Next C-130 will be a Vertical Lift Cargo plane

Fluff

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I cant seem to let go of a 2 part solution, so a 'C130' and a 'drone vertical lift system' to get say a shipping container to the slow and low 'C130'

So effectively a flying container 'truck'.

Given todays Tech, that can land a space rocket back, this has to be doable?

Do we need to call Elon?
 

yasotay

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Problem for Elon is that he has to figure out how to make the thing maneuver A LOT when those in disagreement start shooting at his descending rocket. A different sort of 'hostile environment'.
 

skyblue

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I cant seem to let go of a 2 part solution, so a 'C130' and a 'drone vertical lift system' to get say a shipping container to the slow and low 'C130'

So effectively a flying container 'truck'.

Given todays Tech, that can land a space rocket back, this has to be doable?

Do we need to call Elon?
That sounds really heavy, dangerous and overly complicated. A 'drone vertical lift system' that can haul up a whole shipping container to a loitering C130 would be a huge machine in it's own right. At that point you might as well give it more range and engineer it as a self contained transport system.
 

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I cant seem to let go of a 2 part solution, so a 'C130' and a 'drone vertical lift system' to get say a shipping container to the slow and low 'C130'

So effectively a flying container 'truck'.

Given todays Tech, that can land a space rocket back, this has to be doable?

Do we need to call Elon?
That sounds really heavy, dangerous and overly complicated. A 'drone vertical lift system' that can haul up a whole shipping container to a loitering C130 would be a huge machine in it's own right. At that point you might as well give it more range and engineer it as a self contained transport system.
It would be chunky, but I think better than burdening your 400 C130 with VTOL which they would hardly ever use. My idea is to make it modular, so 4 drones per container, you fly them in as the first aircraft(which doesnt land), and they unload the next aircraft. it keeps your C130 efficient in normal use, but meets the demand for VTOL at the point of use.

A VTOL C130 is going to be complex and very heavy.
 

sferrin

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I cant seem to let go of a 2 part solution, so a 'C130' and a 'drone vertical lift system' to get say a shipping container to the slow and low 'C130'

So effectively a flying container 'truck'.

Given todays Tech, that can land a space rocket back, this has to be doable?

Do we need to call Elon?
That sounds really heavy, dangerous and overly complicated. A 'drone vertical lift system' that can haul up a whole shipping container to a loitering C130 would be a huge machine in it's own right. At that point you might as well give it more range and engineer it as a self contained transport system.
It would be chunky, but I think better than burdening your 400 C130 with VTOL which they would hardly ever use. My idea is to make it modular, so 4 drones per container, you fly them in as the first aircraft(which doesnt land), and they unload the next aircraft. it keeps your C130 efficient in normal use, but meets the demand for VTOL at the point of use.

A VTOL C130 is going to be complex and very heavy.
If you're going to dumb it down that far may as well just do this:

a-c-130-hercules-aircraft-makes-a-low-altitude-parachute-extraction-system-2d6eb9-1600.jpg
 

Fluff

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I cant seem to let go of a 2 part solution, so a 'C130' and a 'drone vertical lift system' to get say a shipping container to the slow and low 'C130'

So effectively a flying container 'truck'.

Given todays Tech, that can land a space rocket back, this has to be doable?

Do we need to call Elon?
That sounds really heavy, dangerous and overly complicated. A 'drone vertical lift system' that can haul up a whole shipping container to a loitering C130 would be a huge machine in it's own right. At that point you might as well give it more range and engineer it as a self contained transport system.
It would be chunky, but I think better than burdening your 400 C130 with VTOL which they would hardly ever use. My idea is to make it modular, so 4 drones per container, you fly them in as the first aircraft(which doesnt land), and they unload the next aircraft. it keeps your C130 efficient in normal use, but meets the demand for VTOL at the point of use.

A VTOL C130 is going to be complex and very heavy.
If you're going to dumb it down that far may as well just do this:

View attachment 659200
I suggested earlier, 'drop your APC in' and burn it when your done, chopper the crew out.

VTOL both directions......
 

yasotay

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Militaries are not overly enthusiastic about burning their own equipment.
 

Fluff

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Militaries are not overly enthusiastic about burning their own equipment.
true, but in purely operational tasks, where there is no road or runway, so SF, this could achieve the aim, without funding an incredibly expensive machine, with high running costs. Trying to think outside the box, if we stick to what we do now, you will get a quadinook.
 

shin_getter

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I cant seem to let go of a 2 part solution, so a 'C130' and a 'drone vertical lift system' to get say a shipping container to the slow and low 'C130'

So effectively a flying container 'truck'.

Given todays Tech, that can land a space rocket back, this has to be doable?

Do we need to call Elon?
I did some research on this idea and:

The key technology that this idea falls under would be mid-air retrieval. With some modern developments, some 26k Ibs payload is considered feasible as part of ULA rocket engine recovery concept. The parafoil used in the planned system has been demonstrated in the X-38. So dropping a C-130 payload and having heavy lift helicopters catch it for a precise and soft landing is considered a solvable problem (at least in good weather)

Having a C-130 catch a 10+ ton payload reliably and managing to handled it into the cargo bay is a currently unsolved problem. An alternative solution is for the C-130 to catch a glider (lifted and dropped by heavy lift helicopter) midair, which it will than proceed to tow the vehicle to the destination.
--------------
These kind of concepts isn't going to do assault landings that go from nape of earth penetration flight into combat ready deployment in record time, but it does enable heavy logistics without an airstrip and require no new powered airframe purchases. Perhaps it can be a training item?
 

Archibald

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Having a C-130 catch a 10+ ton payload reliably and managing to handled it into the cargo bay is a currently unsolved problem.

One thing is sure. If you want to know what it is like to snap heavy payloads midair with a C-130, try the NRO spysats.

Before the digital age that (for the NRO) started in 1976 with the KH-11, film had to be recovered Gemini / Apollo style in capsules (until 1984), with a major difference.

A C-130 snapped the capsule midair and cut the parachute.

Now, the heaviest capsules (from the KH-9) "only" weighed 2000 pounds. According to the pilots however "they jerked the aircraft rather brutally".

This was a round parachute, not a gliding one. Not sure it makes a difference, the brutally of the linking between the C-130 and the payload hanging below the chute relates to their difference in speed - next to zero versus 200 miles per hour (or more, no idea whatsoever about how slow an Herc' can fly).
 
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riggerrob

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Militaries are not overly enthusiastic about burning their own equipment.
Armor made of polyethelene would burn well enough. For faster burning, saturate it with the remains of the fuel tank.
 

Fluff

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How about you drop it from a normal aircraft, electric powered drone's lower it to the ground(storing power) take off is drones plus Elon's rockets to get us up.

Most of this tech is now in existence, its just a matter of putting them together.
 

yasotay

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It's just a matter of getting the idea(s) accepted.

Without acceptance there is no funding.

Ideas without funding is hallucinations. (Known in the DoD circles as - "Conceptus sine phantasia Pecunia")

Given the USAF Inc. has historically deprioritized air/ground maneuver, I'm afraid this entire notion is likely dead by next year.

I would be so very happy to be proven wrong.
 

Richard N

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Militaries are not overly enthusiastic about burning their own equipment.
Armor made of polyethelene would burn well enough. For faster burning, saturate it with the remains of the fuel tank.
I knew a guy who did aircraft crash investigations. Whenever he flew, he only wore cotton and never synthetics. Might have been something he saw.
 

yasotay

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Militaries are not overly enthusiastic about burning their own equipment.
Armor made of polyethelene would burn well enough. For faster burning, saturate it with the remains of the fuel tank.
I knew a guy who did aircraft crash investigations. Whenever he flew, he only wore cotton and never synthetics. Might have been something he saw.
Cotton does not melt and stick to your skin.
 

F-14D

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While I think a VTOL (which would not require sustained powered lift flight, more like the AV-8 and F-35) C-130 type would be a splendid idea and doable with the advances in technology, just to be different, may I offer a skeptical view of what may be behind this?

USAF seems to feel that certain "roles and missions" are theirs by Divine Right. When someone else impinges on them, they have a long and proud history of working to make the thing go away or be stillborn. The vehicle USAF is envisioning here is exactly what the Army proposed for Capability Set 5 of the FVL program, which GEN. Hinote notes they are "following very closely". USAF has made it clear that something of the size and speed of the C-130 falls within what they consider "Theirs".

Is it within the realm of possibility that this is actually a ploy? In other words, they want to forestall Army producing such a vehicle in the decades ahead and argue that they should and likely develop one in that timeframe with which they will do the job? Then, after the Army program is safely dead, they may put theirs into service or just say, "After further reflection we don't think it's worth it after all, have a nice day".

Forgive my Machiavellian cynicism, but we've seen this before.
 

yasotay

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I clearly share your cynicism and have personally been visited by USAF Inc. methods regarding roles and missions. I witnessed the Army JHL effort being handed to the USAF Inc. where the project became JFTL and promptly died a year later at AMC HQ. That said I think that there is a realization (finally) that long straight cement places that are some of the most documented locations in any country are now rather easy to make untenable. Ironically, when pointing out the the USAF Inc. that they liked to trumpet how quickly they could render an airfield inoperative, but believed theirs could not, was usually met with glares for having wrecked their narrative. Anyway I do think that they are now having to look to alternative means of operating forward. They are most likely also looking into more kinetic and non-kinetic means to defend those fortresses. If they are able to reliably and repeatedly demonstrate success in those efforts I think USAF VTOL investigations will go back into the dungeon at AFRL.

To be clear, I have the same respect and love for the men and women of the USAF, who like the other service members go out every day to serve in dangerous places and put themselves at risk. My distaste lies with the career bureaucrats and senior officers who concern themselves with money and deriding other services means toward their own requirements.
 

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The Army keeps taking more and more missions from Big USAF and they're happy to unload cause that frees up their money to be invested elsewhere.
 

yasotay

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The Army keeps taking more and more missions from Big USAF and they're happy to unload cause that frees up their money to be invested elsewhere.
Please enlighten me as to what missions have been "more and more" taken over.
 

F-14D

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I clearly share your cynicism and have personally been visited by USAF Inc. methods regarding roles and missions. I witnessed the Army JHL effort being handed to the USAF Inc. where the project became JFTL and promptly died a year later at AMC HQ. That said I think that there is a realization (finally) that long straight cement places that are some of the most documented locations in any country are now rather easy to make untenable. Ironically, when pointing out the the USAF Inc. that they liked to trumpet how quickly they could render an airfield inoperative, but believed theirs could not, was usually met with glares for having wrecked their narrative. Anyway I do think that they are now having to look to alternative means of operating forward. They are most likely also looking into more kinetic and non-kinetic means to defend those fortresses. If they are able to reliably and repeatedly demonstrate success in those efforts I think USAF VTOL investigations will go back into the dungeon at AFRL.

To be clear, I have the same respect and love for the men and women of the USAF, who like the other service members go out every day to serve in dangerous places and put themselves at risk. My distaste lies with the career bureaucrats and senior officers who concern themselves with money and deriding other services means toward their own requirements.
I agree with your logic. I also favor a C-130 sized VTOL not just to forestall airfield denial but also for the ability to bring whatever as close and as rapidly as possible to the users on the ground.

My cynicism is that as long as there is the possibility that Army will develop FVL CS5, AF will work on their own VTOL while lobbying against Army's program. Should the Army program disappear, I suspect USAF's VTOL will go back to the dungeon.
 

F-14D

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The Army keeps taking more and more missions from Big USAF and they're happy to unload cause that frees up their money to be invested elsewhere.
Unloading missions is not necessarily in USAF's interest. If the mission goes, so does the money associated with it, so it's not available to be invested elsewhere.
 
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trose213

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The Army keeps taking more and more missions from Big USAF and they're happy to unload cause that frees up their money to be invested elsewhere.
Please enlighten me as to what missions have been "more and more" taken over.

HADES seems like a prime example of the Army taking the J-Stars mission away from the USAF.

The Army keeps taking more and more missions from Big USAF and they're happy to unload cause that frees up their money to be invested elsewhere.
Unloading missions is not necessarily in USAF's interest. If the mission goes, so does the money associated with it, so it's not available to be invested elsewhere.

It is, if they are more interested in taking on more missions like ABMS and using the freed up money.
 

F-14D

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It is, if they are more interested in taking on more missions like ABMS and using the freed up money.

ABMS is the replacement for JSTARS, they're not giving up the mission, just changing the platform. USAF decided to not move forward with an E-8C replacement and will use the money planned for that to fund ABMS. If USAF gave up the mission and gave it to Army, which I couldn't see, then Congress would move the money as well so that Army could fund its new mission.

HADES is a less capable vehicle to replace the MC/RC-12, EO-5C and RO-6A, all of which are already in Army inventory. No mission is transferring.
 

uk 75

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VSTOL is one of those ideas that looks great on paper. But look at it in the cold light of day and it starts to be a solution in search of a problem.
The moment your VSTOL lands on the ground it becomes a juicy target. If it does not actually land you might as well drop from something that can make a fast getaway.
In the real world you find secluded airfields and unload whatever has to be unloaded. It then walks, rides or drives to wherever its going in harm's way. The airfields need constant top cover by your own fighters to keep away bad guys as well as SF on the ground by helo to secure them.
This is why the C130 or equivalent is still in service. Rugged, reliable and above all cheap enough to have plenty of them
 

F-14D

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VSTOL is one of those ideas that looks great on paper. But look at it in the cold light of day and it starts to be a solution in search of a problem.
The moment your VSTOL lands on the ground it becomes a juicy target. If it does not actually land you might as well drop from something that can make a fast getaway.
In the real world you find secluded airfields and unload whatever has to be unloaded. It then walks, rides or drives to wherever its going in harm's way. The airfields need constant top cover by your own fighters to keep away bad guys as well as SF on the ground by helo to secure them.
This is why the C130 or equivalent is still in service. Rugged, reliable and above all cheap enough to have plenty of them

A vehicle that has to operate from a place with runways and aprons has to be rather vulnerable as well. Witness Camp Bastion, which was said to be the most secure airbase in Afghanistan. Landing at an airbase and then walking or driving miles and miles to get where you have to be brings its own issues. Few aircraft en route have been knocked down by IEDs.. Plus there is a time issue on gettnig the stuff where it needs to be. Flying from a rear base almost directly (landing in the middle of a battle may not be the best choice) to where the need is does bring its advantages.

A V/STOL C-130-size would be possible given today's technology and opens up a number of possibles. Frankly, given cost of any new craft, V/STOL is to my mind about the only reason to replace a C-130 which is, as you said, rugged, reliable and cheap.
 
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yasotay

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VSTOL is one of those ideas that looks great on paper. But look at it in the cold light of day and it starts to be a solution in search of a problem.
The moment your VSTOL lands on the ground it becomes a juicy target. If it does not actually land you might as well drop from something that can make a fast getaway.
In the real world you find secluded airfields and unload whatever has to be unloaded. It then walks, rides or drives to wherever its going in harm's way. The airfields need constant top cover by your own fighters to keep away bad guys as well as SF on the ground by helo to secure them.
This is why the C130 or equivalent is still in service. Rugged, reliable and above all cheap enough to have plenty of them
I have to disagree with you and agree with F-14D. What is more secluded, and more frequent than open fields? You only need a football pitch sized open area. I would agree that if you are silly enough to keep your large VSTOL in that field for a time, it will become a target. Landing in the field pushing the materials out of the back and leaving for more secure areas is more difficult to target. If it is not, then I would submit that no matter how secluded the airfield it too will become a target in short order. C-130 are great, but even they will quickly render most available landing areas unusable from landing impact and braking. Planning on using short road segments and golf courses fairways (my personal favorite) provide space for 7 or 8 VSTOL to one C-130.

Indeed larger VSTOL are expensive, no way to argue out of that. However if it provides a means that may not be available...
 

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Don't forget the context of theater. Island hopping probably doesn't need a large VTOL when beaches are only a couple of miles away where to land a sizable ground force.
 

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If industry can come up with someting as tough and dependable as a CH47 or CH53 with a bigger lift capability and faster transit speed your points of course are right. But I am not holding my breath
 

yasotay

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If industry can come up with someting as tough and dependable as a CH47 or CH53 with a bigger lift capability and faster transit speed your points of course are right. But I am not holding my breath
Alas, neither am I.
 

F-14D

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If industry can come up with someting as tough and dependable as a CH47 or CH53 with a bigger lift capability and faster transit speed your points of course are right. But I am not holding my breath
Well, that is the goal of FVL CS 4 & 5, but they are well over a decade and a 1/2 away.
 

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It is, if they are more interested in taking on more missions like ABMS and using the freed up money.

ABMS is the replacement for JSTARS, they're not giving up the mission, just changing the platform. USAF decided to not move forward with an E-8C replacement and will use the money planned for that to fund ABMS. If USAF gave up the mission and gave it to Army, which I couldn't see, then Congress would move the money as well so that Army could fund its new mission.

HADES is a less capable vehicle to replace the MC/RC-12, EO-5C and RO-6A, all of which are already in Army inventory. No mission is transferring.

Except HADES will be far more capable than those and supposed to replace the RC-135 job, too. ABMS won't have the persistence that was useful in Iraq, and be more optimized for long distances.
 

F-14D

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When I said let's capable, I was referring to the capability of HADES vs ABMS, not Army's predecessors.

Different platforms for different missions.
 

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