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Thread: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unveiled

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unvailed

    Be that as it may, it's still even uglier than the X-32. Now are you going to concede the X-32 isn't that bad, or do I have to bring out the photos of the Blackburn Beverley?
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unvailed

    Quote Originally Posted by windrider View Post
    It's a boat!, it's a plane! No, it's a Walrus !

    No seriously, I was thinking of modern aircrafts. I actually like the Walrus.
    very sturdy and versatile aircraft, and amphibious. Also the fact that it was this plane that fished downed RAF pilots out of the channel during the BoB.
    It also costs a lot less...

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    Be that as it may, it's still even uglier than the X-32. Now are you going to concede the X-32 isn't that bad, or do I have to bring out the photos of the Blackburn Beverley?
    Well, it is uglier. But you can get away with an ugly flying boat. But a multi-role fighter???? Good heavens no!! Why anyone with Russian or Chinese made gear would be trouble because they'd die laughing at our gallant pilots --whose self-esteem would surely suffer.

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unvailed

    Quote Originally Posted by windrider View Post
    one of the most hideous flying machine ever manufactured !
    I object!

    http://public.blu.livefilestore.com/...and%20P.12.jpg


    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...arter_view.jpg
    Last edited by Egorka; 02-02-2010 at 02:55 PM.

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unvailed

    As usually, I am late, my dear Gentlemen, but as always – better late than never!

    Yes, my dear Mr. Pdf 27, I completely do agree with you, although I have to confess that, unlike you, I am almost constantly disappointed since that hard personal blow I suffered back there in 1972, when I had finally figured out that my personal flying dream-machine, my own flyable goddess, the one and only Lockheed YF-12 A was suffocated by those incompetent Washington bureaucrats.



    Lockheed YF 12A

    I’m sure you know that this old birdie was produced by some old-fashioned engineering perfectionists from the MIT and Caltech. You know... those egg-headed guys with spectacles, which were absolutely convinced that the best way for achievement of aerial superiority is the pure engineering excellence, summarized in those popular verses that were sung during those pleasant off-job hours on the front swing at the Edwards AFB:

    Straighten up and fly right,
    Straighten up and stay right
    Straighten up and fly right
    Cool down, papa, don’t you blow your top!

    Ain't no use in divin',
    What's the use of jivin'?
    Straighten up and fly yours best
    Cool down, papa, and the Bastard will do the rest!


    Oh, yes… those were the days! My god, and a quantity of insufficiently informed people are still blabbering today about certain modern look-down/shoot-down capabilities…

    As always, the main problem was the coursed money – the fact that from the days of the Wright brothers through the present day aircraft costs have been increasing by a factor of four every ten years or so. Viewing that inexorable trend in relation to defense-budget, the former undersecretary of the Army, Mr. Norman Ralph Augustine, made a very disturbing prediction back there in 1980: "In the year 2054 the entire defence budget will purchase just one tactical aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared between the Air Force and Navy three and a half days each per week."

    Levity aside, he - alas - spoke the truth about costs. The trend is absolutely real. And although engineering knowledge is increasing with almost bewildering speed, the saddest thing is that - essentially - any level of performance can be designed into an airplane system, if and only if you have somebody willing to pay the cost. The only problem is that the will is constantly diminishing too.

    But that is not our biggest problem in this story of good and bad engineering, my dear Mr. Pdf 27. Much more serious problem is our constant disregard of rational analysis. You see, despite of its success in the first Gulf War, in which the F-117A was celebrated in almost every way for being able to completely paralyze air defense systems during the opening stages of the conflict, its reputation definitely died in 1999 when an underpaid and underprivileged bunch of Serbian AA buffs shot one down with a vintage Russian radar which was introduced 11 years before the maiden flight of that CNN and Discovery channel celebrity.

    Yes, my dear Mr. Pdf 27 – the main problem actually was the verity that aforementioned birdie was designed and built quickly and unscientifically, because commercialization of the engineering science for cheap and quick gains was and – alas – still is very attractive. Furthermore - even well-rewarding. Not like in the old-school epoch. You know, those products of the Old Engineering School still are with us. For example the Boeing B 52. It is still flying in this very moment. Good old McDonnel-Douglas F-4 Phantom II as well. Not even to mention the Convair F 106 Delta Dart. It was in active use 38 years after its introduction. And you know why? Because in those ancient times ideals of engineering honesty were so high that engineers never walked the streets only to "get the bloody job."

    The patchwork-engineering was and still is celebrated today as an epitome of the constructive ingenuity, and it seems to me that everything somehow started in early with that stealth celebrity in early eighties, which represented the epitome of the shortsighted development strategy. Yes, I know – it is a pretty harsh statement. But, unfortunately, I still do remember those offers for a new player at the strategic hide-and seek game in mid-seventies. They were better. For example, this was Grumman's suggestion for a Mach 2 + bomber/fighter aircraft back there in 1978:



    Invisible Penetrator – Mach 2 + stealth attacker, Grumman Aerospace Corporation, 1978

    The same celebrated principles which are in use today are already present here, my dear Mr. Pdf 27: a minimal cross-section fuselage, curved surfaces for signal deflection, air-intakes shielded by the fuselage and composite materials with non-reflective coating. To foil infrared sensors: shielded exhausts above the wing. That was the work of the Old School. But it was unacceptably expensive for the Department of the Treasury.

    And so, patchwork-design was accepted as the best solution for a highly specialized warplane. The navigation system of the F 117 came from the B-52. The engines were borrowed from the F/A-18. The F-16 contributed the computers and flight control system, and the biggest cockpit display was from the P-3 Orion. The tailpipes were lined with ceramic bricks made from the same quartz-like material used on the Space Shuttle, with all those known problems as well. For example, each tile had to be cemented in place individually, and the seams between them were filled with a putty-like material. Even a small gap could act like a tiny inlet, channeling the already blazing exhaust gas and heating it enough that it would burn through to the metal underneath. But quick solutions were desired. Just like today...

    Yes, my dear Mr. Pdf – technology is improved, but the mental naivety that someone can come up with a cheap substitute to meet every technological and tactical threat is still perfectly vivid. Faced with the task of building a tactical stealth attack aircraft that would cost less than the big, completely specialized one, modern planners came up yet again with the old and youthful concept called "day one stealth". What is the essence of that proposal? For the first missions of the war against an inferior enemy, JSF will be a sufficiently stealthy airplane with a limited offensive load - just like the F-117 - but once the enemy’s defenses are destroyed, it will be loaded with external weapons like the older fighters, and voilà – everything will be just fine and sufficiently cheap as well.

    The only problem is, as the lesson from Serbia demonstrated, that aforementioned concept will be unattainable against an determined and sufficiently equipped enemy for two main reasons. Firstly, the air defenses will be not inclined to get killed on the first night, so they will sacrifice their lethality for their long-term survivability, thus preserving their capability to constantly stalk attackers for a protracted amount of time. The second one is much more important. Application of non-standard, innovative target detection and acquisition methodology will be able to completely revolutionize the antiaircraft defenses and to bury the whole concept of the cheap Police-Stealth Aircraft.

    You know, my dear Mr. Pdf 27, the main problem with soldiers is that, generally, even today they are not trained to think like physicists or mathematicians. Ask them, for example, what they do know about some old pieces of astrophysical equipment called bolometers. Quite astonishing devices, which were sensitive enough back there in 1957 to measure temperature differences in the sky with an accuracy of 10 millionths of a degree of centigrade. Yes – back there in late fifties those devices were capable to measure and to indicate local temperature inconsistencies in the atmosphere caused by a breath from a newborn at 500 meters. With the old, nowadays completely phased-out, but still available Stebbins-Whitford type of bolometer with a liquid helium-cooled niobium-nitride core. You know, if equipped with some specialized optical devices of the Schmidt-Cassegrain type, those old, completely passive and undetectable appliances will be able to detect those supercrusing miracles, which always will suffer from a slightly more intensified air-friction…

    Some completely irresponsible students at the Astrophysical observatory of Belgrade actually tried to achieve something very similar like that back there in 1999, but their efforts were abandoned after the ceasefire, which, they were told, will last. They had some other ideas too, so they abandoned that one they had – to hell with the past. As far as I know, two of them are in the USA right now. One of them is finishing his PhD, so his own story will be available after his marriage.

    BTW: he is going to marry a girl from Texas. You know… no matter how tough things get, she's tougher.

    Well, that’s all for today. In the meantime, as always – all the best.
    Ire Fortiter Quo Nemo Ante Iit!

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unvailed

    Apologies for the short reply - got to go to work in a few minutes...

    Firstly, for me the point where development stopped was with the cancellation of the B-70 in the US and the TSR-2 in the UK. Since then, developments have concentrated on small increments of performance and big ones in electronics, rather than aerodynamics.

    Secondly, I think you're being unduly harsh to the F-117 and unduly lenient to the US/NATO airforces. The design of the F-117 was dictated by the fact that the computational power to work out radar returns from a curved surface simply didn't exist. The flash of genius that realised that faceting the surface would reduce the computational requirements made coming up with a workable stealth design much easier. It was never intended to be more than a large scale technology demonstrator, to find out the uses and limitations of stealth - hence only building about a single squadron.
    The US/NATO airforces treated the Iraqis as competent in 1990/91, and threw the whole shebang at them - the same level of force they would have applied if fighting the Soviets in Germany. As a result, all the F-117 missions were part of a larger plan - involving an awful lot of SEAD assets and massive electronic countermeasures support. They also assumed the Iraqis were competent, so never got complacent. In reality, of course, the Iraqis were a bunch of clowns and hence it was very one sided.
    In contrast, over Serbia NATO had got fat, dumb and happy after an unchallenged 10 years as the world's largest military power. They didn't give the F-117s anything like the support they had over Iraq, and assumed that the Serbs were as competent as the Iraqis - a massive mistake. Frankly I think NATO were lucky to only experience the losses they did over Serbia, and that they only have the decade of sanctions to thank for that...
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unvailed

    I remember reading somewher that the XB-70 (beautiful machine by the way) was worth 3 times it's weight in gold ! I wonder if there is some truth in this...


    HISTORY:
    First Flight
    21 September 1964
    Service Entry
    did not enter service
    CREW:
    (XB-70A) two: pilot, co-pilot
    (B-70A) four: pilot, co-pilot, navigator/bombardier, defensive systems officer

    ESTIMATED COST:
    $700 million (prototype)
    AIRFOIL SECTIONS:
    Wing Root
    0.30 Hex (Mod)
    Wing Tip
    0.70 Hex (Mod)
    DIMENSIONS:
    Length
    185.83 ft (56.69 m) without pitot tube
    192.17 ft (58.63 m) with pitot tube

    Wingspan
    105.00 ft (32.03 m)
    Height
    30.75 ft (9.38 m)
    Wing Area
    6,298 ft² (586.2 m²)
    Canard Area
    415.6 ft² (38.68 m²)
    WEIGHTS:
    Empty
    300,000 lb (136,365 kg)
    Normal Takeoff
    534,700 lb (243,045 kg)
    Max Takeoff
    542,000 lb (246,365 kg)
    Fuel Capacity
    internal: unknown
    external: unknown

    Max Payload
    20,000 lb (9,070 kg) planned for production B-70
    PROPULSION:
    Powerplant
    six General Electric J-93 afterburning turbojets
    Thrust
    180,000 lb (800.71 kN)
    PERFORMANCE:
    Max Level Speed
    at altitude: 2,056 mph (3,310 km/h) at 73,000 ft (22,270 m), Mach 3.1
    at sea level: unknown
    cruise speed: 2,000 mph (3,200 km/h) at 72,000 ft (21,965 m), Mach 3.0

    Initial Climb Rate
    unknown
    Service Ceiling
    77,350 ft (23,600 m)
    Range
    typical: 3,725 nm (6,900 km) [XB-70]
    typical: 6,600 nm (12,230 km) [B-70]
    ferry: unknown

    g-Limits
    unknown
    ARMAMENT:
    Gun
    none
    Stations
    production model designed with 2 internal bomb bays
    Air-to-Air Missile
    none
    Air-to-Surface Missile
    none
    Bomb
    up to 14 nuclear bombs planned
    Other
    none
    KNOWN VARIANTS:
    XB-70A-1
    First prototype that was capable of only Mach 2.5 due to structural and aerodynamic limitations
    XB-70A-2
    Second prototype with a redesigned wing, structural improvements, and improved hydraulics allowing flight at Mach 3, vehicle was lost after an in-flight collision
    XB-70A-3
    Proposed third prototype, cancelled during construction
    B-70A
    Proposed production model; 200 were to be built, cancelled
    RS-70A
    Proposed reconnaissance model; 150 were to be built, cancelled
    KNOWN OPERATORS:
    United States (US Army Air Force)
    United States (NASA)


  7. #22
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    Default Re: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unvailed

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    ...
    The US/NATO airforces treated the Iraqis as competent in 1990/91, and threw the whole shebang at them - the same level of force they would have applied if fighting the Soviets in Germany. As a result, all the F-117 missions were part of a larger plan - involving an awful lot of SEAD assets and massive electronic countermeasures support. They also assumed the Iraqis were competent, so never got complacent. In reality, of course, the Iraqis were a bunch of clowns and hence it was very one sided.
    ......
    In fairness to the Iraqis, I was under the impression that the Iraqi central air defense system was a patched together network of Western and Eastern Block systems. And that it was the French that essentially designed their air defense network--modeling the basic procedures and planning of the French military--and whom trained the Iraqi personnel in said procedures. Therefore, the French as co-belligerents were simply able to largely betray the planning, OPSEC and modus operandi of their previous clients and contribute greatly to the Coalition air campaign in Desert Storm...

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unvailed

    No problem, my dear Mr. Pdf 27 – I have just finished my long-lasting work day, so we are all equal.

    And I absolutely do share your views about that sorrowful factual arrestation of technical advancement in so called "modern" aircraft constructions, although my personal opinion is that - if we are really inclined to stir up that hornets nest - we have to reconsider some earlier events – cancellation of the Republic F 103 project, rejection of the Vickers-Wallis Swallow, or the Myasishchev M-56… But, after all, that is not so important. The most important, and in the very same time utterly sad thing is the fact that some forty or fifty years ago those magnificent engineers did things that most people haven’t even heard of, and yet all those marvelous things remained of absolutely no use. Very depressing, indeed.

    On the other hand I don’t think that my words are exceedingly harsh toward the F 117. For heavens sake, my dear Mr. Pdf 27, the Air Force officials have said in 1990 that "no existing air-defense system can be sure of detecting these planes at great enough distances to intercept or shoot them down", and when that myth was busted they started to blame lack of the computational power! Sweet Jesus - are they claiming now that the CRAY-1 supercomputer, which was extensively used by the F 117 team, and which allowed great data-quantities to be processed quickly and economically and has been invaluable in solving complex calculations on numerous projects was inadequate? But we were told previously that Mr. Dennis Overholser, a software engineer who used that CRAY-1 supercomputer successfully developed a program that could model the scattering from those faceted shapes, and to predict their Radar Cross Section in a reasonable amount of time. Furthermore, we were told that Lockheed had a computer model which could predict the radar signature - something that the competition did not have. Are they claiming now that they actually played Pacman on the CRAY-1 all the time?

    On the other hand, as far as I remember, NATO actually newer hurled all really available forces at Iraq in the First Gulf War. German armed forces, for example, never participated in it. But, strictly theoretically, bigger problem actually is the fact that numerous Western analysts have oversaw the detail that the First Gulf War represented an tactical aberration. Those analysts quite reasonably argued that the initial air strikes achieved not only the air superiority, but even total paralysis of enemy forces, thus allowing for the first time in history administration of the aerial coup de main that brought on the Iraq's defeat.

    However, it was not widely noticed that application of the long preparatory precise bombardments across a broad, constantly mobile front with a continuously changing Schwerpunkt (envisioned mode of the Soviet offensive operation in Western Europe), dictated by numerically overwhelming land forces and much denser air defense environment enlarged with a layered defensive system of radars, SAMs, SIGINT/ELINT devices and a huge manned plane fighter interceptor fleet, is not possible with machines like the F 117. After all, that’s why completely different airplanes, like the Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II and Panavia Tornado were developed.

    And yes, my dear Mr. Windrider – the North American XB 70 Valkyrie indeed was a beautiful airplane. As far as I remember, somewhere in my old papers I do have a blueprint for a stealth low-radar and infrared profile penetrator, which used those magnificent folding wing tips too. Don’t worry - I shall find that project. That’s a promise!

    In the meantime, here is another stealth proposal made by Lockheed. Direct influence of the legendary SR 71/YF 12-A is quite obvious:



    Supersonic Stealth Penetrator, Lockheed – 1985

    My God – what a beautifully streamlined machine! It really is amongst my all-time flying favorites.

    Well, that’s all for today, honorable ladies and gentlemen. Another busy day will start after… 5 hours only! You know, from time to time even Librarians have to take a brief nap to recharge their batteries...

    In the meantime, as always – all the best!
    Ire Fortiter Quo Nemo Ante Iit!

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unvailed

    Quote Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
    For heavens sake, my dear Mr. Pdf 27, the Air Force officials have said in 1990 that "no existing air-defense system can be sure of detecting these planes at great enough distances to intercept or shoot them down", and when that myth was busted they started to blame lack of the computational power!
    Since this statement is also patent nonsense (it is easier to shoot down a plane at closer distances, as it is to detect it, so if this thing overflew a manually aimed gun site close enough it's toast) I personally blame whatever idiot they had as a spokesman, rather than the aircraft.

    Quote Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
    However, it was not widely noticed that application of the long preparatory precise bombardments across a broad, constantly mobile front with a continuously changing Schwerpunkt (envisioned mode of the Soviet offensive operation in Western Europe), dictated by numerically overwhelming land forces and much denser air defense environment enlarged with a layered defensive system of radars, SAMs, SIGINT/ELINT devices and a huge manned plane fighter interceptor fleet, is not possible with machines like the F 117. After all, that’s why completely different airplanes, like the Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II and Panavia Tornado were developed.
    I beg to quibble with this one. It IS possible with machines like the F-117, provided they are not used in isolation, but are instead used as part of a coordinated plan with other aircraft, and on appropriate targets. It may be that there are specific targets that the F-117 can attack with relative impunity, and that these targets contribute to the overall plan. If it can do so with less support than a conventional aircraft, then including the F-117 in the plan is a more efficient use of resources and so enables more damage to be done for a given time period.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unvailed

    XB-70 price : it's not 3 times it's weight in gold, it's 10 times !!!

    (from http://www.unrealaircraft.com/classics/xb70.php)

    In 1958 the project came together, and the aircraft had a name, the B-70. After passing through five separate company design numbers with North American, the B-70 would go ahead as their design NA-278. It would be plagued by a series of structural problems largely related to its ground-breaking technology, and very soon changing government views would threaten the future of the project.

    About 70% of the Valkyrie was to be of a new stainless steel. The interior structure was mostly corrugated sheets, and the skin was a brazed honeycomb sandwich of very thin steel, yet very strong. The parts most subjected to heat were of a material never before used in an aircraft, René 41. Aerofoil surface edges were machined to extreme sharpness.

    The six GE engines were housed in an engine box under the wings, profiled to generate compression lift. On "zip fuel" one engine alone made more noise than any air-breathing engine in history. Development of the two prototypes was to cost around $1,500M, making them the most expensive two aircraft built to that date, and worth, according to one estimate, about ten times their weight in gold.

    In mid-1959, the B-70's future came into question, with enormous expenditure going into missile systems. Manned aircraft were considered in some quarters to be near-obsolete. To make matters more awkward, the expensive boron fuel program was cancelled.

    Then, in December 1959, the B-70 project itself was cancelled, except for completion of a single prototype. The planned first flight was rescheduled from January to December, 1962. It was still hoped that by 1966 an SAC wing might use B-70s if the pro-missile lobby could be persuaded to change their views.

    After a review in 1960, the program was partially restored, and allowance was made for up to twelve fully-operational B-70s to be built, in addition to the prototype. In March 1961, during the Kennedy administration, it was still held that missile development made the B-70 unjustifiable. It was reduced to the status of a Mach 3 research project, with an airframe potentially useful as a bomber. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara promptly cut back the program to three prototypes, which were ordered on 4th October, 1961; but the third was cancelled a few weeks later, leaving only aircraft with the USAF numbers 62-001 and 62-207.

    The USAF tried to keep some promise in the project by changing the role of the B-70 to strike-reconnaissance late in 1962, and temporarily redesignated the aircraft RS-70. They proposed an initial delivery of sixty RS-70s to enter service in 1969 and a further 150 the year after. Apart from a slight flicker of interest from the House Armed Services Commission, it was wishful thinking on the USAF's part, the more so when the existence of the purpose-built Lockheed A-12, which had also been under development since the late 1950s, was revealed to President Johnson late in 1963 and announced to the world in February 1964.

    The first XB-70 was nearly complete in late 1962 when electrolytic corrosion between the various grades of steel used in its structure was discovered. Extensive inspection and rebuilding took up a further two years. In 1963 funding dried up, and the XB-70 project was left to starve, existing only as a research project. The first flight was pushed ahead to late 1963 for the first prototype, and mid-1964 for the second.

    Assembly of the first XB-70A was completed in mid-1963, but solution of a fuel leak problem took another eighteen months. Finally, on May 11, 1964, the XB-70A emerged from its hangar at Palmdale, California. Earlier releases of information had not fully prepared its audience for its size, its sleek lines, and its poised menace.

    The canard design enabled the foreplane to be used to assist with trimming the aircraft across a wide speed range from a minimum 150 kts. (278 km/h) landing speed, up to Mach 3; they could also serve as flaps. The compression lift derived from the shock wave at the front of the intakes was a retained benefit, and apart from boosting lift by as much as 30%, also reduced drag by allowing shallower angles of attack. The tilting wing tips were kept level on takeoff, and tilted down to 25° at low speeds and altitudes. They served to minimise trim changes in pitch. At high speeds and altitudes, they would be dropped further, to 65°, enhancing compression lift.

    A variable-geometry system was fitted to the nose, allowing a ramp forward of the cockpit to be raised for supersonic flight or lowered for a direct forward view. This visor was merely aerodynamic. The cockpit was sealed behind a vertical pressure-bearing flat screen.

    Inside their compartment, the four crew members were provided with airliner comfort and could work in their shirt-sleeves. They sat in cocoon-like seats with clamshell doors which, in the case of pressurisation loss, would provide them with individual sealed escape capsules. The capsules contained their own oxygen bottles and emergency supplies, and basic controls to close the throttles and trim for an emergency descent, whilst monitoring the instruments through a window in the capsule. The capsules could be re-opened at a safe altitude, or rocket-ejected through jettisonable roof panels.

    A single bay between the engine ducts and engines could carry groups of any nuclear bombs used by SAC. The bay had doors which slid open automatically at the last moment before weapon release. Although not part of the requirment, studies were also made into various external ballistic weapon loads.

    On its first flight on 21st September, 1964, the XB-70 was flown by Colonel Joe Cotton and North American's chief test pilot Alvin S. ('Al') White. The aircraft failed to achieve Mach 1 due to an inability to retract the main undercarriage. Number 2 engine suffered foreign object damage; and another fault locked the two left rear main tyres, which blew on touchdown. In general, flight development was encouraging and proceeded much as predicted.

    Both prototypes reached Mach 3 for the first time on their 17th flights, respectively on October 15th, 1965 and January 3, 1966. The XB-70A was flown for the first time using the crew capsule controls on December 20, 1965.

    On 8th June, 1966, aircraft 62-207 was to complete various tasks then pose, with a small group of other General Electric-engined aircraft, for some publicity shots for GE. Al White was to be pilot. As the work load was light, Maj. Carl S. Cross was allowed on board for his first ride as co-pilot. Accompanying the XB-70 were a McDonnell F-4 Phantom of the US Navy; a Northrop F-5 and a Northrop T-38 (both North American crewed); and an F-104 Starfighter flown by NASA pilot Joe Walker, who had flown the X-15.

    The formation was controlled by a GE-engined Learjet, with no radio frequencies in common with the XB-70. Radio messages had to be relayed via Edwards AFB. GE got a number of good photos by 9.30 am. and ended the photo session about 9.35. Apparently against the dictates of common sense, the NASA F-104 was edging up close to the XB-70, finally moving in below the right wingtip.

    The 30° crank-down of the Valkyrie's wingtips generated a strong vortex, and this whipped the F-104 upside-down and across the top of the larger aircraft's wings. It took away almost all of the XB-70's tail fins. The F-104 fell back in a ball of fire; the Learjet resumed picture-taking.

    For some seconds the Valkyrie flew steadily, then began a slow roll, turning into a violent yawing. Descending flat-on to the airflow, a large part of the left wing broke away. Soon after, White ejected in his crew capsule. The XB-70 stopped oscillating and fell, slowly rotating, hitting the ground almost flat about four miles north of Barstow. Why Maj. Cross, with 8,528 flying hours, failed to eject is unknown, and he died in the crash.

    Perhaps unfairly, GE suffered a great deal of ill-will for the incident, although they had done nothing wrong, and for some time it was impossible to arrange PR exercises and aerial photography.

    The surviving XB-70, 62-001, continued to amass research data, largely for NASA. Its last flight was on 4th February, 1969, to the USAF Museum, Wright-Patterson, where it remains, alongside the Convair B-36, the largest aircraft on display.

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Sukhoi T-50 prototype unveiled

    Oh, please - don’t be so harsh toward that poor PR fellow, my dear Mr. Pdf 27. Perhaps he only forwarded that what those specialists have told him.

    Anyway, lack of the computational power definitely is a very bad excuse for a sheer technical negligence.

    And the whole thing about the F 117 is as clear as a bell, my dear Mr. Pdf 27. You see, that dearly beloved coordinated usage of the F 117 is achievable only in a so called limited conflict, which absolutely necessitates:

    - uncontested and uninterrupted first-strike capability;

    - existence of a strictly static air defense system, confined to the defense of key points;

    - continuous aerial superiority over the battle area;

    - total absence of, or continuously effective suppressibility of all counter-strikes on domestic military bases;

    - permanent provision of reconnaissance and combat-protective support by supplementary elements of the air, land and space forces;

    - unbroken functionality of all logistical systems.

    Without fulfillment of all these prerequisites, my dear Mr. Pdf 27, the F 117 – unlike some other airplanes - is completely unable to perform satisfactorily in a real warfare, especially at the Western Theater of Operations.

    Perhaps all this previously mentioned is a little bit too abstract for an average tactician, unequipped with the officially issued "JANUS" military training simulation software. But never mind that – we shall perform some old-fashioned, but strictly rationally based tactical exercises.

    Take a good look at this map:



    GDR – Air bases of the 16th Air Army of the Western Group of the USSR forces

    Remember that Soviet units of the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 20th Guards Air Army, 3rd Assault Air Army, as well as numerous East German, Czechoslovakian, and Polish air forces are not presented on this map, and that French forces are not included in your own multilateral effectives.

    Factual positions of the Warsaw Pact anti-aircraft units are unknown, enemy forces are using an integrated Air Defense System, and first nuclear strike is not an option.

    Please calculate and present to us your viable coordinated plan for a strategic annihilation of the Warsaw Pact forces, which incorporates sufficiently effective and feasible attack of the F 117 airplanes. The 37th Tactical Fighter Wing is completely under your personal command.

    Lt. Gen. A. F. Tarassenko, Generalleutnant von Reichelmann and I will continue to lead defensive forces of the Warsaw Pact in this tiny tactical exercise called Alte Kameraden ’88. So please – show us that integrated F 117 magic.

    In the meantime, here is that already promised old, but incredibly fresh blueprint for a stealthy birdie with those Valkyrie-type folding wing tips:



    Stealth Penetrator – technical proposal made by Dr. Richard Hallion, 1981

    Nice-looking birdie, indeed.

    As always, honorable ladies and gentlemen, we remain at your service.
    Ire Fortiter Quo Nemo Ante Iit!

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