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Getting a VSTOL airgroup into service

uk 75

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A variety of threads cover the attempts by the USN to develop an airgroup suitable for its Sea Control Ships (SCS). The ships themselves have been well covered and individual VSTOL programmes have their own individual threads.
What I want to do is compare what actually happened with what might have been.
In reality the UK, Italy and Spain all operated small carriers with airgroups made up of Harriers and ASW helos. The UK added AEW helos.
What could have been achieved was an airgroup made up of supersonic VSTOL aircraft, the Convair design instead of the lame Rockwell, and fixed wing ASW/AEW/COD either one of US designs or the Canadair tilt wing.
Today we have the F35B as the supersonic VSTOL and the V22 Osprey or similar could provide the ASW/AEW/COD.
A modern version of the SCS could be built pretty cheaply
 

zen

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All plausibly true.

But....numbers, logistics tell a different story...

Dial the clock back and the Civil Lord of the Admiralty suggested a Convertible Carrier. Starting life with Sea Vixen and Buccaneer. But later converting to P1154 "Harrier".
What is notable about this proposal is the numbers.
A 40,000ton ship......not a 30,000ton or 20,000ton.
Why?
Despite a ship that can be converted having a degree of excess compared with something ruthlessly focused on CTOL. The displacement speaks of another critical factor.
The ability to actually support intense operations over time.
Why do I say that?
Because the airwing numbers didn't increase from CTOL to STOVL, the same figure of 24 fast jets.

The burning of fuel, the use of stocks of weapons, the repairs and use of replacement parts. The maintainers doing such tasks.
The planning staff.
The extra mouths to feed, even the increase in cooks to do the task. The increase in food and drink stored. Not to mention medical supplies or even toilet paper.
All exert a demand on more space and more displacement.

And what is just 24 fast jets? but by the old metric just 8 aircraft actually on operations, while another 8 are being readied and the last 8 undergo maintenance.

Now look at these V/STOVL carriers like SCS. How few the aircraft number and how little actually can be kept operational.
Made all the worse by the cutting of stocks, staff and more to meet the magic numbers of being somehow 'cheap'.
So the SCS paired things down so far it was actually offloading the task to other ships or even via coms back to land.
Which is fine, when you are operating in the Mediterranean.....
 
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Archibald

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Some fun with VSTOL...

By 1970 the seemingly viable VSTOL fighters (or the few of them at least) were kind of divided into two opposite factions
-Harrier, P.1154, Vak-191: rotating exhausts (eventually with PCBs)
-Yak-36 / 41 & Convair 200: tilting rear exhaust + forward lift jets

...everything else (VJ-101, Mirage III-V) had proven a nightmare.

Now I was wondering about the Ryan XV-5 and its "lift fan". Unlike the one in the F-35, it wasn't driven by a shaft, but exhaust gases.

The two systems faced each others in the early days of the JSF

Gas Coupled Lift Fan
versus
Shaft Coupled Lift Fan (Bevilaqua stroke of genius in 1987)

Now, I'm not sure the shaft-CLF could have been done (or even invented) before Bevilaqua 1987 lightbulb moment.

But how about the Ryan XV-5 leading to a F-35 look-alike much earlier ?

Something akin to a XV-5 nose with a Harrier / Yak-36 rear end ?
(I'm really tempted of doing a hybrid 3-view !)

Would have been somewhat similar to a F-35 in overal design but three decades ahead.

thought ?
 

uk 75

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I think by 1970 vstol had been marginalised. Alertken did a good summary in a thread explaining the timeline after 1960 and why runways rather than forest clearings worked fine for NATO.
That said, the Harrier had gained some customers with small flattops starting with the US Marines. The UK developed the Sea Harrier for its Invincibles. Spain bought US Av8s for its small carriers and Italy finally got some at the end of the Cold War.
The A4 Skyhawk was sufficient for Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Canada nearly bought it.
France kept its proper (sorry!) carriers.
The Dutch dropped out as they moved to ASW frigates.
Further afield India bought Sea Harriers (flirted with Yak 38) and finally Thailand took on some Spanish Av8s for a small carrier.
Germany and Japan were prevented by legacy and treaties from deploying carriers.
However, if you go back to the early 1960s Germany was interested in a P1154 version with a lift fan. That is close to your hybrid.
A liftfan might have helped the erosion and heat problem.
It is easy to dismiss Mirage IIIV and VJ101D but they were influenced by the F100s and F104s that they were supposed to replace.The same logic led to TSR2 being designed to operate from rough strips.
Eventually the Germans remembered their wartime history and went with the cheap and simple Alpha Jet which carried more weapons than the shiny VAK191 and could operate from an Autobahn much like the Fiat G91 it replaced.
 

Archibald

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However, if you go back to the early 1960s Germany was interested in a P1154 version with a lift fan. That is close to your hybrid.
A liftfan might have helped the erosion and heat problem.

Very interesting. Yep unlike PCB and lift jet, those things blow cold air - and it helps, somewhat.
Jet engine don't like hot air - it kills thrust. Hot gas re-ingestion was a major PITA, plus ground erosion (eat dust and other shit - not good) and for lift jet, atrocious fuel consumption.
As much as I love the cute Convair 200 and Yak-41, lift jets were flawed - a brute-force primitive solution (horizontal jets for horizontal flight, so also works for vertical).
 

uk 75

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However, if you go back to the early 1960s Germany was interested in a P1154 version with a lift fan. That is close to your hybrid.
A liftfan might have helped the erosion and heat problem.

Very interesting.
If you have Chris Gibson's recent book about British Ground Attack aircraft it is discussed in there.
 

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Bevilaqua brilliantly summarized why the F-35 is the crowning achievement of VSTOL research - cold air fan is the best solution in the vertical plane, jet engine is the best solution for horizontal flight, and a shaft (rather than the XV-5 system) is the most efficient connection between the two.
 

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While I would agree that the discussed platforms would be most viable for the COD and AEW missions, I am not convinced that the ASW would be best fit with a VSTOL platform due to the desire for significant endurance. Every ounce of weight spent on VTOL machinery reduces the available payload (fuel or mission systems). I would think it would be a matter of what AWW mission the aircraft is intended for.
 
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