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Aviation set back 20 years when we didnt build the B-70

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  • logical1
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Dec 2012
    • 160

    Aviation set back 20 years when we didnt build the B-70

    IMO aviation was set back 20 years when the B-70 was cancelled. Kennedy cancelled it, but it was the fool McNamara that was behind the cancellation. The excuse given was Russian missiles would shoot it down. That was of course hog wash. Look how long the SR-71 flew and was never hit by a Russian missile or one from any other country. Besides that as cruise missiles were developed that the B-70 could have carried, it would still be a viable weapon platform yet today.

    In addition with all the thousands of hours experience of supersonic flight, we would probably have fleets of supersonic passenger aircraft.
  • Sundog
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jul 2003
    • 185

    #2
    Originally posted by logical1 View Post
    IMO aviation was set back 20 years when the B-70 was cancelled. Kennedy cancelled it, but it was the fool McNamara that was behind the cancellation. The excuse given was Russian missiles would shoot it down. That was of course hog wash. Look how long the SR-71 flew and was never hit by a Russian missile or one from any other country. Besides that as cruise missiles were developed that the B-70 could have carried, it would still be a viable weapon platform yet today.

    In addition with all the thousands of hours experience of supersonic flight, we would probably have fleets of supersonic passenger aircraft.
    Technology wasn't set back and, yes, missiles could shoot it down. It's RADAR signature was huge compared to the SR-71's, the first manned aircraft developed with the LO Tech. It's support costs also would have been enormous as well. As history shows, we did just fine without it. The main reason we didn't need the XB-70 was due to the excellent design and engineering put into the B-52. Also, when it comes to being a cruise missile carrier, the B-52 was a much better platform for that mission than the XB-70 ever would have been.

    Comment

    • logical1
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Dec 2012
      • 160

      #3
      Originally posted by Sundog View Post
      Technology wasn't set back and, yes, missiles could shoot it down. It's RADAR signature was huge compared to the SR-71's, the first manned aircraft developed with the LO Tech. It's support costs also would have been enormous as well. As history shows, we did just fine without it. The main reason we didn't need the XB-70 was due to the excellent design and engineering put into the B-52. Also, when it comes to being a cruise missile carrier, the B-52 was a much better platform for that mission than the XB-70 ever would have been.
      So you are telling me that the lumbering B-52 is just fine, but that the B-70 that would have flown 4 times as fast and more than half again higher, would have been easier to shoot down? Im pretty sure the radar signature of the B-52 and the B-70 would be approx the same.

      Comment

      • logical1
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Dec 2012
        • 160

        #4
        Remember too that at the 80,000 feet or so that the B-70 could fly, missiles probably couldnt stay with it in a turn. The B-70 had the advantage of compression lift, and a huge wing area. I suggest if a missile got close all the B_70 pilot would have to do is bank into a tight turn that the missile with its small fins couldnt match.

        Further later on the B-70 could mount a fast attack, stand off and drop it cruise missiles, and return to base.

        Comment

        • obligatory
          Senior Member
          • Oct 2008
          • 7043

          #5
          the speed & height of B-70 would give it such a throw range that the only thing making sense is glide bombs,
          to at least partially offset operational cost

          Comment

          • Andraxxus
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Sep 2012
            • 953

            #6
            SR-71 example and logic behind that to support B-70 is severely flawed. Since shooting down of U2 caused a major political embarasment, no recon flight -incluing ALL SR-71 flights- crossed into Soviet Territory. There are several dozen stories on Soviet site and some on US side, that SR-71 was tracked, intercepted and locked on by MiG-25 and MiG-31s; and according to Soviet side "with orders to live fire missile should aircraft cross the border" In fact, MiG-31 pilot Mikhail Myagkiy claims SR-71 has no chance to maneuver and avoid a R-33 missile at altitude. Personally, I would agree on that assesment given the thin air at 70k+ feet, combined with low G limit and high speed of SR-71. So SR-71's speed and altitude giving immunity to MiG-31 intercepts is not actually tested.

            If we are talking about theory, MiG-25 is purposely designed to intercept B-70. Its kinematics, avoinics and missiles are purpose designed to shoot down B-70 and similar M3.0+ targets at 75k+ feet altitudes. Since it entered service with this single mission and purpose, I dare say its foolish to even think that B-70's (or SR-71's) speed or altitude will grant immunity to MiG-25.

            (As for fin comment, surely missile engineers are not idiots, R-33 or other missiles with high altitude priority (AIM-54, R-40) don't have small fins, with booster used up, and its sustainer half deplated, those missiles should have less wing loading than an F-16, and 5+ times G limit of SR-71, B-70 or similar aircraft.)

            In my opinion;

            -If MiG-25/R-40 was unfit to intercept B-70 or similar aircraft, it wouldn't have entered service. It would have been redesigned, or would be a totally different aircraft/missile. If MiG-25 entered into active service as it is, then MiG-25 as a system meets its requirements to intercept high-supersonic bomber aircraft.

            -If B-70's purpose was to penetrate soviet air defences. It was cancelled, because it was unfit to fulfill this task. This is also stated both by customer USAF and manufacturer Lockheed on different occassions.

            -If SR-71 was truly immune to Soviet air defenses, then Soviet air force would have requested an interceptor better than MiG-25 or a SAM better than S-200. Or at the very least, a nuclear-warhead version of R-40 missiles would have been fielded. Likewise, USAF would be hanging nukes, not cameras underneath their SR-71s, or least they would have ordered such variant, to use this capability.

            Comment

            • TomcatViP
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Nov 2011
              • 6124

              #7
              Actually there was a "B71" or more precisely a B12 bomber project. The project might even have been more serious at LM SkWrk than the YF12.
              The complexity yielded in such an equation (medium size fast cruise, safety carriage of nukes, long range and targeting systems ) was too much at the time or too less in achievable performances in regards to what was already on the tarmacs (B58). Even in the 90's (30 years latter) it seems to have been a harsh goal (see the FB22/23) on a cost effective way.
              Last edited by TomcatViP; 22nd October 2015, 03:38.

              Comment

              • J Boyle
                With malice towards none
                • Oct 2004
                • 9812

                #8
                Originally posted by Andraxxus View Post
                Or at the very least, a nuclear-warhead version of R-40 missiles would have been fielded. Likewise, USAF would be hanging nukes, not cameras underneath their SR-71s, or least they would have ordered such variant, to use this capability.
                Would they use a nuke over their own territory to destroy an unarmed recce aircraft? Probably not, but coming from a regime that was that paranoid, perhaps.
                There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                Comment

                • obligatory
                  Senior Member
                  • Oct 2008
                  • 7043

                  #9
                  US blew off some nukes just next to Las Vegas at ground level,
                  far more dirty and far more powerful than those intended to knock down an a/c

                  Comment

                  • TooCool_12f
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Dec 2009
                    • 3323

                    #10
                    Not to speak that the US had the AIR-2 Genie in their arsenal up to 1985

                    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIR-2_Genie


                    And it was to be used in defence of the USA - over american soil

                    Comment

                    • mig-31bm
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Oct 2013
                      • 2110

                      #11
                      Originally posted by logical1 View Post
                      Remember too that at the 80,000 feet or so that the B-70 could fly, missiles probably couldnt stay with it in a turn. The B-70 had the advantage of compression lift, and a huge wing area. I suggest if a missile got close all the B_70 pilot would have to do is bank into a tight turn that the missile with its small fins couldnt match.

                      Further later on the B-70 could mount a fast attack, stand off and drop it cruise missiles, and return to base.
                      Iam not sure about AIM-54 and R-40 but something like AIM-120 have massive wingloading
                      AIM-120C have body diameter of 178 mm and total wing span of 445 mm ( 0.445 meters ) http://www.cat-uxo.com/#/aim-120-amr...ile/4588084065
                      which mean the span of each fin is ( 445-178)/2 = 133.5 mm ( 0.133 meters )
                      This is AIM-120C fin

                      here is the fin size relative to the total body


                      The photos shows that Aim-120's fin have trapezoid shape ,
                      For the rear fin : the big base length is around 2.5 times the height
                      the small base length is around 1.5 times the height
                      the height (wing span ) as we measured earlier is around 0.133 meters , so the big base is 0.3325 meters , small base is 0.1995 meters
                      Solve for area we get 0.035 m2 for each rear fin


                      For the frontal fin : the big base length is around 2 times the height
                      the small base length is around 0.5 times the height
                      the height is 0.133 meters so the big base is 0.266 meters , small base is 0.0665 meters
                      solve for area we get 0.022 m2 for each frontal fin


                      to sum up total fin area for AIM-120 is :
                      0.035*2 + 0.022*2 = 0.114 m2

                      AIM-120 total weight is 152 kg , The motor assembly weighs 70.3 kg and contains 49 kg of solid propellant. At burn out the AIM-120 will have weight of 103 kg
                      So the total wing loading of AIM-120 at burn out is 103/0.114 = 903 kg/m2

                      thinking about it something like MICA can AIM-9L would be much better than AIM-120 at high altitude ,massive fin , light weight ,they may have smaller rocket motor but air is thin at high altitude so that probably wouldnt be a problem
                      Last edited by mig-31bm; 22nd October 2015, 08:03.

                      Comment

                      • BarnesW
                        Senior Member
                        • Aug 2015
                        • 503

                        #12
                        Originally posted by logical1 View Post
                        IMO aviation was set back 20 years when the B-70 was cancelled. Kennedy cancelled it, but it was the fool McNamara that was behind the cancellation. The excuse given was Russian missiles would shoot it down. That was of course hog wash. Look how long the SR-71 flew and was never hit by a Russian missile or one from any other country. Besides that as cruise missiles were developed that the B-70 could have carried, it would still be a viable weapon platform yet today.

                        In addition with all the thousands of hours experience of supersonic flight, we would probably have fleets of supersonic passenger aircraft.
                        The SR-71 skirted around the outside of Russian territory, the B-70 would have had to fly over it. Ballistic missiles were simply a faster, more reliable delivery method. The SR-71 was not untouchable either, it had a very lucky escape over the Korean DMZ and was only saved by a dodgy proximity fuse as an SA-2 flew straight past it within a few feet.

                        Originally posted by logical1 View Post
                        So you are telling me that the lumbering B-52 is just fine, but that the B-70 that would have flown 4 times as fast and more than half again higher, would have been easier to shoot down? Im pretty sure the radar signature of the B-52 and the B-70 would be approx the same.
                        The B-52 launches VLO, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles from 2,000nm outside enemy territory, so speed, altitude and stealth are largely irrelevant.

                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-129_ACM

                        Originally posted by logical1 View Post
                        Remember too that at the 80,000 feet or so that the B-70 could fly, missiles probably couldnt stay with it in a turn. The B-70 had the advantage of compression lift, and a huge wing area. I suggest if a missile got close all the B_70 pilot would have to do is bank into a tight turn that the missile with its small fins couldnt match.

                        Further later on the B-70 could mount a fast attack, stand off and drop it cruise missiles, and return to base.
                        An SA-5 travelling at Mach 7.5 could certainly out-turn it at any altitude.
                        Last edited by BarnesW; 22nd October 2015, 09:01.

                        Comment

                        • BarnesW
                          Senior Member
                          • Aug 2015
                          • 503

                          #13
                          Originally posted by J Boyle View Post
                          Would they use a nuke over their own territory to destroy an unarmed recce aircraft? Probably not, but coming from a regime that was that paranoid, perhaps.
                          The problems of using nukes over your own territory are not just fallout but EMP. Many US ABMs like the Nike Hercules and Nike Zeus were scrapped because of this problem following the Starfish Prime experiments.

                          Comment

                          • Levsha
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jan 2006
                            • 2856

                            #14
                            Originally posted by logical1 View Post
                            IMO aviation was set back 20 years when the B-70 was cancelled. Kennedy cancelled it, but it was the fool McNamara that was behind the cancellation. The excuse given was Russian missiles would shoot it down. That was of course hog wash. Look how long the SR-71 flew and was never hit by a Russian missile or one from any other country. Besides that as cruise missiles were developed that the B-70 could have carried, it would still be a viable weapon platform yet today.

                            In addition with all the thousands of hours experience of supersonic flight, we would probably have fleets of supersonic passenger aircraft.
                            Aviation certainly was not set back 20 years with the cancellation of the B-70. Spending on R&D in aerospace still continued after the B-70. Boeing 747 and Lockheed L-1101 were flying around with engines in the early 1970s as sophisticated as the J93 fitted to the B-70. Did the J93 even have a FADEC system fitted?
                            Last edited by Levsha; 22nd October 2015, 10:03.

                            Comment

                            • Levsha
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Jan 2006
                              • 2856

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Andraxxus View Post
                              SR-71 example and logic behind that to support B-70 is severely flawed. Since shooting down of U2 caused a major political embarasment, no recon flight -incluing ALL SR-71 flights- crossed into Soviet Territory. There are several dozen stories on Soviet site and some on US side, that SR-71 was tracked, intercepted and locked on by MiG-25 and MiG-31s; and according to Soviet side "with orders to live fire missile should aircraft cross the border" In fact, MiG-31 pilot Mikhail Myagkiy claims SR-71 has no chance to maneuver and avoid a R-33 missile at altitude. Personally, I would agree on that assesment given the thin air at 70k+ feet, combined with low G limit and high speed of SR-71. So SR-71's speed and altitude giving immunity to MiG-31 intercepts is not actually tested.

                              If we are talking about theory, MiG-25 is purposely designed to intercept B-70. Its kinematics, avoinics and missiles are purpose designed to shoot down B-70 and similar M3.0+ targets at 75k+ feet altitudes. Since it entered service with this single mission and purpose, I dare say its foolish to even think that B-70's (or SR-71's) speed or altitude will grant immunity to MiG-25.

                              (As for fin comment, surely missile engineers are not idiots, R-33 or other missiles with high altitude priority (AIM-54, R-40) don't have small fins, with booster used up, and its sustainer half deplated, those missiles should have less wing loading than an F-16, and 5+ times G limit of SR-71, B-70 or similar aircraft.)

                              In my opinion;

                              -If MiG-25/R-40 was unfit to intercept B-70 or similar aircraft, it wouldn't have entered service. It would have been redesigned, or would be a totally different aircraft/missile. If MiG-25 entered into active service as it is, then MiG-25 as a system meets its requirements to intercept high-supersonic bomber aircraft.

                              -If B-70's purpose was to penetrate soviet air defences. It was cancelled, because it was unfit to fulfill this task. This is also stated both by customer USAF and manufacturer Lockheed on different occassions.

                              -If SR-71 was truly immune to Soviet air defenses, then Soviet air force would have requested an interceptor better than MiG-25 or a SAM better than S-200. Or at the very least, a nuclear-warhead version of R-40 missiles would have been fielded. Likewise, USAF would be hanging nukes, not cameras underneath their SR-71s, or least they would have ordered such variant, to use this capability.
                              Neither the R-40 or R-33 missile nor the the S-200 missile have any proven ability to shoot down Mach 3+ targets flying at 70,000 feet, never mind 85,000 feet which is the cruise altitude of the SR-71. Both MiG-25 and S-200 were no doubt accepted in to Soviet service for their exceptional long range.

                              -If SR-71 was truly immune to Soviet air defenses, then Soviet air force would have requested an interceptor better than MiG-25 or a SAM better than S-200. Or at the very least, a nuclear-warhead version of R-40 missiles would have been fielded. Likewise, USAF would be hanging nukes, not cameras underneath their SR-71s, or least they would have ordered such variant, to use this capability.
                              Well, S-300 missile could certainly shoot down SR-71, and it was in service by the early 1980s - that was probably good enough for the Soviets. The SR-71 was no real military threat to the Soviet Union, it carried cameras not nukes.

                              Comment

                              • BarnesW
                                Senior Member
                                • Aug 2015
                                • 503

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Levsha View Post
                                Neither the R-40 or R-33 missile nor the the S-200 missile have any proven ability to shoot down Mach 3+ targets flying at 70,000 feet, never mind 85,000 feet which is the cruise altitude of the SR-71. Both MiG-25 and S-200 were no doubt accepted in to Soviet service for their exceptional long range.
                                That doesn't mean they can't though. As I stated above only a proximity fuse issue prevented an SR-71 being taken out by an SA-2 over the Korean DMZ.

                                Comment

                                • Levsha
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Jan 2006
                                  • 2856

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by BarnesW View Post
                                  That doesn't mean they can't though. As I stated above only a proximity fuse issue prevented an SR-71 being taken out by an SA-2 over the Korean DMZ.


                                  Developing a proximity fuse that was up to the job of shooting down an SR-71 is always going to be the main design issue for such a missile. If the S-75 had any realistic chance of hitting the SR-71, it would have. Have you any idea howmany S-75s were fired at the SR-71 - some people say hundreds.

                                  BTW, I am not saying that an S-75 could not shoot down a Blackbird, just that the chances against it are slim.

                                  Comment

                                  • BarnesW
                                    Senior Member
                                    • Aug 2015
                                    • 503

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Levsha View Post
                                    Developing a proximity fuse that was up to the job of shooting down an SR-71 is always going to be the main design issue for such a missile. If the S-75 had any realistic chance of hitting the SR-71, it would have. Have you any idea howmany S-75s were fired at the SR-71 - some people say hundreds.

                                    BTW, I am not saying that an S-75 could not shoot down a Blackbird, just that the chances against it are slim.
                                    Well the US weren't too confident about the ability of the SR-71 to avoid SA-5s, which is why they always skirted the peripheries of the USSR. I think that SR-71 just got very lucky and don't forget the SA-5 had an ARH head unlike the SA-2, so in similar circumstances an SA-5 would probably score a direct hit, making the proximity fuse irrelevant.

                                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-200_(missile)

                                    The system utilises radio semi active guidance with mid-course correction and has, for the first time in a Russian system, terminal active radar homing, which is far more accurate at long range than the command guidance method used by the S-75 Dvina and other missiles.
                                    Last edited by BarnesW; 22nd October 2015, 11:35.

                                    Comment

                                    • MSphere
                                      Senior Member
                                      • Feb 2010
                                      • 8983

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Levsha View Post
                                      Neither the R-40 or R-33 missile nor the the S-200 missile have any proven ability to shoot down Mach 3+ targets flying at 70,000 feet, never mind 85,000 feet which is the cruise altitude of the SR-71. Both MiG-25 and S-200 were no doubt accepted in to Soviet service for their exceptional long range..
                                      I disagree..

                                      In this book one of the first Foxhound pilots, Captain Mikhail Myagkiy, who had been scrambled with its MiG-31 several times to intercept the US super-fast spy plane, explains how he was able to lock on a Blackbird on Jan. 31, 1986:

                                      The scheme for intercepting the SR-71 was computed down to the last second, and the MiGs had to launch exactly 16 minutes after the initial alert. () They alerted us for an intercept at 11.00. They sounded the alarm with a shrill bell and then confirmed it with a loudspeaker. The appearance of an SR-71 was always accompanied by nervousness. Everyone began to talk in frenzied voices, to scurry about, and react to the situation with excessive emotion.

                                      Myagkiy and its Weapons System Officer (WSO) were able to achieve a SR-71 lock on at 52,000 feet and at a distance of 120 Km from the target. The Foxhound climbed at 65,676 feet where the crew had the Blackbird in sight and according to Myagkiy:

                                      Had the spy plane violated Soviet airspace, a live missile launch would have been carried out. There was no practically chance the aircraft could avoid an R-33 missile.


                                      Paul Crickmore - Lockheed Blackbird: Beyond The Secret Missions

                                      Comment

                                      • TooCool_12f
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Dec 2009
                                        • 3323

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by logical1 View Post
                                        In addition with all the thousands of hours experience of supersonic flight, we would probably have fleets of supersonic passenger aircraft.
                                        er, no.

                                        In case you missed it, there was a supersonic operational airliner named the Concorde (there was also the Tu-144, but being on the "other side" it's not relevant here). It was very promising until two things happened: The USA forbid it to overfly their territory (speaking of all sorts of BS reasons, the only ine valid being that it was't american built) reducing its potential market, and, most of all, it is the rise in price of oil that made it economically unsustainable. British Airways and Air France kept their dozen Concordes flying for publicity reasons but couldn't make no direct benefit on them as they gulped fuel as if there was no tomorrow.

                                        Unless we find a way to cruise at such speeds without burning similar amounts of fuel, we won't have any supersonic transports anywhere soon. XB70 or not, it is the engine tevhnology that doesn't allow that even today

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