What if the US Navy chose the Vought designs V-1600/1602

helmutkohl

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Vought took General Dynamics design and offered the V-1600, 1601 and 1602
McDonnel Douglas took Northrops design and transformed the YF-17 to what would become the F-18 and won

However in this scenario, lets say one of Vought's design won.
At that time Sec Def, Schlesinger was heavily pushing the Navy to take the Vought design to save money through commonality
(not sure if they expected the F-14 to also switch to the F100/F101 engine yet, but that would also be another area of commonality as the Vought used that engine9

In this alternate history, the US government got what they wanted and overrode the US Navy's wishes.
Vought was chosen (their design was a bit larger than the F-16, in fact its longer than even the Mitsubishi F-2!)
more background info here

if Vought was chosen how would it affect

  • Vought (LTV)'s future as a company? LTV eventually went bankrupt and its divisions disbanded or absorbed elsewhere. I believe some of its aviation divisions were absorbed by General Dynamics. Would a Navy sale keep LTV more financially stable?
  • How would the loss of a Navy order affect McDonnell Douglas? (although at that time they had some healthy F-15 orders and the C-17 the next decade) Would it push the US government to choose McDs in another competition to make up for the loss?
  • What would Finland, Malaysia, Kuwait, and Australia order had there been no Hornet?
  • How would it have performed in the wars the Hornets participated in. i.e 90s Gulf War, 80s Libya crisis, Kosovo
  • Where would it be today as the Hornet eventually gave way to the Super Hornet. Would there be some kind of Super Falcon?


V-1600 model by Leptiprince
img_0010.jpg
 

apparition13

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A couple notes since I have to run:

1. The Vought design was to use the F401, which might be enough of an incentive to get Pratt to get the engine right. Which means the F-14B would also arrive around 1980.

2. With more fuel and a more fuel efficient engine a Vought-16 (or F-18, since that is probably what it's designation would be) would have both more range and more carrying capacity than the F-16. It would be a better attack aircraft overall. The USAF might be interested as well, which could push the F-16 into an Air Superiority role and the Vought-16 into an AF-16 type role.

3. A longer ranged F-16 could do the job the Lavi was meant to, so that program might die on the vine before a prototype.

I'll address other issues later.
 

helmutkohl

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A couple notes since I have to run:

1. The Vought design was to use the F401, which might be enough of an incentive to get Pratt to get the engine right. Which means the F-14B would also arrive around 1980.

2. With more fuel and a more fuel efficient engine a Vought-16 (or F-18, since that is probably what it's designation would be) would have both more range and more carrying capacity than the F-16. It would be a better attack aircraft overall. The USAF might be interested as well, which could push the F-16 into an Air Superiority role and the Vought-16 into an AF-16 type role.

3. A longer ranged F-16 could do the job the Lavi was meant to, so that program might die on the vine before a prototype.

I'll address other issues later.

I had no idea the Lavi had more range than the F-16. I assumed since it was lighter and shorter, the Lavi would have a smaller range.
 

robunos

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A big question, if the Hornet goes away, does the F404 engine go with it? That would impact a lot of other programmes . . .

cheers,
Robin.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I had no idea the Lavi had more range than the F-16. I assumed since it was lighter and shorter, the Lavi would have a smaller range.

I'm sceptical of that. Higher SFC engine, low fuel fraction. Only the giant external fuel tanks seem like features lending to long range. I know John Golan asserts this in his book but I'm sceptical of his reasoning.
 

zen

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Side issue....
If this goes ahead does the MN buy them as Replacements for the Crusader?
 

helmutkohl

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A big question, if the Hornet goes away, does the F404 engine go with it? That would impact a lot of other programmes . . .

cheers,
Robin.
Side issue....
If this goes ahead does the MN buy them as Replacements for the Crusader?

that's right, did not realize how broader a Vought selection would impact a ton of other programs.
Didn't the A-6 also get upgraded with the F404? but I assume that without the F-18 to pushout the F404 development, then there would be F404 for the A-6 upgrade.. or the Singaporean A-4 upgrade, or Tigershark, Gripen, Tejas, and Golden Eagle! Perhaps the other aircraft would have had to make do with EJ200s, or the even the RB199 for the earlier aircraft?

I don't know if the French would have preferred the Vought design. I know they have experience with Vought aircraft, but I am guessing they would still end up with Rafale either way.
 

Archibald

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The usual 800 pounds gorilla withe Aeronavale remains with the Foch catapults. If that naval F-16 weights more than 19 tons then its dead, jim.
Good point about Vought being their darling yet the S.E starts in 1973. Not a lot of money afterwards. The F401 being G.E baby it is loosely related to the CFM56 through F101 core.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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The usual 800 pounds gorilla withe Aeronavale remains with the Foch catapults. If that naval F-16 weights more than 19 tons then its dead, jim.
Good point about Vought being their darling yet the S.E starts in 1973. Not a lot of money afterwards. The F401 being G.E baby it is loosely related to the CFM56 through F101 core.

Erm, no. F401 was Pratt & Whitney. Common core with F100.
 

zen

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Weight looks ok for Fighter Missions. Limit Attack missions possible.
Depending on which version wins.
 

apparition13

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Ok, other questions;
  • Vought (LTV)'s future as a company? LTV eventually went bankrupt and its divisions disbanded or absorbed elsewhere. I believe some of its aviation divisions were absorbed by General Dynamics. Would a Navy sale keep LTV more financially stable?
  • How would the loss of a Navy order affect McDonnell Douglas? (although at that time they had some healthy F-15 orders and the C-17 the next decade) Would it push the US government to choose McDs in another competition to make up for the loss?
  • What would Finland, Malaysia, Kuwait, and Australia order had there been no Hornet?
  • How would it have performed in the wars the Hornets participated in. i.e 90s Gulf War, 80s Libya crisis, Kosovo
  • Where would it be today as the Hornet eventually gave way to the Super Hornet. Would there be somkind of Super Falcon?
1. I suspect it would have kept LTV viable longer. Enough to prevent it being absorbed by something else I don't know.

2. The next competitions were A-12 and ATF/NATF. MD was on the 'winning' side in the A-12. If the USAF was concerned about its viability it might tip the scales toward the F-23 over the F-22. I don't know how viable Lockheed would be without the F-22, but an F-23 might impact the JSF program as well if Lockheed drops out of fighters. Since LTV was working on tandem-fans, and I've read the Lockheed lift-fan was a tandem fan simplified, LTV might be the one in the driver's seat for the JSF.

3. The Vought-16 would make more sense than the F-16 where range is a priority - Australia, Canada, Malaysia, while where range is less of an issue the F-16 would likely make more sense.

4. As well or slightly better, given it should have better range and thus need less tanker support.

5. It might lead to the Super-Tomcat instead, if the contention that the F-18 lobby is what led to the Super-Bug being preferred to the Super-Tomcat. If there is a Super-V1600, what I'd like to see would be a Himat-F16xl hypbrid with an F119/F120 engine (F120 might be in play if ATF goes F-23). That would be able to meet the requirements that had to be 'relaxed' for the SuperBug. But a larger version of the V1600 is more likely, although a larger V1600 might be big enough for an F119, which it would need to get the thrust gain a bigger airframe would need. Which might make the Super-Tomcat more attractive as the less risky (proven engine) option.
 

1635yankee

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A big question, if the Hornet goes away, does the F404 engine go with it? That would impact a lot of other programmes . . .

cheers,
Robin.
Side issue....
If this goes ahead does the MN buy them as Replacements for the Crusader?

that's right, did not realize how broader a Vought selection would impact a ton of other programs.
Didn't the A-6 also get upgraded with the F404? but I assume that without the F-18 to pushout the F404 development, then there would be F404 for the A-6 upgrade.. or the Singaporean A-4 upgrade, or Tigershark, Gripen, Tejas, and Golden Eagle! Perhaps the other aircraft would have had to make do with EJ200s, or the even the RB199 for the earlier aircraft?

I don't know if the French would have preferred the Vought design. I know they have experience with Vought aircraft, but I am guessing they would still end up with Rafale either way.
The A-6F was to have the F404 engine, but that program was killed due to expense (and the abortive A-12 Dorito Chip).

In any case, no F-18, no F404 engine. On the other hand, the RB.199 still gets made for the Tornado, and that would fit quite nicely in any application for the F404.

As an aside, P&WA didn't get very far with F401 development; it was terminated quite early in the development cycle.
 

F-14D

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As an aside, P&WA didn't get very far with F401 development; it was terminated quite early in the development cycle.

It got as far as flying hardware - powering an F-14 prototype and the XFV-12. That's not that early in my view.
I dunno; I might side with 1635yankee on this call.


In the case of the F401 in the F-14B, those were developmental models and while the Navy got good data on what the F-14 might do if given the thrust it was designed for, they helped convince the Navy that the F401 wasn't ready for prime time and Navy couldn't afford to pay what it would cost to bring it to spec.

n the case of the XFV-12, that plane only "flew" for a few hours. I put "flew" in quotes because it was on a tether since there was not enough thrust available for vertical flight (fault of the design, not necessarily the engine).

1625000891875.png
 

F-14D

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Could someone enlighten me on something?

I have read that to get the desired range, part of theV-160x design involved an internal fuel tank wrapped around part of the intake. That would be very "interesting" if a bullet went clean through that alleged tank and suddenly you were pouring raw fuel down the intake of an operating jet engine.

Anyone know if that factoid is true or just an urban legend?
 

Foo Fighter

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The F-16 XL would have been an interesting solution but the problems mentioned make it just that, an interesting discussion.
 

helmutkohl

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Ok, other questions;
  • Vought (LTV)'s future as a company? LTV eventually went bankrupt and its divisions disbanded or absorbed elsewhere. I believe some of its aviation divisions were absorbed by General Dynamics. Would a Navy sale keep LTV more financially stable?
  • How would the loss of a Navy order affect McDonnell Douglas? (although at that time they had some healthy F-15 orders and the C-17 the next decade) Would it push the US government to choose McDs in another competition to make up for the loss?
  • What would Finland, Malaysia, Kuwait, and Australia order had there been no Hornet?
  • How would it have performed in the wars the Hornets participated in. i.e 90s Gulf War, 80s Libya crisis, Kosovo
  • Where would it be today as the Hornet eventually gave way to the Super Hornet. Would there be somkind of Super Falcon?
1. I suspect it would have kept LTV viable longer. Enough to prevent it being absorbed by something else I don't know.

2. The next competitions were A-12 and ATF/NATF. MD was on the 'winning' side in the A-12. If the USAF was concerned about its viability it might tip the scales toward the F-23 over the F-22. I don't know how viable Lockheed would be without the F-22, but an F-23 might impact the JSF program as well if Lockheed drops out of fighters. Since LTV was working on tandem-fans, and I've read the Lockheed lift-fan was a tandem fan simplified, LTV might be the one in the driver's seat for the JSF.

3. The Vought-16 would make more sense than the F-16 where range is a priority - Australia, Canada, Malaysia, while where range is less of an issue the F-16 would likely make more sense.

4. As well or slightly better, given it should have better range and thus need less tanker support.

5. It might lead to the Super-Tomcat instead, if the contention that the F-18 lobby is what led to the Super-Bug being preferred to the Super-Tomcat. If there is a Super-V1600, what I'd like to see would be a Himat-F16xl hypbrid with an F119/F120 engine (F120 might be in play if ATF goes F-23). That would be able to meet the requirements that had to be 'relaxed' for the SuperBug. But a larger version of the V1600 is more likely, although a larger V1600 might be big enough for an F119, which it would need to get the thrust gain a bigger airframe would need. Which might make the Super-Tomcat more attractive as the less risky (proven engine) option.

if the Vought-16 had that much more range and carrying ability

i wonder if the F-16XL will get made, or if General Dynamics/Vought would use the V-16 as the participating model against the F-15E

also whether Japan would buy the Vought-16 or keep going on with their own F-2

i've heard the general criticism of Vought's model being
1. increased strike of the tail end when landing due to the placement of the landing gears
2. weight increase potential, as the Navy felt that once they started adding heavier missiles and weapons with heavier pylons, the Vought design was compromised.
 

F-14D

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The F-16 XL would have been an interesting solution but the problems mentioned make it just that, an interesting discussion.
Would have been very expensive to develop; that's the reason the F-15E was chosen over the -16XL: much cheaper to develop and could be fielded sooner. Navy version would have been even worse, plus it's questionable whether it would have been able to fly the carrier approach.

It's an academic point anyway. The Navy selected the Hornet on May 2, 1975. GD didn't even start designing the SCAMP, which would morph into the F-16XL, until two years later and the XL didn't even fly until 1982, four years after the Hornet. So the XL concept was too late to be of interest or use to the Navy.
 

apparition13

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if the Vought-16 had that much more range and carrying ability
It could be a bit better than the F-14. I read an interesting quote about the F110 equipped F-14 and F-16 that went something like the F-14 has twice the engines of the F-16, is twice the weight, and carries twice the fuel. The end result being they had similar performance in a lot of ways.

The V-16 would have half the engines of the F-14B (F401s), but weigh something more than half the weight and carry 10k* pounds of fuel internal rather than the 7000 of the F-16. Add in the fact that the F401 has better a dry SFC, and it should have better range than the F-16. More fuel per engine might also give it longer range than the F-14, controlling for weight and drag of ordnance of course. I haven't seen actual numbers to back that up though, so 'grain of salt' as it were.

*The F-16xl had 82% more internal fuel, or 12,700 or so pounds by way of comparison. The F-2 is just over 8000 pounds (1225 gallons, assuming 6.7lbs/gal for the fuel, which should be in the neighborhood of the actual density of the fuel).
 

zen

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However had the Vought 526 succeeded instead, this resolves the undercarriage issue by moving them into the wings.

Which would make a -XL version quite interesting.

Would also free the fusilage to take semi-recessed AAMs.
 

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