed the trade offs need to be checked. The USN may add them only to newer hornets, etc.
As far as remembered, the conformal fuel tanks on the "stealth" hornet helps with lift and adds no drag (I don't remember exactly what flight envelop or all flight envelops we talking about). So it's a win win situation.

there is the added weight of fuel issue though, which might cut into what the fighter can carry..
plus the weight distribution would change, so agility and such will change.

so there are some issues that would need some extra study to pin down the effects.
 

donnage99

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mithril said:
there is the added weight of fuel issue though, which might cut into what the fighter can carry..
plus the weight distribution would change, so agility and such will change.

so there are some issues that would need some extra study to pin down the effects.
Of course. They been studying and will flight test soon.
 

Triton

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Boeing claims that the F-18 Super Hornet International offers 85% of the combat capability of the F-35C at half the acquisition cost. If it needs engines with oomph for models with conformal fuel tanks, why not also update to the new glass cockpit?

Source:
http://aviationintel.com/2011/11/06/more-info-comes-to-light-on-super-hornet-international-export-configuration/
 

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quellish

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TaiidanTomcat said:
Maybe I'm naive, but I dont think a F-18E/F with over wing tanks is the "JSF slayer" that people are trying to paint it as. I don't think its a zero sum game.

The CFTs are part of the International Roadmap package, but are not the International Roadmap package itself. IR includes a number of other features.
 

Triton

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Maybe the Boeing F-18 International will be Canada's replacement for their CF-18s paying for development costs. Then the United States Navy can go ahead an acquire these notional F-18E/F Block III Super Hornet aircraft.
 

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mithril said:
there is the added weight of fuel issue though, which might cut into what the fighter can carry..
plus the weight distribution would change, so agility and such will change.

so there are some issues that would need some extra study to pin down the effects.

Actually, the weight distribution shouldn't change, since the fuel is added very close to the C.G. and it really shouldn't impact what the fighter can carry, since it already has a robust landing gear due to the carrier requirements. But there is a chance that the gear would need some strengthening due to the increased load, which would also increase weight. However, I haven't seen it mentioned, but you do bring up a valid concern. I would argue that apparently Boeing thinks the pluses out weigh the minuses, or they wouldn't be offering it.
 
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