• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Why do Republic aircraft look so similar to Soviet designs? Aesthetic differences between manufacturers.

chimeric oncogene

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
7
The aircraft manufacturers of the 50s and 60s appear to all have had distinctive styles.

North American made really pretty-looking airplanes. The F-100 Super Saber and the F-107, outmoded though they are, still look impressively sleek sixty years later. The F-108 and A-5 were beautifully proportioned aircraft.
Convair was a big fan of delta wings and big noses, and its successor GD also had aircraft with big noses (F-111, F-16).
Republic... made clunky-looking airplanes. The Thunderjet, the Thunderchief, and the A-10 were all highly functional aircraft, but looked... not as nice as an F-100 or F-107.
(this is partially tongue-in-cheek, since requirements drive aircraft exteriors, but you gotta wonder why Republic's birds all looked clunkier than their North American competitors)
 

robunos

You're Mad, You Are.....
Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,807
Reaction score
78
Well . . . Republic Aviation was originally the Seversky Corporation, and the chief designer of both was Alexander Kartveli.
Both Kartveli and Alexander de Seversky were originally from Georgia, the country, not the US State, and Seversky was of Russian descent, so . . .

cheers,
Robin.
 

Silencer1

That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
564
Reaction score
62
How about the name of USSR - Union of Soviet Socialist REPUBLICs?
:cool:
 
Last edited:

Fluff

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
121
Reaction score
41
Red under the bed, and in the design studio....
 

robunos

You're Mad, You Are.....
Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,807
Reaction score
78
On a tangent, in the 1958 film 'The Hunters', F-84F Thunderstreaks are used to represent North Korean MiG-15s . . .
Also, Robert Mitchum's character carries the nickname 'Iceman' . . .

cheers,
Robin.
 

riggerrob

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
492
Reaction score
128
Seversky, Kartvelli and Republic designed their airplanes from the skin in. Back during the 1930s, engineers determined that symmetrical teardrops created the least drag. The Granville Brothers's series of Gee Bee racers are perfect examples of airplanes based upon teardrops that are three times longer than they are wide.
Seversky and friends started with the most streamlined teardrop and drew airplanes inside those teardrops. The simplest way to define fuselage top and bottom profiles was to rotate that teardrop around the crankshaft. Then they added canopies, fins, wings, etc. outside the teardrop.
Republic's P-47 thunderbolt only had egg-shaped bulkheads to accommodate the massive supercharger and all its plumbing. P-47 superchargers are mounted underneath the aft fuselage. That deep fuselage also helps streamline wing roots, eliminating the need for complex, curved fillets (e.g. Spitfire). Teardrops are easier to streamline if wings meet the fuselage near the equator.

When Republic started building jet fighters (e.g. F-84) they continued drawing teardrop fuselages, just lengthening them to accommodate faster flight ( still sub-sonic).

OTOH A-10 is ugly because it was designed from the armament outwards. Republic A-10 Thunderbolt 2 (aka. Warthog) is ugly because it is designed for an ugly job: killing the massive waves of Soviet tanks expected to invade NATO during the Cold War. Tanks ae ugly and covered in armour so thick that few aerial weapons can kill them. Therefor A-10s' primary weapon is a huge, 30 mm cannon.Its six barrels allow dumping the maximum number of bullets in the few seconds that an A-10 can see its tank targets hiding under trees, hills, cammoflage nets, etc. All the other airplane components are wrapped around that massive Gatling Gun. The A-10 cockpit is high and well forward to give the pilot the best possible view when turning in tight valleys. Even the nose wheel is off-set to keep the massive cannon on the centre line. A-10 engines are mounted above wings to reduce the risk of sucking in gravel when flying from rough airstrips. Engines are mounted wide to reduce the risk of a failed engine killing its partner with shrapnel. Twin tails serve two functions. First, they operate in clean air, away from muzzle blast, etc. Secondly, Republic hopes that A-10s can fly home with one tail shot off. Finally, A-10s are not half as pretty as supersonic fighters because they don't need to fly half as fast. As long as A-10s fly faster than tanks, they are fast enough to do the job.

Even the modern Russian Su-25 Frogfoot tank-killer is only pretty from a distance. The greatest aesthetic difference is its shoulder-mounted wings with engines in the "arm-pits." Those low-mounted engines are easier to service, but also easier to kill with AAA. Up close, Frogfeet (sp?) have lumps and bumps, angular lines and flat canopy panels like attack helicopters. Attack helicopters are the ugliest helicopters ever made!
Northrup's tank-killing competitor (AX program) was only marginally prettier than SU-25 or A-10 but would have added lumps and bumps and antennas by the time it entered service.

When North American designed the B-25 Mitchell bomber and P-51 fighter, they learned that it was easy to streamline wing roots as long as they met a slab-sided (square) fuselage at right angles. IOW only included angles less than 90 degrees need complex curved fairings to streamline airflow and reduce interference drag. Slab-sided fuselages are easier to manufacture.

Big noses on F-111, F-14, F-16, etc. are defined by the diameter of the radar antenna.
 

kcran567

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Aug 15, 2009
Messages
664
Reaction score
6
Th Soviets/Russian's thought the Rockwell F-15 was superior to the Mcdonell Douglas F-15, and I read somewhere in interview that the Sukhoi chief designer felt he could build a better plane than the MCd/Douglas F-15, But not the Rockwell F-15.

The early T-10 (Su-27 prototype) even had the gothic wing like the Rockwell F-15.

The Mig-29 and Su-27 seem to borrow from the Rockwell design, maybe the Soviets were fed some of the data? If not, was an influence at the very least.
 

Attachments

chimeric oncogene

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
7
Seversky and friends started with the most streamlined teardrop and drew airplanes inside those teardrops.

they (NAA) learned that it was easy to streamline wing roots as long as they met a slab-sided (square) fuselage at right angles.
Well, that explains a huge amount. You can see it on the Mustang vs the Thunderbolt, and the Saber (especially Ultra Saber, with its squared off engine exhaust housing thingy) vs the Thunderchief.
 
Top