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  • Baz
    Baz
    Member
    • Jan 2000
    • 94

    F-32?

    I dont claim to know anything about US Laws and military contracts, so heres my question:
    When Boeing lost the JSF program, was the F-35 better in all areas?
    If not what is to stop Boeing trying to sell their a/c abroad?
    Its ugly I agree, but , for example, it was better at the Stovl role, why cant they sell that version while the f-35 gets then other orders?

    I think our forces deserve to the best possible equipment available.
    Baz
  • shorthome
    Senior Member
    • Jan 2000
    • 340

    #2
    RE: F-32?

    i think its is when boeing get the order lockhead had to manny orders and then when the time was right boeing would hade buyed lockhead.
    Boeing can live of the comercial A/C and lockhead not.
    Still boeing is participating in the project as subcontractor i think.

    Its one big game.

    grtz, shorty

    Comment

    • djcross
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jan 2000
      • 5456

      #3
      RE: F-32?

      It depends on how Boeing did the accounting for the demonstrator air vehicle development. If it was bookkept under "company development" funds, they they own the rights to the design. If it was bookkept under "government" funds, then the US government owns the rights. May sound wierd, but that's how it works in the ol' USA.

      BTW, one of the reasons X-32 lost was the direct lift engine was not able to generate as much thrust as the X-35 lift fan concept. "F-32" would be severely limited in future growth capability as military airplane average between 150-250 lbs per year in weight growth due to addition of improved systems.

      Comment

      • SOC
        SOC
        Registered User
        • Jan 2000
        • 13189

        #4
        RE: F-32?

        The F-35 was better in all areas (including aesthetics). Someone mentioned growth capability, and that is a very important factor nowadays as these planes will have to last for a while. Also, Lockheed's X-35 was a lot closer to the production model than the X-32, meaning much less retooling would have to be done before they could get the production line set up, which means more planes earlier, and cheaper.

        Besides, who else but Lockheed would build the USAF a stealth fighter? }>

        SOC

        "Peace through kinetic solutions"
        Sean O'Connor

        Sean's Blog, now with forum
        ACIG.org Team
        Airliners.net

        Comment

        • LEG
          LEG
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jul 2013
          • 26

          #5
          The X-32B was _not_ inferior to the X-35B for the following reasons:

          1. Neither of the X-32 prototypes were built with production quality materials. Lack of autolayup looms meant their experimental shops had to hand-lay the thermoplastic composite skins which led to problems with differential heating in the autoclave which bubbled up ridges along the panel overlays. Buying an autowinder for an experimental prototype (i.e. paying for tooling, twice) was not affordable and thus, after multiple failures, the jet's wing skins were redone in a thermoset composite which was 20% heavier. Add to this that the X-32 used 'unibody' techniques by which the wing skins were mechanically fastened to the airframe and you have major problems with the design weight tolerances as well as fabrication and assembly using things like longer screws on the thicker skins (and we are talking about 1,500 of them so it's not a minor thing).

          2. The X-32 didn't meet other specs which the USN, as they often do to sabotage particular designs they don't like, changed, halfway through the prototype manufacturing process. The original specs were within the capabilities of the X-32, even as _both_ specs for WOD and control power were beyond those of the X-35C, a fact which, in hindsight is obvious (I like to brag that I saw it ahead of time as one of the earliest critics of the JSF) in the design of the Lockheed prototype without such things as a working weapons bay or full length landing gears, mounted in the wingroots.

          These were NOT engineering impossibilities which required 'advanced technology' to model or create. Rather they were explicit weight savings and manufacturing simplification approaches which allowed the X-35A/B and C to avoid such issues as the four-times-fixed wingroot lap joints whose later integration with particularly the STOVL model's roll posts ended up costing the jet, not just so much weight in the PWSC variant as to be functionally non-CDR passable, but also the entire concept of easy manufacture using quickmate joints between pre-built subassemblies.

          The point here being that the Boeing Preferred Weapons System Concept design would have had production quality skins, directly bonded to the structure, and a cropped-swept, supercritical wing design which would have traded about 1/3rd of the delta's total area for a lighter, deeper, tighter, airfoil without as much wetted area but with far more fuel space as well as a slightly longer span and more lowspeed lift enhancement droops on the TE to solve approach speed and adverse sink rate/attitude problems behind the boat.

          All of which would have made the short-span STOVL jet more than adequately able to meet it's direct thrust STOVL requirements as it would have been half the wingspan.

          i.e. The F-35 is what it is because the X-35 was a faade built around a fraud which included NONE of the operational engineering features that would have made the jet unable to pass even it's X-jet evaluation phase, particularly the STOVL metrics, had they been suitably 'productionized' (as indeed they were on the preceeding YF-22). The F-32 was what it was because the Feds decided to change the specs to make it fail (and even then it was a close run thing with BOTH companies 'passing' minimum threshold requirements to prove their concepts...).

          3. The X-32 had massive amounts of spare power. To support STOVL, the F119-PW-614 engine had an ENORMOUS fan on it. Even bigger than that which went on the eventual F135 to try and make up for the piggish qualities of the Lockheed aircraft. This resulted in up and away subsonic performance that was closer to the F-22 (admittedly IRT vs. Burner) than the F-16, as a function of subsonic acceleration and instantaneous vs. sustained turn. The F119-PW-611 was indeed a 28,000lbf/43,000lbf engine with just enough thrust on the front post to look pretty in STOVL. But the F119-PW-614 was a 33,000lbf/54,000lbf engine which absolutely blew the socks off the sexier X-35 where it counted as a turn and burn EM platform.

          The trade however was fuel consumption and weight/balance issues. STOVL on the X-32 put the engine at a midpoint like an Airacobra which meant an overly long jetpipe, rather like you see on F-86s or MiG-15s. This was useless dead weight behind the CG in the design which, combined with the dual instead of quadpost, direct thrust, STOVL (very weak pitch control nozzle/liftscreen/roll-ducts) meant that the aircraft was not as stable in the hover. Yet that massive VL thrust requirement had to be there, leaving the jet's TSFCs sucking down JP like a drunk locked overnight in a distillery as a function of stochimetrics necessary to keep sufficient rpms on the core to torque the spools on that big fan. Fan thrust which was actually pretty useless in the cruise part of the envelope as the jet approached transonics (this is the case with every turbofan and is nothing new, pilots of the then-new F-14 complained that the TF30 engines with almost 1,500lbf more thrust than the J79s they were used to on the Phantom were in fact 'weak kneed' as they crossed the .9 Mach threshold).


          CONCLUSION:
          If common sense rather than aesthetic sensibilities had prevailed, two readily identifiable conclusions would have been reached on the X-Plane contest:

          A. The economics of 'one winner' political greed were utterly incompatible with national needs as the proper sustainment of the industrial base as _competitive_ sellers of modern fighters to the services. Particularly the USAF which had a huge requirement to replace the F-16 fleet could as easily have bought different airframes as engines when that requirement further spilled over into the F-15 and A-10 mission areas with drastically different performance requirements to the Viper followon.

          Lack of competition has led to the total corruption of the F-35 acquisition process, from the dropping of the 'unnecessary' redundant engine to the failure to hold to the rigors of the law (Nunn McCurdy, the F-35 is _not_ 'absolutely necessary' to the modern defense posture, there are multiple alternative options) and even to the honesty with which other, fill force and Congressionally compliant, unmanned programs were actively sabotaged to remove them from consideration as JSF replacements (J-UCAS the 'too expensive' program which the USAF cancelled on the eve of the GWOT because it was a perfect match to COIN CAS loitering flight in SWA, something which the F-35 is not).

          B. Neither jet was production representative.
          The Boeing PWSC design would have been entirely competitive with the STOVL and a likely overmatch to the CTOL and CVTOL requirements with a new flying configuration and production level composites. The Lockheed JSF is as you now see it. Three different airplanes masquerading under the same name, each with sufficiently different design metrics to sabotage the other in terms of acceptable weight bloat vs. structural and weapons carriage restrictions, each stealing engineering design time from the others, greatly prolonging the delay before service due to LM's simple inability (say: greed as the refusal to pay for and train up, despite record profits) to provide adequate engineering support to each individual airframe as it's own unique development pathway. Things like the weapons bay, relocation of AMAD auxiliaries, wingroot support and avionics integration all suffered because the X-jet was designed without these gallon-in-pint-pot features included.

          PWSC would have made these differences obvious and given Boeing the clear edge as the simpler design (it truly is one airplane, despite having different wingspans and a strap-on STOVL module) with better mass-manufacturing production experience base as well as Boeing's HUGE overall engineering base.

          Whether the JSF, as a subsonic, <550nm, strike fighter that is more F-117 than F-16/18 is what this country needs is another question. But it was a fool's errand to choose such a large production commitment based on preliminary design constructs which were neither production representative for configuration nor anywhere's near (materials, avionics, structures) complete in their supporting systems development. CBO and GAO both warned of this, starting as early as 1997, stating that concurrency was an risk that was not simply overarching but largely undefined as the jets detail design itself was incomplete before about 2002-2003.

          Finally, a question in trade: Does anyone have any imagery of the proposed F-32 targeting FLIR? I have been told it was in an extendible fairing on the fuselage bottom, rather like that of the F-106 IRST but would like to know if any engineering drawings were made up or if the FLIR thimble that is sometimes seen in early photos of the 737 AFL is production representative? I am after pictures.


          Thanks- Lop Eared Galoot.

          Comment

          • hopsalot
            Senior Member
            • Aug 2012
            • 3166

            #6
            I always find it amusing when people seem to want to be taken seriously, then throw in stuff like :

            Whether the JSF, as a subsonic, <550nm, strike fighter that is more F-117 than F-16/18 is what this country needs is another question.
            Why bother writing in the first place if you can't be bothered to perform the most basic of research beforehand?

            By all accounts the YF-22/YF-23 competition was close with both aircraft viewed as very strong performers against the established requirements. The same can't be said for the JSF program. Boeing's design was an absolute mess on multiple levels and they knew it.

            Comment

            • TomcatViP
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Nov 2011
              • 6109

              #7
              A few point as a general comments:
              - LM didn't need a WB as the company just proved that it could handle the task with the Raptor. Boeing on the other hand had not designed any supersonic WB and their last design of such components was in the 50's.
              - The frontal intake would have been a nightmare for the high AoA requirements.
              - Th high power turbojet and frontal intake is certainly something that the Navy don't want to experiment again anytime soon on a carrier (see F8 hick-up at launch).
              - The single element upper skin was a major design breakthrough and although not successful right on-time for the JSF competition, it still made Boeing a prime contractor for latter major programs. Nothing came easily and my guess is that the investment made during that time paid off latter even on the civil market (compare Airbus and Boeing wings: Boeing late design have more than a decade of technological advance (787, 747-8).

              A few remarks could be easily added to the list. But Anger and paranoia doesn't make good in general for a clear analysis .Thanks however for the few short bright points in your post.
              Last edited by TomcatViP; 31st May 2015, 20:47.

              Comment

              • Andraxxus
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Sep 2012
                • 954

                #8
                Since we are resurrecting old threads, I will quote myself from a thread I've created;

                basic aerodynamic calculations of F-16 vs F-35 with F-16 airfoil and all other generic drag values:

                Originally posted by Andraxxus View Post
                Hello to all, After reading comments about F-35s performance compared to legacy aircraft, I have decided to make some *rough* analysis of F-35s turn, acceleration and excess power, and compare it with the current F-16 (the F-35 was supposed to have same maneuverability of F-16 doesnt it?). While the calculations themselves are precise, there are many unknowns so I had to use many assumptions (thats why I call it rough).

                .......

                I had to use generic data from fluid dynamics and advanced aerodynamics books and my own guesstimates to fill in the gaps:
                -To be perfectly honest, this little project all started to answer what if F-35 used same airfoil as F-16 question. So first and most obvious of my assumptions that I take F-35 uses same airfoil as F-16 (64A204).

                ..............

                (In my original post I mistakenly compared F-35 at 50% with F-16 at 25% fuel, I merged it with corrected post later on that thread)
                Clean F-16 and Clean F-35 both on 25% fuel:
                [ATTACH=CONFIG]226026[/ATTACH]

                .......

                Comparing armed F-35 armed with 4x internal AIM-9s versus F-16 armed with 4 AIM-9Ms and 2 empty pylons. Both at 50% fuel payload. At sea level;

                [ATTACH=CONFIG]225998[/ATTACH]

                This was by far the most suprising result to me. I was expecting extra drag would degrade F-16s performance a little, but not this much; At very slow speeds, F-16 still has slight advantage, but at above M0,6 F-35 actually sustains turns BETTER than F-16 blk50. On ITR part, F-35 gets advantage as the speed increases, topping out at 24,4 deg/s versus F-16s 22,5 deg/s.

                Same aircraft, at 30k feet:

                [ATTACH=CONFIG]225999[/ATTACH]

                On average; F-35 has 1,2 deg/s superiority to F-16s Sustained turn performance at subsonic and transonic realm. While supersonic F-16 has better STR. Their ITR is mostly comperable, however at supersonic F-16 enters PhiMax state which degrades ITR performance. While F-35 looks better in theory, I dont know if similar conditions would affect F-35 too.

                Same aircraft SEP graph:

                [ATTACH=CONFIG]226000[/ATTACH]

                At sea level, they appear to be comperable, however at 30k feet, F-35 gets a clear advantage in terms of climb and acceleration performance.
                To summerize; Clean F-35 is clearly inferior to clean F-16 Block 50 in overall performance, with the gap narrowing at higher altitudes. However when armed with 4 missiles, F-35 is equal or better than F-16 Block 50 over most of the flight envelope. With the payload increasing advantage should move to F-35. IMHO, no matter how lightly loaded F-35 is, it wont have enough maneuverability to do any nice tricks at the airshows. For spectators it will always be a flying brick. However it will have sufficient kinematic performance where it matters, at least when compared to legacy fighters.

                Also this modelling calculates the maximum speed and acceleration of F-35 as follows;
                At Sea level, its M1.1, translates to 1357 km/h
                At 30000feet; its M1.67, translates to 1822 km/h

                I had made an acceleration comparison graph some time ago for a topic in this forum by using FM datas. Putting my F-35 models acceleration into the graph gives;

                [ATTACH=CONFIG]226001[/ATTACH]

                Its M0,8 to M1,2 time is 34,95 seconds.

                Obviously this is simple excel modelling, nothing more but I tried to be as objective and scientific as possible; I am from Turkey, we have a large F-16 fleet, and will have one of the largest F-35A fleet, so there is no reason for me to pimp up one aircrafts performance. Though I will admit I really dont like F-35, that will not change whatever numbers it generates. Ugly is ugly. Heres the raw data for further thoughts;
                [ATTACH=CONFIG]225994[/ATTACH]
                Of course, there are a lot of assumptions, but claiming F-35 to be more similar to F-117 than F-16 is plain idiotic. IF F-35 has same fixed inlet loses, and drag coefficients as generic data from fluid mechanics book, and assuming it doesn't improve the NACA airfoil F-16 has by the slightest, it will still match F-16 with any meaningful armament. However off my calculation would be, one has to also consider F-35 is hardly a generic and 20 years of development should improve on these graphs as well.

                Comment

                • Chaffers
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Apr 2009
                  • 91

                  #9
                  "Its M0,8 to M1,2 time is 34,95 seconds."

                  Nice model and spreadsheet, shame it's wrong by a factor of two.

                  Comment

                  • gkozak
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Jan 2005
                    • 1183

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Baz View Post
                    I dont claim to know anything about US Laws and military contracts, so heres my question:
                    When Boeing lost the JSF program, was the F-35 better in all areas?
                    If not what is to stop Boeing trying to sell their a/c abroad?
                    Its ugly I agree, but , for example, it was better at the Stovl role, why cant they sell that version while the f-35 gets then other orders?

                    I think our forces deserve to the best possible equipment available.
                    Baz
                    I have heard that part of the reason was that the F-35, built by Lockheed Martin, has more in common with the F-22, also built by Lockheed Martin. The rationale was apparently that commonality would lead to cost reductions and a streamlining of the F-35 program. Wonder how that's working out for them?

                    Comment

                    • Andraxxus
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Sep 2012
                      • 954

                      #11
                      I don't think its necessary search for minor details;

                      Irrelevant of WHEN the requirements changed, X-32 fell short of maneverability requirements and X-35 didn't. This easily tells us X-32 had inferior kinematics. It also had inferior range to X-35. X-35 demonstrated short take-off, supersonic flight, and vertical landing in single flight, which X-32 couldn't at the time.

                      X-35 was clearly a better design and it proved to be promising. X-32 didn't and all the claimed "will be"s were hot air.

                      Originally posted by Chaffers View Post
                      "Its M0,8 to M1,2 time is 34,95 seconds."

                      Nice model and spreadsheet, shame it's wrong by a factor of two.
                      In any case it would have been better to dismiss a calculation with your own calculation; or at least try to explain why you think its wrong.

                      I never claim its 100% correct (a) I don't have enough data b) excel is not exactly the greatest software for such calculations), but until now, all the current pilot/manufacturer/buyer comments support it: F-35 is kinematically similar (or better) to F-16 with any armament.

                      Call me arrogant, as I would still have believed my own calculations if it contadicted with pilot/manufacturer/buyer comments. However since it doesn't, IMHO it would take an equally detailed explaination to call my version "wrong by a factor of two".

                      Comment

                      • Y-20 Bacon
                        Senior Member
                        • Apr 2013
                        • 2176

                        #12
                        Originally posted by LEG View Post
                        The X-32B was _not_ inferior to the X-35B for the following reasons:

                        1. Neither of the X-32 prototypes were built with production quality materials. Lack of autolayup looms meant their experimental shops had to hand-lay the thermoplastic composite skins which led to problems with differential heating in the autoclave which bubbled up ridges along the panel overlays. Buying an autowinder for an experimental prototype (i.e. paying for tooling, twice) was not affordable and thus, after multiple failures, the jet's wing skins were redone in a thermoset composite which was 20% heavier. Add to this that the X-32 used 'unibody' techniques by which the wing skins were mechanically fastened to the airframe and you have major problems with the design weight tolerances as well as fabrication and assembly using things like longer screws on the thicker skins (and we are talking about 1,500 of them so it's not a minor thing).

                        2. The X-32 didn't meet other specs which the USN, as they often do to sabotage particular designs they don't like, changed, halfway through the prototype manufacturing process. The original specs were within the capabilities of the X-32, even as _both_ specs for WOD and control power were beyond those of the X-35C, a fact which, in hindsight is obvious (I like to brag that I saw it ahead of time as one of the earliest critics of the JSF) in the design of the Lockheed prototype without such things as a working weapons bay or full length landing gears, mounted in the wingroots.

                        These were NOT engineering impossibilities which required 'advanced technology' to model or create. Rather they were explicit weight savings and manufacturing simplification approaches which allowed the X-35A/B and C to avoid such issues as the four-times-fixed wingroot lap joints whose later integration with particularly the STOVL model's roll posts ended up costing the jet, not just so much weight in the PWSC variant as to be functionally non-CDR passable, but also the entire concept of easy manufacture using quickmate joints between pre-built subassemblies.

                        The point here being that the Boeing Preferred Weapons System Concept design would have had production quality skins, directly bonded to the structure, and a cropped-swept, supercritical wing design which would have traded about 1/3rd of the delta's total area for a lighter, deeper, tighter, airfoil without as much wetted area but with far more fuel space as well as a slightly longer span and more lowspeed lift enhancement droops on the TE to solve approach speed and adverse sink rate/attitude problems behind the boat.

                        All of which would have made the short-span STOVL jet more than adequately able to meet it's direct thrust STOVL requirements as it would have been half the wingspan.

                        i.e. The F-35 is what it is because the X-35 was a faade built around a fraud which included NONE of the operational engineering features that would have made the jet unable to pass even it's X-jet evaluation phase, particularly the STOVL metrics, had they been suitably 'productionized' (as indeed they were on the preceeding YF-22). The F-32 was what it was because the Feds decided to change the specs to make it fail (and even then it was a close run thing with BOTH companies 'passing' minimum threshold requirements to prove their concepts...).

                        3. The X-32 had massive amounts of spare power. To support STOVL, the F119-PW-614 engine had an ENORMOUS fan on it. Even bigger than that which went on the eventual F135 to try and make up for the piggish qualities of the Lockheed aircraft. This resulted in up and away subsonic performance that was closer to the F-22 (admittedly IRT vs. Burner) than the F-16, as a function of subsonic acceleration and instantaneous vs. sustained turn. The F119-PW-611 was indeed a 28,000lbf/43,000lbf engine with just enough thrust on the front post to look pretty in STOVL. But the F119-PW-614 was a 33,000lbf/54,000lbf engine which absolutely blew the socks off the sexier X-35 where it counted as a turn and burn EM platform.

                        The trade however was fuel consumption and weight/balance issues. STOVL on the X-32 put the engine at a midpoint like an Airacobra which meant an overly long jetpipe, rather like you see on F-86s or MiG-15s. This was useless dead weight behind the CG in the design which, combined with the dual instead of quadpost, direct thrust, STOVL (very weak pitch control nozzle/liftscreen/roll-ducts) meant that the aircraft was not as stable in the hover. Yet that massive VL thrust requirement had to be there, leaving the jet's TSFCs sucking down JP like a drunk locked overnight in a distillery as a function of stochimetrics necessary to keep sufficient rpms on the core to torque the spools on that big fan. Fan thrust which was actually pretty useless in the cruise part of the envelope as the jet approached transonics (this is the case with every turbofan and is nothing new, pilots of the then-new F-14 complained that the TF30 engines with almost 1,500lbf more thrust than the J79s they were used to on the Phantom were in fact 'weak kneed' as they crossed the .9 Mach threshold).


                        CONCLUSION:
                        If common sense rather than aesthetic sensibilities had prevailed, two readily identifiable conclusions would have been reached on the X-Plane contest:

                        A. The economics of 'one winner' political greed were utterly incompatible with national needs as the proper sustainment of the industrial base as _competitive_ sellers of modern fighters to the services. Particularly the USAF which had a huge requirement to replace the F-16 fleet could as easily have bought different airframes as engines when that requirement further spilled over into the F-15 and A-10 mission areas with drastically different performance requirements to the Viper followon.

                        Lack of competition has led to the total corruption of the F-35 acquisition process, from the dropping of the 'unnecessary' redundant engine to the failure to hold to the rigors of the law (Nunn McCurdy, the F-35 is _not_ 'absolutely necessary' to the modern defense posture, there are multiple alternative options) and even to the honesty with which other, fill force and Congressionally compliant, unmanned programs were actively sabotaged to remove them from consideration as JSF replacements (J-UCAS the 'too expensive' program which the USAF cancelled on the eve of the GWOT because it was a perfect match to COIN CAS loitering flight in SWA, something which the F-35 is not).

                        B. Neither jet was production representative.
                        The Boeing PWSC design would have been entirely competitive with the STOVL and a likely overmatch to the CTOL and CVTOL requirements with a new flying configuration and production level composites. The Lockheed JSF is as you now see it. Three different airplanes masquerading under the same name, each with sufficiently different design metrics to sabotage the other in terms of acceptable weight bloat vs. structural and weapons carriage restrictions, each stealing engineering design time from the others, greatly prolonging the delay before service due to LM's simple inability (say: greed as the refusal to pay for and train up, despite record profits) to provide adequate engineering support to each individual airframe as it's own unique development pathway. Things like the weapons bay, relocation of AMAD auxiliaries, wingroot support and avionics integration all suffered because the X-jet was designed without these gallon-in-pint-pot features included.

                        PWSC would have made these differences obvious and given Boeing the clear edge as the simpler design (it truly is one airplane, despite having different wingspans and a strap-on STOVL module) with better mass-manufacturing production experience base as well as Boeing's HUGE overall engineering base.

                        Whether the JSF, as a subsonic, <550nm, strike fighter that is more F-117 than F-16/18 is what this country needs is another question. But it was a fool's errand to choose such a large production commitment based on preliminary design constructs which were neither production representative for configuration nor anywhere's near (materials, avionics, structures) complete in their supporting systems development. CBO and GAO both warned of this, starting as early as 1997, stating that concurrency was an risk that was not simply overarching but largely undefined as the jets detail design itself was incomplete before about 2002-2003.

                        Finally, a question in trade: Does anyone have any imagery of the proposed F-32 targeting FLIR? I have been told it was in an extendible fairing on the fuselage bottom, rather like that of the F-106 IRST but would like to know if any engineering drawings were made up or if the FLIR thimble that is sometimes seen in early photos of the 737 AFL is production representative? I am after pictures.


                        Thanks- Lop Eared Galoot.
                        Hi Kurt

                        ATD-X says hi

                        Comment

                        • Jessmo23
                          Senior Member
                          • Apr 2015
                          • 572

                          #13
                          Originally posted by LEG View Post
                          The X-32B was _not_ inferior to the X-35B for the following reasons:







                          1. Neither of the X-32 prototypes were built with production quality materials. Lack of autolayup looms meant their experimental shops had to hand-lay the thermoplastic composite skins which led to problems with differential heating in the autoclave which bubbled up ridges along the panel overlays. Buying an autowinder for an experimental prototype (i.e. paying for tooling, twice) was not affordable and thus, after multiple failures, the jet's wing skins were redone in a thermoset composite which was 20% heavier. Add to this that the X-32 used 'unibody' techniques by which the wing skins were mechanically fastened to the airframe and you have major problems with the design weight tolerances as well as fabrication and assembly using things like longer screws on the thicker skins (and we are talking about 1,500 of them so it's not a minor thing).

                          2. The X-32 didn't meet other specs which the USN, as they often do to sabotage particular designs they don't like, changed, halfway through the prototype manufacturing process. The original specs were within the capabilities of the X-32, even as _both_ specs for WOD and control power were beyond those of the X-35C, a fact which, in hindsight is obvious (I like to brag that I saw it ahead of time as one of the earliest critics of the JSF) in the design of the Lockheed prototype without such things as a working weapons bay or full length landing gears, mounted in the wingroots.

                          These were NOT engineering impossibilities which required 'advanced technology' to model or create. Rather they were explicit weight savings and manufacturing simplification approaches which allowed the X-35A/B and C to avoid such issues as the four-times-fixed wingroot lap joints whose later integration with particularly the STOVL model's roll posts ended up costing the jet, not just so much weight in the PWSC variant as to be functionally non-CDR passable, but also the entire concept of easy manufacture using quickmate joints between pre-built subassemblies.

                          The point here being that the Boeing Preferred Weapons System Concept design would have had production quality skins, directly bonded to the structure, and a cropped-swept, supercritical wing design which would have traded about 1/3rd of the delta's total area for a lighter, deeper, tighter, airfoil without as much wetted area but with far more fuel space as well as a slightly longer span and more lowspeed lift enhancement droops on the TE to solve approach speed and adverse sink rate/attitude problems behind the boat.

                          All of which would have made the short-span STOVL jet more than adequately able to meet it's direct thrust STOVL requirements as it would have been half the wingspan.

                          i.e. The F-35 is what it is because the X-35 was a faade built around a fraud which included NONE of the operational engineering features that would have made the jet unable to pass even it's X-jet evaluation phase, particularly the STOVL metrics, had they been suitably 'productionized' (as indeed they were on the preceeding YF-22). The F-32 was what it was because the Feds decided to change the specs to make it fail (and even then it was a close run thing with BOTH companies 'passing' minimum threshold requirements to prove their concepts...).

                          3. The X-32 had massive amounts of spare power. To support STOVL, the F119-PW-614 engine had an ENORMOUS fan on it. Even bigger than that which went on the eventual F135 to try and make up for the piggish qualities of the Lockheed aircraft. This resulted in up and away subsonic performance that was closer to the F-22 (admittedly IRT vs. Burner) than the F-16, as a function of subsonic acceleration and instantaneous vs. sustained turn. The F119-PW-611 was indeed a 28,000lbf/43,000lbf engine with just enough thrust on the front post to look pretty in STOVL. But the F119-PW-614 was a 33,000lbf/54,000lbf engine which absolutely blew the socks off the sexier X-35 where it counted as a turn and burn EM platform.

                          The trade however was fuel consumption and weight/balance issues. STOVL on the X-32 put the engine at a midpoint like an Airacobra which meant an overly long jetpipe, rather like you see on F-86s or MiG-15s. This was useless dead weight behind the CG in the design which, combined with the dual instead of quadpost, direct thrust, STOVL (very weak pitch control nozzle/liftscreen/roll-ducts) meant that the aircraft was not as stable in the hover. Yet that massive VL thrust requirement had to be there, leaving the jet's TSFCs sucking down JP like a drunk locked overnight in a distillery as a function of stochimetrics necessary to keep sufficient rpms on the core to torque the spools on that big fan. Fan thrust which was actually pretty useless in the cruise part of the envelope as the jet approached transonics (this is the case with every turbofan and is nothing new, pilots of the then-new F-14 complained that the TF30 engines with almost 1,500lbf more thrust than the J79s they were used to on the Phantom were in fact 'weak kneed' as they crossed the .9 Mach threshold).


                          CONCLUSION:
                          If common sense rather than aesthetic sensibilities had prevailed, two readily identifiable conclusions would have been reached on the X-Plane contest:

                          A. The economics of 'one winner' political greed were utterly incompatible with national needs as the proper sustainment of the industrial base as _competitive_ sellers of modern fighters to the services. Particularly the USAF which had a huge requirement to replace the F-16 fleet could as easily have bought different airframes as engines when that requirement further spilled over into the F-15 and A-10 mission areas with drastically different performance requirements to the Viper followon.

                          Lack of competition has led to the total corruption of the F-35 acquisition process, from the dropping of the 'unnecessary' redundant engine to the failure to hold to the rigors of the law (Nunn McCurdy, the F-35 is _not_ 'absolutely necessary' to the modern defense posture, there are multiple alternative options) and even to the honesty with which other, fill force and Congressionally compliant, unmanned programs were actively sabotaged to remove them from consideration as JSF replacements (J-UCAS the 'too expensive' program which the USAF cancelled on the eve of the GWOT because it was a perfect match to COIN CAS loitering flight in SWA, something which the F-35 is not).

                          B. Neither jet was production representative.
                          The Boeing PWSC design would have been entirely competitive with the STOVL and a likely overmatch to the CTOL and CVTOL requirements with a new flying configuration and production level composites. The Lockheed JSF is as you now see it. Three different airplanes masquerading under the same name, each with sufficiently different design metrics to sabotage the other in terms of acceptable weight bloat vs. structural and weapons carriage restrictions, each stealing engineering design time from the others, greatly prolonging the delay before service due to LM's simple inability (say: greed as the refusal to pay for and train up, despite record profits) to provide adequate engineering support to each individual airframe as it's own unique development pathway. Things like the weapons bay, relocation of AMAD auxiliaries, wingroot support and avionics integration all suffered because the X-jet was designed without these gallon-in-pint-pot features included.

                          PWSC would have made these differences obvious and given Boeing the clear edge as the simpler design (it truly is one airplane, despite having different wingspans and a strap-on STOVL module) with better mass-manufacturing production experience base as well as Boeing's HUGE overall engineering base.

                          Whether the JSF, as a subsonic, <550nm, strike fighter that is more F-117 than F-16/18 is what this country needs is another question. But it was a fool's errand to choose such a large production commitment based on preliminary design constructs which were neither production representative for configuration nor anywhere's near (materials, avionics, structures) complete in their supporting systems development. CBO and GAO both warned of this, starting as early as 1997, stating that concurrency was an risk that was not simply overarching but largely undefined as the jets detail design itself was incomplete before about 2002-2003.

                          Finally, a question in trade: Does anyone have any imagery of the proposed F-32 targeting FLIR? I have been told it was in an extendible fairing on the fuselage bottom, rather like that of the F-106 IRST but would like to know if any engineering drawings were made up or if the FLIR thimble that is sometimes seen in early photos of the 737 AFL is production representative? I am after pictures.


                          Thanks- Lop Eared Galoot.
                          Ok sir, I can't help but to think your disdain for Lockheed has clouded your judgment.
                          I will attempt to help you see the light:

                          1. The main fan face was exposed when a radar blocker wasn't covering it. Which is a killer for VLO
                          2. The blocker hurt supersonic performance. So you had to choose to either have the blocker on for vlo or, off for mach.
                          3. Direct list has always ran the risk of hot gas ingestion. The X-32 was no exception, even have a incident happen on the 1st VL.
                          4. Form usually follows function. I truly believe that if a plane looks good it will fly good. Generals are human after all, and when they name your plane Monica Lewinsky it cant be good.
                          5. If I can recall the bomb bay was an odd design.
                          6. Im not sure the wing planform could have met Navy KPP for bring back and trap.
                          7. Like we mentioned before the F-35 has reached 50+ degrees Aoa and a moderate super-cruise at mach 1.2 That is hardly a straight and level.only modern F-117 analog
                          In fact sir we did have a 3 way competition, and Lockheed won.Are they perfect? No! Have the built the world best fighter to date? Yes

                          Comment

                          • hopsalot
                            Senior Member
                            • Aug 2012
                            • 3166

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Jessmo23 View Post
                            6. Im not sure the wing planform could have met Navy KPP for bring back and trap.
                            Actually, the aircraft didn't meet any of the requirements. The F-32, if it had gone forward, would have been an almost complete redesign... a totally different aerodynamic layout.

                            X-32/proposed F-32 comparison:

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                            • swerve
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Jun 2005
                              • 13610

                              #15
                              Bah! F-32! Should have been F-24, or (if Super Hornet had been correctly called F-24, instead of F-18E), F-25 - regardless of whether the X-32 or X-35 was picked. F-35 was called F-35 because of a mistake, because someone confused the X- (experimental) series with the F- (real fighters & prototypes) series. I don't know for sure if the story about Bush getting it wrong & nobody daring to correct him is right, but whoever's fault it was, it was bloody stupid.
                              Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                              Justinian

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                              • Andraxxus
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Sep 2012
                                • 954

                                #16
                                Originally posted by swerve View Post
                                Bah! F-32! Should have been F-24, or F-25 - regardless of whether the X-32 or X-35 was picked.
                                Agreed. Excluding some exceptions (like F-111 or F-117), F-1xx mostly represented 2nd gen fighters, F-x represented 3rd gen, F-1x 4th. F-2x was supposed to be 5th gen, but F-35 designation simply ruins it.

                                Comment

                                • Cream
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Feb 2011
                                  • 250

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by swerve View Post
                                  Bah! F-32! Should have been F-24, or (if Super Hornet had been correctly called F-24, instead of F-18E), F-25 - regardless of whether the X-32 or X-35 was picked. F-35 was called F-35 because of a mistake, because someone confused the X- (experimental) series with the F- (real fighters & prototypes) series. I don't know for sure if the story about Bush getting it wrong & nobody daring to correct him is right, but whoever's fault it was, it was bloody stupid.
                                  There is an almost similar story about the SR-71 who was originally RS-71.

                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockhee...lackbird#SR-71

                                  Comment

                                  • swerve
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Jun 2005
                                    • 13610

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Andraxxus View Post
                                    Agreed. Excluding some exceptions (like F-111 or F-117), F-1xx mostly represented 2nd gen fighters, F-x represented 3rd gen, F-1x 4th. F-2x was supposed to be 5th gen, but F-35 designation simply ruins it.
                                    Er - the numbers have nothing to do with generations. USAAC fighter numbers began with P-1 in the 1920s, & kept going up until 1947, by which time they'd got to P-88. After that the USAAC became the USAF, which changed the designations to F-, hence F-86, etc. That kept going until 1962, by which time the F-111 had been given a designation. Meanwhile, the USN had operated a much more complicated system with letters for manufacturers, & numbers for models within that, e.g. F4H was the 4th McDonnell fighter, & F4D was the 4th Douglas fighter.

                                    The two systems were then unified. Existing USAF designations were kept - except F-110, for what the USN called the Phantom. Existing USN designations were converted into the USAF format, & given numbers in the sequence F-1 to F-11, as far as possible keeping their existing numbers (three had to be given new numbers), although this meant that the numbers did not necessarily match the order in which they were built. The light fighter derivative of the T-38 trainer was fitted in to this sequence as F-5, that number not already being taken.

                                    New designations started with F-12 (derived from the A-12), conveniently carrying on from F-111 & F-11. F-12 didn't enter service. F-13 wasn't used. F-19 was skipped. There are rumours it was a secret project, but it's also reported that it was offered as the designation for what became F-20, but Northrop (the manufacturer) requested & got F-20, so F-19 was bypassed. F-20 was a light fighter, meant to be a cheaper, lower-performance alternative to the F-16 for countries not thought suitable for the USA's latest fighters. Flew, but none were sold. F-21 was the US designation for Kfirs used for DACT.

                                    F-117 was deliberately given a non-standard designation to aid secrecy. Giving an aircraft a standard sequential number & keeping it secret would be rather obvious, as there'd be a gap. Some other F-11x numbers were used internally for Soviet aircraft which the US military had obtained & tested - MiG-21, Su-22, Su-17.

                                    So, as you see, nothing to do with supposed generations of aircraft. Just boring bureaucratic trying to keep things tidy.
                                    Last edited by swerve; 3rd June 2015, 12:01.
                                    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                                    Justinian

                                    Comment

                                    • SpudmanWP
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Jan 2009
                                      • 5292

                                      #19
                                      I give you, the F-32 Monica

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

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                                      • LEG
                                        LEG
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Jul 2013
                                        • 26

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Andraxxus View Post
                                        Since we are resurrecting old threads, I will quote myself from a thread I've created;

                                        basic aerodynamic calculations of F-16 vs F-35 with F-16 airfoil and all other generic drag values:

                                        Of course, there are a lot of assumptions, but claiming F-35 to be more similar to F-117 than F-16 is plain idiotic. IF F-35 has same fixed inlet loses, and drag coefficients as generic data from fluid mechanics book, and assuming it doesn't improve the NACA airfoil F-16 has by the slightest, it will still match F-16 with any meaningful armament. However off my calculation would be, one has to also consider F-35 is hardly a generic and 20 years of development should improve on these graphs as well.

                                        Base acceleration factor of an F-16C.50 is about 29 seconds. If you add tip weapons, this goes down to roughly equal value with the F-35's '+8' shortfall, it is true. But whereas an F-16 can drop 2X 370 gallon tanks and 4,000lbs of A2G and thus approximately 10,000lbs of gross weight to go from a ca 45K platform to a 27K equivalent; the F-35 cannot and indeed _must not_ due to it's enhanced radius requirements (300 vs. 584nm).

                                        As a result it as a weight and thus Ps cripple, despite having nominally as much IRT as the Viper does in full burner.

                                        It is further compromised by a 50" F135 carcass diameter, closer to that of the 55" F101 on a B-1B than the 46" of the F110 on the Viper. This is the true 'STOVL penalty' in action as the F135 fan is sized to a zero airspeed (no ram augment) requirement to sustain 18 out the back and while still retaining enough residual torque to spin up another 18Klbf out of the SDLF up front. Big fans need big compressor sections with massive pressure rise and from that equally powerful LPTs to keep all the spools turning. The Stochios required to keep all this in balance in turn require enormous core temps (3,600`F) as FUEL. Which is why the engine has a .889pph TSFC. And all this leads to more gas, more wingloading and _much more_ frontal area. Which never would have happened if the STOVL metric and the selfish motives of the UKRN and USMC were _stripped_ from the program. Because we would have had a twin and probably low end supercruise, with FOUR 2,000lb class weapons (16 GBU-53/SPEAR-3), totally changing up the hours-to-nm radius factor which currently puts the F-35 in a 10-12hr mission window to 700-800nm, with at least three tankings and only 2-3hrs in the combat area. Limiting the utility of all that ISR suite which should be MEP'd into a PERSISTENT platform (10-15hrs = drone) instead.

                                        The U.S. doesn't need a third air force, especially when the LHA-6 is just as obvious a target as any CVN-78, and 'hardening' doesn't matter vs. DF-21/26. The UK are not even buying their original 138 jets and may stick with just 40 or so which means we have a gold plate solution whereby the least useful variant has debased the program by driving up costs and depressing capability so that the SMALLEST PERCENTAGE USER INVENTORY can have a capability which even they do use in peacetime because it is hard on runways and spikes' the jet's CPFH enormously.

                                        Now look at the weapons delivery method: 12nm lay down of GBU-31/32 is about 6nm better than the GBU-27 on the Roach but is still utterly worthless in a netcentric GBAD condition where you have NEBO or Skywatch cueing very high power EPARs like Gravestone which can easily acquire the F-35 from 20-25nm out, using pencil beam search. And don't tell me about how bad longwave is. The Russians have digital waveform processing (i.e. front and back end) which gives them perfectly useful, 3D, air search out to 200nm or more.

                                        Compare this to an F-16 which has options on 40nm JSOW, 50nm SDB-I/II and 360nm JASSM-ER as well as advanced tail and expendible GaNi decoys and massive standoff support jam which _will not be able to accompany_ an F-35 force going to full depth. Growlers just don't have the gas or the low-drag inherent to all the jammer pod parasitics.

                                        Indeed, let's look at the F-35 radius shall we? If you take IRT as 27Klbf and Flight Idle as 60% of that or 16.2Klbf, and assume you tank before crossing the fence, you are functionally talking about .889 X 16.2 or 14.4Klbs of fuel burn to crawl along at 300 knots. Remove 2,000lbs from the total fuel load as unuseable fuel coolant and another 3,000lbs as combat reserve for 550 knot transit of the last 50nm to the target and you are talking with an 800lb ullage swing, you are talking about exactly 1hrs flight time or 150nm, in and out.

                                        This is why the (Australian Program Award announcement) '700nm combat radius' was a lie. And the currently stated 584nm combat radius is ALSO a lie.

                                        Why is this important, relative to 'fighter performance'? Because, when added to the low shot counts and the very poor acceleration performance (closer to Hornet than Viper), it means you cannot go into a fight, supersonic, but must _sprint to pole_ to move from a 10-12nm, .5SSPK to a 15-20nm .3 SSPK. And given the massive heat of that hot core (second only to the DF30-6) you are going to be visible and NCTR ID'd, the instant you light the blower. Because QWIP level IRST can see the burner plume out to 50nm FQ and 80nm RQ and will see you, even in military, by 15nm at the latest. If they get a hot track with no RF, they can cue their IRBIS into pencil mode and use it to MCG (much bigger) ARH weapons (Izdeliya 810 etc.) into parameters from roughly twice the distance you can expect an AIM-120C7 to go in. And if they use Shooter:Illuminator, with a trailing honcho, the lead missileers (who can be at 650+ and not worry since they have the power and the gas and everyone sees them on radar anyway) will not only get dominante pole control but be able to pump out the sides of the fight so that your long range shots PK completely tanks.

                                        Whoot!

                                        Now let's look at close combat as the wings. Instead of the clipped/modified deltas of the F-15/16/22 which have superb stall resistance, they are basically F-5/F-18 tapered trapezoids, shoved as far back as possible to keep transonic drag rise under control and reliant upon forebody lift off the weapons bay area to compensate. The problem with this is that you have a staggerwing effect. Even without opening the weapons bays to completely destroy the high-pressure aeros while prepping quickdraw missiles, as the forebody rises, it's effective AOA goes up faster than the trailing primary airfoil's does. Added to which is the close coupling between the F-35 tails and the wings which denies the option of (2` up LEF) 'trimming in the tails' to set the turn and (on the F-16) gain rather than lose 100sqft or so of effective lift as a genuine 9G capability.

                                        Which is why the F-16, 40 years old, can do this-

                                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBlP4cCRVmk

                                        Despite having the lowest (27.5, without chin pods) alpha regime of any in-service fighter. May not mean much in a HOBS environment you say, but then again F-35 doesn't have a HOBS missile or the ability to add one without directly effecting it's already incredibly limited internal strike mission payload. And its a long, long, ways from your 6nm NEZ last-AMRAAM to the 4,000ft of 25mm gunzo followup.

                                        On the F-35, the effective lift differential and lack of vectoring to trim the jet in results in a split lift curve as the reason why the jet is running at 'transitional' alpha limits around 20-23 units, when most jets are only entering this regime at 27 and it has a direct effect upon FLCS authority to continue pitch rates as the jet nears TRO territory and the flight controls have to start limitering thrown to keep the 'carefree' handling.

                                        It is the reason why, despite having a nominal 60-70 absolute Alpha regime, the F-35 is in fact functionally on a monorail above 30` with ZERO ability to bring the nose across as the threat reverses and tucks under in the most basic of BFM snakes and rolling scissors. Because both the verticals and the stabs are having to _fight_ to keep the nose up and the jet is bleeding down, unable to generate lift to sustain even a 6G turn as the F-16 did against the F-4E shown here-

                                        https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...0c3821bc8c.jpg

                                        So...

                                        We have a jet that is dedicated to BVR with only two internal missiles in a typical strike role and those missiles having inferior performance compared to the R-77MD or the Meteor or the PL-15 _despite_ the fact that SSPK drops alinearly with range _before_ you add (SAP-514/518, GaNi) EW effects.

                                        We have a jet which, at 60% internal fuel (7G max turn) and _zero_ bay weight (5,000lbs off the front end) cannot beat an F-16D for pitch rate or stabilized loaded roll, despite the latter having two bags and a -100 engine.

                                        And we have an interdictor class mission weight and particularly fuel fraction penalty with pretenses of being a 'fighter' by jamming the biggest TSFC pig of an engine in it as possible, ruining it's radius performance justification for being in a world where Hyper-SAM mean you cannot have tanker orbits malingering, just over the fence.

                                        Did I mention it's a 130 million dollar fighter which hasn't met Lot-9 production cost reduction goals and NEVER WILL as we finally figure out we are bankrupt and cannot afford (and do not need) 2,400 of these engineering sandboxes?

                                        And you call me ANGRY?!? I'm not angry. I'm _furious_. Because I have been looking at the numbers and making accurate predictions on this worthless beast since the mid-90s when I saw it start to threaten the F-22 which had true supremacy in all three primary areas of LO, EM and Weapons Load. I've seen it kill J-UCAS for nothing better than pilot egos and Hoffaesque 'shop rules' job security for the largest labor union on the planet. And now, just as I warned, we are looking at Hunting Weapons and SSL class DEWS that threaten to turn the entire world of Air Warfare on it's ear interms of sustainable LERs in the first 2-3 days of banging out an operation bubble in which to FINALLY employ airpower to support ground forces in contact. Assuming we keep our Carriers and Airbases at least 1,500nm out on the radial because we cannot beat the Chinese on a 10 million dollar BASM vs. 10 million dollar SM-3IIa mechanical intercept capability.

                                        So don't tell me what this kluge is and isn't. Because I know better than you why it's so Klotzed (Yiddish: Dead Wood) up. I always have.

                                        The F-35 is as much a 'fighter' as Roseanne Barr is an Olympic Sprinter.

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