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The F-35: Flying Symbol of Out of Control Bureaucracy

 
 
Reply Thu 27 Aug, 2015 05:08 pm
http://www.voltairenet.org/article185088.html
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 3,855 • Replies: 82
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oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 27 Aug, 2015 11:05 pm
@gungasnake,
The thing about the F-35 is, it is a great replacement for the Harrier jump jet.

It is not a great replacement for any plane other than the Harrier jump jet.

The corrupt politicians who canceled the F-22 should be prosecuted for it. We should then levy a tax on anti-war protesters to pay the costs of resuming F-22 production.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 04:59 am
@gungasnake,
Why are they still building manned fighters at all? They'll just get shot down by drone fighters in the first encounter. Seems like all efforts should go into building more/better drone fighters. Is there some advantage to a manned fighter that I don't know about?
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 05:10 am
@rosborne979,
In theory at least we shouldn't be building more than a handful of such machines at all any more, we should be building infrastructure, exploring our own solar system, and preparing for LIA-2.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 05:30 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
They'll just get shot down by drone fighters in the first encounter.

I am aware of drone versions of stealth bombers. I'm not aware of the existence of drone fighters.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 05:40 am
@rosborne979,
There are a lot of ways to get around automated systems, and realatively high-tech systems. In the 1980s, when the Israelis were bombing Beirut and destabilizing the middle east yet again, the Syrians in the Bekah valley and the Litani valley would fire off volleys of heat-seeking missiles at them. The Israelis installed hardware store grade reel dispensers behind the tails of their aircraft, which cut off 2 inch strips of magnesium which would flare when it hit the afterburner. They'd send one fighter in first to draw off the SAM fire, and everybody else would come in behind him.

Drones can be defeated if they're human controlled by destroying their optics--a bright flare or series of flares like the ones the Israelis used an interfere with the Syrian SAMs would do nicely. A small area EMP generator would wipe their electronics in a heart beat. I doubt that modern AIs are yet up to dog fighting with an experienced pilot. Sending in drones to draw off the enemy drones, and then wiping them with a fuel-air bomb. Human pilots, if they're good, can come in where radar can't see them. You have to see 'em to shoot 'em down. You could mimic the enemy's IFF signals, and the drones would ignore you. Drones would not make an effective CAP, especially against fighters that come in hugging the contour map.

The main reason to send a human in is for making judgment calls. If you try to do that with drones which are human controlled, what's the point of having drones? You surrender any advantage gained through the superiority of control the drones possess.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 10:02 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:
In theory at least we shouldn't be building more than a handful of such machines at all any more, we should be building infrastructure, exploring our own solar system, and preparing for LIA-2.

It would be nice if we could stop spending on the military and start spending on exploration, but I don't expect that to happen any time soon.

I don't know what LIA-2 is.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 10:03 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

rosborne979 wrote:
They'll just get shot down by drone fighters in the first encounter.

I am aware of drone versions of stealth bombers. I'm not aware of the existence of drone fighters.

I thought they had drone fighters in design phases already, but I might be mistaken.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 10:11 am
@Setanta,
The main advantage that I'm aware of with Drones is that they are not limited in maneuverability by the g-forces which a pilot would experience. A human controlled (remotely) drone fighter should be able to easily out-maneuver any manned fighter.

I agree that AI's are not yet capable of replacing human control. All drone systems that I'm aware of are human controlled with the exception of long-range or high altitude recon flights which are run essentially on auto-pilot.

An EMP could certainly affect a drone, but it would have an equal effect on a manned fighter, leaving the biological occupant sitting in a dead piece of metal.

I could be mistaken, but I thought they had drone fighter planes already, or at least in testing.
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 11:27 am
@rosborne979,
In a sense, they do have drone fighter jets. Boeing converted some retired
F-16s to unmanned flight. They are being used as practice targets.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 12:01 pm
@George,
The X-47B is being retired. So I'm guessing they probably have something better to replace it already.

http://storiesbywilliams.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/x-47b_over_coastline1.jpg?w=396&h=221

Quote:
Will The F-35 Be The Last Manned Fighter Jet? Physics, Physiology, and Fiscal Facts Suggest Yes.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddharrison/2015/04/29/will-the-f-35-be-the-last-manned-fighter-jet-physics-physiology-and-fiscal-facts-suggest-yes/
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 12:34 pm
@rosborne979,
If a drone is being teleoperated by a human, you are still, essentially pitting a human against a human, and the pilot in the cockpit of a fighter has much better visibility that a teleoperator depending on a drone. A small, local EMP generated by a fighter air craft, especially if directed, is not going to hurt the hardened electronics of that aircraft. Drones, of course, could be so hardened, but then they become heavier, mitigating one of the advantages of a drone.

The advantage of a human pilot, as i mentioned, is in judgment of the situation on had. Here's a case in point. At the beginning of the Gulf War in 1990, Iraqi aircraft flew off to Iran or Syria, to land there in an attempt to conserve the Iraqi air force. A pilot on the scene could have seen this mass exodus (and, in fact, they did), and turn aside to go after other targets. A drone on AI is not likely to understand that, and give their limited visibility, it is unlikely that a teleoperator would immediately recognize the situation. A teleoperator is not able to turn his head in a cockpit the way a fighter pilot is able to do.

A lot of this discussion is moot, though, since it is principally the United States which uses drones, and our targets are in places like Yemen or Syria where there are not sophisticated defense systems and little likelihood of retaliation. Where you fight and whom you fight matters, too.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Aug, 2015 01:43 pm
@Setanta,
I think Set is generally accurate in this. There's a high payoff in designing drones for high endurance (time in the air) and long range. That means serious weight restrictions and generally less haedening.

That said the expansion of the use of remote controlled vehicles is likely to continue. The Navy has (gasp!) already successfully tested drones in arested landings on carriers. However, it remains to be seen how well they will perform in a rough sea. When the runway is pitching up and down ~ 10 degrees (~ up to 50 feet at the ramp) it's a lot harder to catch a wire or avoid a fireball. Back in the late 1970s we had automatic carrier landing systems, but they worked well only in a flat calm sea - in other words, when you didn't really need them. With any appreciable deck motion the problem was sufficiently non-linear that humans were better at it.

In principal drones can be designed with greater maneuverability than manned aircraft because the human limits on g tolerance are removed. However, here I think Set's observations about pilot operations are relevant. A remote operatior can't see enough to need high maneuverability as he indicated.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2015 05:51 am
@Setanta,
Situational awareness is something I recognize as a great value. I guess it trumps the superior maneuverability of a remotely controlled fighter. Thanks for the info.
George
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2015 07:42 am
Seems to me that with a combination of cameras and monitors you could
create a "Cinemascope" or even virtual reality effect for the operator at the
ground station.

By the way, I hate the word "drone" in this context. I much prefer UAV
(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2015 12:00 pm
@George,
George wrote:
Seems to me that with a combination of cameras and monitors you could create a "Cinemascope" or even virtual reality effect for the operator at the ground station.

The F-35 program is trying to do just that (although for the pilot in the cockpit instead of for transmission to a ground station).

Unfortunately the F-35's sensors only seem to be good at picking out ground targets. So far they are no good at identifying enemy planes in the sky.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2015 12:13 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
The X-47B is being retired. So I'm guessing they probably have something better to replace it already.

The X-47B is not really a fighter jet. It is subsonic. And while I doubt there is public information on how maneuverable it is, I also doubt that it is capable of high-G maneuvers.

I don't think the program is necessarily canceled. My understanding is that it is one of four competitors for this project:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmanned_Carrier-Launched_Airborne_Surveillance_and_Strike

(Note that "Surveillance and Strike" doesn't really include air-to-air dogfights.)


rosborne979 wrote:
I don't know what LIA-2 is.

http://able2know.org/forum/little_ice_age_2/
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2015 12:51 pm
@rosborne979,
I think it is going to be a very long time before any mechanical/electronic system replaces humans. In my never humble opinion, that will be in the distant future, but, of course, i could (gasp!) be wrong.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2015 03:52 pm
@Setanta,
There's a long history of the overreach of technological development in aviation. In the early 1960s the development of air to air guided missiles prompted the development of aircraft "interceptors" - high speed/high rate of climb aircraft that could quickly reach and engage a hostile aircrafty a fairly long range with an intercept missile. These interceptors had limited maneuverability, and soon enough no short range visual weapons at all. In the Navy F-8 fighters were replaced with F4 Phantoms which had high payloads and max speed but limited maneuverabilkity and no guns. The Air Force went farther with F 104 and F106 interceptors - all very fast but more or less useless in short range visual combat. Significantly the air to air missiles proved to be expensive, not very reliable and, very significantly, able to be outmaneuvered by an enemy with good visual contact. That's because the g load required to match the target's rate of turn varies as the square to the velocity ratio of the missile and the target. An intercept missile travelling at Mach 2 will have to pull 6 - 9 times as many "g" s to match a maeuvering target's rate of turn, and they simply can't do it.

Soon enough guns were brought back and the next generation of fighters (Navy F-14s and Air Force F-15s were hightly maneuverable and armed with missiles and improved guns. They were folowed by smaller and more capable Navy F-18s and Air Force F-16 which involverd lighter weight construction and computer aided flight controls which continuously adjusted control effectiveness in flight, based on speed, altitude, etc. to expand the aircraft's maneuverability/stabilty envelope,and which included new design features to improve the pilot's tolerance for high g loads The next step was stealth.

During this development process weapons effectiveness was inproved significantly, reducing the number required and the payloads for which the aircraft were designed. This made for smaller, lighter and again more maneuverable aircraft. The result is that for manned aircraft the tradeoffs here are now a lot more favorable.than they were a generation earlier.

All that said I believe the uses for and applications of drones (or RPVs if you prefer) will continue to grow as newer light weight and compact control technologies advance.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 30 Aug, 2015 03:55 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
There's a long history of the overreach of technological development in aviation. In the early 1960s the development of air to air guided missiles prompted the development of aircraft "interceptors" - high speed/high rate of climb aircraft that could quickly reach and engage a hostile aircrafty a fairly long range with an intercept missile. These interceptors had limited maneuverability, and soon enough no short range visual weapons at all. In the Navy F-8 fighters were replaced with F4 Phantoms which had high payloads and max speed but limited maneuverabilkity and no guns. The Air Force went farther with F 104 and F106 interceptors - all very fast but more or less useless in short range visual combat.

It would be interesting to see which has greater maneuverability, the old Century Series fighters, or the F-35.

I'd not be surprised if the Century Series fighters proved to be the more maneuverable.
 

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