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Your ultimate "What-if"

isayyo2

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In similar vain to the "Biggest mistakes in aviation?" thread, but with more imagination! Take an existing design (plane, spaceplane, ship, helicopter, tanks, etc) and add your own flair to it.

I'll lead the charge -

Bomber: B-60 with 4xT57 P&W contra-rotating turboprops 15,000shp; wing pylons for Skybolt; 120,000lb max Payload; Cruise Speed - 450 knots?

Attack Helicopter: AH-56 with Sikorsky's coaxial "Advancing Blade Concept" GE T408 7,500shp; stretched wings for 10 pylons: 2 wingtip, 2 fuselage. 6 wing; aerial refueling probe; M230 extended barrel - 2000 rounds

Fighter: Cranked-Arrow F-14 with F120 variable cycle engines - 37,000lbf thrust

Tanker/Transport: 747-500 Propfan, nuff said

COIN Attack: Enlarged OV-1 Mohawk, 2xT408 GE, downrated 6,000shp; shares armament with above AH-56 mod, M230 cannon, extended wing etc; "Gorgon Stare," SAR/MTI pod, EW pod; refueling probe
 

isayyo2

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Avro Arrow with scaled down APQ-81 and Bendix Eagle in the internal bay.
Mirage 4000 with EJ200 and a bunch of Meteor AAMs - POD 1977, no Rafale / Typhoon split.
Ah, I can always trust you to hold the utmost in creativity! I've just had another thought...

Bomber: B-47 Modernization 4xJT8D 12,600lbf; life extension for USAF and Mutual Defense partners; Strategic reconnaissance, stand off jamming, cruise missile carrier;
TU-16 equivalent
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Avro Arrow with scaled down APQ-81 and Bendix Eagle in the internal bay.
Mirage 4000 with EJ200 and a bunch of Meteor AAMs - POD 1977, no Rafale / Typhoon split.
EJ200 wasn't ready in time for Mirage 4000 - the XG-40 technology demonstrator that preceded it wasn't even started until 1982. Unless you are thinking M53 for interim.
 

isayyo2

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Avro Arrow with scaled down APQ-81 and Bendix Eagle in the internal bay.
Mirage 4000 with EJ200 and a bunch of Meteor AAMs - POD 1977, no Rafale / Typhoon split.
EJ200 wasn't ready in time for Mirage 4000 - the XG-40 technology demonstrator that preceded it wasn't even started until 1982. Unless you are thinking M53 for interim.
But that's the beauty of this thread! It's all about the wacky concepts a user could think of; diesel Abrams, turboprop Wildcat, Pantobase C-130 etc
 

Archibald

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Avro Arrow with scaled down APQ-81 and Bendix Eagle in the internal bay.
Mirage 4000 with EJ200 and a bunch of Meteor AAMs - POD 1977, no Rafale / Typhoon split.
Ah, I can always trust you to hold the utmost in creativity! I've just had another thought...

Bomber: B-47 Modernization 4xJT8D 12,600lbf; life extension for USAF and Mutual Defense partners; Strategic reconnaissance, stand off jamming, cruise missile carrier;
TU-16 equivalent

In 1966 the SAC retired all its B-47s... and there were still hundred or thousand of them, clogging Davis Monthan storage areas (and making a scrapper busy for an entire decade or more).

Yes M53 as interim engine. Or RB.199 since it was indirectly related.
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

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CVAN-67 with Typhon MR or LR, at least a 3400 element SPG-59 (although, if possible, with a 10000 element SPG-59) with an airwing of TF41-powered F-111Bs and RF-111Bs (providing the same capabilities as the RA-5C Vigilante), and the final Boeing design for the VAX requirement.
 

Archibald

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A-5 Vigilante or A-3 Skywarrior as satellite launchers: 500 pounds of satellite of the deck of any carrier. Enough to launch Transit navigation satellites. Use a mix of Agena and Scout rocket solid-fuel stages. .

In fact a 3-stage solid-fuel rocket 30 feet long and 40 inch diameter could be slided into the Vigilante linear bomb bay and dropped flying at mach 2, 50 000 feet and 30 degree AoA. 1600 m/s substracted out of 9100 to Earth orbit.

A Skywarrior would only provide 1100 m/s but could drop an even larger rocket from its bomb bay.

Project PILOT / CALEB wanted to create a satellite launch capability off Navy carrier decks in 1958; orbital solid fuel rockets would be just another payload / ammunition hanged below aircraft. Unfortunately this idea wasn't pursued.
 

Nick Sumner

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Supermarine Spiteful, designed from the outset for a Rolls Royce Crecy (with cooling problems fixed).
How about a RR Azincourt or Waterloo? (runs for cover)

An X configuration Crecy. A 24 cylinder 2 stroke 52 liter built mostly of cermets so it doesn't melt. Mmmmmmmmm....
 

Archibald

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Nah, according to a reference air-launch document I've found, what matters much more than altitude and as much as speed, is the mothership angle of attack when dropping the rocket. they found it needed to have its nose 30 degree high.
Now I reasonned, the Vigilante linear bomb bay, with the rocket popping out on rails at the rear of the aircraft, would be pretty good at that.
I mean, get the Vigilante nose 30 degree high, and then let just the rocket slide and pop out of the tube, like a submarine torpedo except backward, and just using gravity. Of course it is better to do that with a solid-fuel booster: a liquid fuel rocket may not like the treatment, and go KABOOM because of its propellants sloshing in the tanks... but solid ? no problem. Those things are steel tubes with fertilizer like propellant like rubber.

Now according to this post...
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/a-5-vigilante-conventional-weapon-load.10925/#post-103032

The dimensions of the A3J linear bomb bay are:

Bay Length (from top to expendable tail cone): 32'4"
Fuel Can Length (up to three in bay): 8'4"
Fuel Can Diameter: 2'6"

...quick check of Scout G1 at Astronautix... http://www.astronautix.com/s/scoutg-1.html

  • Stage 2. 1 x Castor 2. Gross Mass: 4,424 kg (9,753 lb). Empty Mass: 695 kg (1,532 lb). Thrust (vac): 258.915 kN (58,206 lbf). Isp: 262 sec. Burn time: 37 sec. Isp(sl): 232 sec. Diameter: 0.79 m (2.59 ft). Span: 0.79 m (2.59 ft). Length: 6.04 m (19.81 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: TX-354-3. Status: In Production.

  • Stage 3. 1 x Antares 3A. Gross Mass: 1,637 kg (3,608 lb). Empty Mass: 352 kg (776 lb). Thrust (vac): 80.796 kN (18,164 lbf). Isp: 295 sec. Burn time: 48 sec. Diameter: 0.76 m (2.49 ft). Span: 0.76 m (2.49 ft). Length: 3.51 m (11.51 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: X-259A. Status: Out of Production.

Soooo... stage 2 and 3 of a Scout rocket - exactly 32 feet long - could be slided into a Vigilante linear bomb bay.

And the whole thing could deliver a Transit USN navigation satellite in orbit, straight off the deck of a Forrestal or Kitty Hawk.


Those birds were merely 300 pounds in weight, average.
 
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Archibald

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I keep a growing list of aircraft, subsonic or supersonic, with bomb bays (or wing pylons) long and wide enough to drop rockets. The list is pretty long and quite... exotic: Vautour, 707, C-141, vigilante, Valkyrie, TSR-2, Arrow... in fact it has become a "pretext" for aircraft porn.

"Get a mythical, doomed aircraft ? want to grant it a long and productive life ? But you need an innovative mission first to save its soul from ugly / bean counter / penny-pinching politicians ? (McNamara, Diefenbaker, Sandys, Wilson - how we hate you !)
...
"hang a small and compact rocket below it, climb high and fast, drop it, and boom: 200 to 4000 pounds into orbit !"
 

Trident

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Perhaps not my ultimate what-if (that'd probably be Rafoon/Typhale) and not conventionally "sexy": a G520-based UAV. It's not a new idea, in that Grob mooted an optionally-piloted version back in 2010 - but here we are more than a decade later and it's still not going anywhere!

The specs in unmanned config compare very favourably to its competitors (Reaper, Heron TP):

Plausible too, given the markedly higher wing aspect ratio and a full UAV without any hooks for manned operation could possibly do even better.

Talk about a missed opportunity - considering the basic aircraft has been around for 30 years, it could have been one of the first UAVs in its size class, if pursued with a modicum of
resolve. Instead it is now unlikely to ever see the light of day, and Europe is totally outdistanced in UAV development, stuck in an interminable cycle of developing bespoke airframes at prodigious cost and then cancelling them :(
 
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Archibald

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Ryan AQM-91 Firefly / COMPASS ARROW.

First "true" stealth, subsonic strategic reconnaissance drone. 100 000 feet ceiling, 4000 miles range - to Lop Nor and back without GPS, only stellar INS.

1966 tech level. Canned by Nixon in 1971 before his visit to Mao.

Who needs Global Hawk or Dark Star, really ?
 

uk 75

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My what-if is rather vague but is not from my well trodden 1960s era.
I have always wanted to see the RAF go to France in 1939 with some decent aircraft. Better yet have a decent RAF in 1936 or 1938.
 

Archibald

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The Hurricanes were fine. The bombers... let's not start about them.
Still light years ahead of France misery... the AAF send 71 Battles bombing that goddam Sedan bridgehead, and a large slice of them were shot down (sigh).
 
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Basil

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In similar vain to the "Biggest mistakes in aviation?" thread, but with more imagination! Take an existing design (plane, spaceplane, ship, helicopter, tanks, etc) and add your own flair to it.

I'll lead the charge -

Bomber: B-60 with 4xT57 P&W contra-rotating turboprops 15,000shp; wing pylons for Skybolt; 120,000lb max Payload; Cruise Speed - 450 knots?

Attack Helicopter: AH-56 with Sikorsky's coaxial "Advancing Blade Concept" GE T408 7,500shp; stretched wings for 10 pylons: 2 wingtip, 2 fuselage. 6 wing; aerial refueling probe; M230 extended barrel - 2000 rounds

Fighter: Cranked-Arrow F-14 with F120 variable cycle engines - 37,000lbf thrust

Tanker/Transport: 747-500 Propfan, nuff said

COIN Attack: Enlarged OV-1 Mohawk, 2xT408 GE, downrated 6,000shp; shares armament with above AH-56 mod, M230 cannon, extended wing etc; "Gorgon Stare," SAR/MTI pod, EW pod; refueling probe

Interesting. Regarding your ideas about the Cheyenne I had the same thoughts - coaxial or alternatively intermeshing (rigid) rotors. Both rotor concepts are better suited for high speed flights because of symmetrical rotor lift.
And for the B-60 - there were turboprop concepts (including a version with transonic propellers).


see Justo's post #8
 
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A Tentative Fleet Plan

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Some suggestions with the same theme:

1)The GBU-20/B Planar Wing Weapon (part of the same Modular Guided Weapons System family as the GBU-15/B Cruciform Wing Weapon) with the addition of the Rocketdyne SR122-RD-1 solid rocket motor used by the AGM-130.

Further developments could include GPS/INS midcourse guidance, and later a replacement of the solid rocket motor with some kind of micro-turbojet.

2)A combination of the GPS/INS-enabled Paveway III LGB with the same MK 78 rocket motor used by the AGM-123 Skipper. It would unfortunately have remove one the attractive features of the AGM-123, cheapness, but the shift from Bang-Bang autopilot control of the control surfaces to proportional control, the control surfaces themselves being larger leading to the provision of more lift and midcourse guidance in the form of GPS/INS (with laser guidance from designator for terminal guidance) could provide a weapon with considerably more kinematic performance than the AGM-123.

3) In @CJGibson's Typhoon to Typhoon, when asked how Brimstone could cope with future developments in Soviet Tank Armour, one of the options suggested by Marconi was to place their Millimetre Wave seeker onto a 1000lb bomb fitted with a guidance kit. Option 3) is to apply the Marconi Millimetre Wave Seeker to the AGM-123 Skipper-inspired Paveway III-based derivative mentioned above, in lieu of the laser seeker, to provide long-range all-weather standoff anti-tank capability, capable of defeating all known AFVs in existence or under development.
 
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Archibald

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Gerald Bull launch a Martlet 4 four stage vehicle into orbit, 1967 - for the centenary of Canada.
First stage: a battleship gun bored to 16.4 inch
Second stage: a 3-stage solid fuel rocket.
200 pounds to Earth orbit.
 

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Archibald

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Better ? the only way to smash that bridgehead was through massive dive bombing...
 

isayyo2

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@A Tentative Fleet Plan Have you seen China Lake's Walleye documentary? I think Skipper is mentioned in it too, there was some head butting between China Lake and the prime contractor? Going off the video there seems to be two acquisitions factions coming out of Vietnam, those that were in favor of "Convertibombs" like Paveway and BOLT, and those that wanted purpose built weapons like Condor and Walleye.

Regardless, bringing back the Skipper with JDAM-er's wings, SBD IIs triple seeker, and HARMs rocket would be a neat "off the shelf" Frankenstein procurement.
 

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Archibald

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Hell of thrust to weight ratio this one would have !

I would prefer a nuclear pulse Wright Flyer-A, however...
 
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riggerrob

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deHavilland of Canada invites Sir Frank Whittle to establish an engine development lab in Eastern Ontario. With adaquette funding and plenty of support staff, Whittle develops his first centrifugal compressor jet engines years ahead of OTL. DHC Mates jet engines to Mosquito. When forced to redesign a new T-tail, DHC solves most of the low-speed handling problems.

DHC adopts Duramold construction techniques, then starts incorporating glass fiber ribbons to strengthen key areas. This leads to DHC leading the world in fiberglass composite construction.
 

Archibald

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Howard Hughes kicks Convair (and the US government) asses in 1953, saying exactly this

"You say Convair is overburdened with military orders and can't licence-build C-102 Jetliners for my TWA. No time, no prduction margins for civilian airliners. Okay... then please explain me what is Convair CV-240 family then ? raw chopped liver ?"
 

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Flying aircraft carriers, starting in the late 20's with airships, then quark propelled, and captained by Rachel Weise.
 

Archibald

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A different atmospheric density... move the entire world effectively up an extra 5km or down an extra 5km... see how the aerodynamics play out for the same rolls.

Swap our globe with Venus (NOT the atmospheres please - just the rocky globe). And voilà, easier SSTOs with chemical propulsion... 1 km/s less on the way to orbit, 8 km/s instead of 9 km/s... with the logarithm stuck into the rocket equation, it would make a HUGE difference - a positive one, which is pretty rare considering how much a giant PITA the rocket equation is... Mars and the Moon (or Mercury) would be even easier but they are uncomfortably too small.
 

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1620208475503.png
Improved M-50, upgraded engines, 250 built operated until 2010, replaced by Tu-160

Upgraded in 1992 with Glass cockpit, Glonass, LCDs and improved ejection seats, re-engined in 1970
 
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