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Not building the B-70 when we could have was really dumb

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    #21
    @KGB

    Just to be clear the noise wasn't from the supersonic boom....it was noisy when flying relatively low and slowly over the suburbs on the way to the airport to land....the whole house literally shook when it flew over....the airport noise levels (I think around 120 dB from memory) already louder than other airliners were relaxed by the government for political reasons so the BA and Air France Concorde fleets could continue to operate.

    The Rolls Royce Olympus engines were derived from the engines used in the Vulcan nuclear bomber of the 1950s. It was too expensive to build the brand new proposed engine (RB.169) so an existing engine based on the Mk.320 used in the cancelled TSR-2 nuclear strike aircraft was used instead.

    Attempts were made to reduce the noise, including by SNECMA, but the attempts at noise mitigation such as spades projecting in the exhaust all failed. There was a proposal for a new engine with reduced air flow to mitigate noise but it was just too expensive to develop and build while there was a working engine which had superb Mach 2 performance and could supercruise (the real deal and not the watered down LM version! )

    Someone has already nailed why the B-70 was cancelled....it was just too expensive and would have eaten up the USAF budget....there were other, cheaper methods of delivering nuclear warheads into the USSR using missiles....there no longer was a mission to fly bombers into one of the most heavily defended places on Earth....the shoot down of Gary Powers U-2 showed the writing was on the wall.....some people might say Mathias Rust landing his plane unchallenged in Red Square put some question on to whether the celebrated Soviet air defence was all that!
    Last edited by Tony; 13th October 2017, 02:30.
    Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone...Sophie Scholl (9 May 1921 - 22 February 1943)

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      #22
      To be fair, they had the B-58 and F-111, similar role.

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        #23
        The B-58 predates the B-70.
        The F-111 succeded because it's tactics were completely different: as low as possible instead of as high as possible like the B-70.
        How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
        Yngwie Malmsteen

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          #24
          some people might say Mathias Rust landing his plane unchallenged in Red Square put some question on to whether the celebrated Soviet air defence was all that!
          He was buzzed by MiG-23s multiple times.
          sigpic

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            #25
            To answer the original question. I was under the impression that the B-70 was only designed to be a research aircraft.
            It also diverted Russian aircraft production into developing an interceptor to catch such an aircraft.
            Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

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              #26
              Concorde was a commercial airliner which couldn't repay any of its design & development or even production costs. Airlines could only afford to operate it when they were given it, free.
              Air France & British Airways paid for their frames, only the last two were given for a symbolic franc/pound (after the program cancellation).

              The cockpit dividing door regs was an issue after 911. There is no such door and for a reason. The structural stretch from the heat.
              There was a proposal for a reinforced door between cockpit and cabin on the Concorde, I don't know where you got the idea there is no door (although they were kept open during most of the flight).

              The only reason AF & BA stopped flying the Concorde is that Airbus raised the support bill (for spares & maintenance) and it was no longer cost-effective to operate them.

              Just to be clear the noise wasn't from the supersonic boom....it was noisy when flying relatively low and slowly over the suburbs on the way to the airport to land...
              Concorde A needed afterburners for take off & climbing. The Concorde B (which was ready to enter production) got rid of them so the noise wouldn't have been so bad.

              That said, given that I can spot the lone B747 classic flying over my home at night, it still would have been fairly noisy.

              As for the opening post, all I can say is WTF??? The reason for cancelling the XB-70 were and are still sound, there would have been no upside for the USAF in keeping that program alive.
              Last edited by Blue Apple; 13th October 2017, 10:02. Reason: Clarified paragraph on cockpit door

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                #27
                He was buzzed by MiG-23s multiple times.
                Tony is still correct, the MiGs didn't challenge Rust in the Cessna.

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                  #28
                  Appropos of nothing in particular.........

                  The XB-70 held the record for the largest moving surfaces of any aircraft - the folding 'Waverider' wingtips.

                  The record has since been broken by the sweeping wings of the Tupolev Tu-160 'Blackjack'.

                  Just saying... for a bit of levity.

                  Ken
                  Flanker Freak & Russian Aviation Enthusiast.
                  Flankers (& others) website at :-
                  http://flankers.co.uk/

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                    #29
                    It also diverted Russian aircraft production into developing an interceptor to catch such an aircraft.
                    Presumably this is the myth of the MiG-25's origins. Actually it wasn't designed with any particular aircraft as a target, just the general trend for each generation of bombers to increase their speed per a nice smooth curve on a graph which at the time had reached Mach 2. A-5, B-58, Mirage IV, TSR.2 etc

                    Certainly trying to intercept the Mach 3 B-70 with a Mach 2.8 MiG-25 would have been fairly futile, even if the bomber had cooperated with a nice straight predictable course. They'd be launching the fighters to the rear over Soviet territory in order to get in position and altitude for a firing solution.
                    Last edited by Cherry Ripe; 13th October 2017, 12:22.

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                      #30
                      At 70K feet altitude and M3, the B-70 could cause a conventional SAM to run out of energy by using small course changes. SR-71 defeated 1000+ SAM shots using that method.

                      But operational B-70s would have forced the Soviets to employ more nuclear armed S-75s where target maneuvers would not matter.

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                        #31
                        @blueapple

                        I don't know where you got the idea there is no door (although they were kept open during most of the flight).
                        Maybe because i paid an extra $100 to board the Concorde at the museum in New York. The tour guide was a total av geek who showed me the lack of door and the reasons why. You walk up the stairs, look to your left and flight engineer is right there. Behond him you can see the windshield. i know some got a door setup but it wasn't made to be like that. Not all did if i recall
                        Last edited by KGB; 13th October 2017, 13:28.

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                          #32
                          @KGB

                          You are right there was, and still is, a big demand for a Mach 2 flight flying New York to London in 3 hours and a bit hours (fastest ever with favourable conditions was under 3 hours). British Airways made an operating profit on this route and the 100-seater was usually full or thereabouts.

                          Despite making an operating profit, the decision to pull out by British Airways was commercial as margins on first class passengers on normal airliners was high and without the associated costs (4,800 gallons per hour at Mach 2....this could have been slashed to 3,600 gallons per hour with a more efficient new engine but no one was going to pay for that).....as Blueapple said lack of support by Airbus (BA had bought all the tooling for spares) also contributed to stopping the service.

                          A new supersonic operator could easily charge $5,000 or more per seat if they have say 120 seats ($600,000 per flight) to get to New York from London in 3 hours.

                          But it won't necessarily be the costs that might hinder a new operator but other environmental factors (carbon emissions) and say something like the fact that flying at over 11 miles high (a more efficient height for supersonic travel at Mach 2) can give high exposure to radiation which can cause cancer....but due to the reduced flight time the risk is probably less than on a long haul conventional flight.
                          Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone...Sophie Scholl (9 May 1921 - 22 February 1943)

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                            #33
                            @Tony
                            But it won't necessarily be the costs that might hinder a new operator but other environmental factors (carbon emissions) and say something like the fact that flying at over 11 miles high (a more efficient height for supersonic travel at Mach 2) can give high exposure to radiation which can cause cancer.
                            Yeah and all of these issues are more controversial and political that people like to admit. We must look carefully at the motives of some of these groups and their claims. These radical environmental groups are in it to stifle technology.

                            As aviation fans, we should be skeptical of this stuff. Because these groups stand in the way of aviation progress , something we love and live for.

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                              #34
                              @KGB

                              I have to agree that as fans of all things aviation we want progress....sometimes it's a fine balance between progress and other considerations...not just environmental...it's usually cost...always money ;-)
                              Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone...Sophie Scholl (9 May 1921 - 22 February 1943)

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                                #35
                                @KGB

                                While its true that not all the planes were fitted with doors, there would have been plenty of room to fit one as there is a ~2m long corridor from engineer chair to galley unit (space where a lot of electronics were located).

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                                  #36
                                  The XB-70 held the record for the largest moving surfaces of any aircraft - the folding 'Waverider' wingtips.
                                  Wasn't it also the loudest aircraft? That record might still stand.
                                  Six afterburning turbojets, hard to beat that.

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                                  How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
                                  Yngwie Malmsteen

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                                    #37
                                    XB-70 didn't even have a bay for bombs. That was a technical hurdle yet to tackle.
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                                      #38
                                      another

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                                      "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

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                                        #39
                                        C'mon, SpudmanWP, you know weapons separation doesn't magically happen from an empty space.

                                        They hadn't worked on the apparatus nor the doors. An empty space didn't cost any development money and they had a high burn rate for money in the program.
                                        Go Huskers!

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                                          #40
                                          I did not say that it was finished testing, only that it existed.
                                          "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

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