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

  1. #1
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    Not building the B-70 when we could have was really dumb

    More and more it is looking really stupid that the B-70 was cancelled. Here are about 3 reasons why.

    First since the B-52 is still a valued aircraft, why wouldnt an aircraft that flys twice as high and 4 times faster be better.

    Second, since the SR-71 was never shot down, why wouldnt the B-70 achieve the same results.

    Third, with all the large supersonic flying experience it would have had, cancelling it probably set aviation back 30 years. There is no reason we should not have supersonic transports flying all over the world right now.

    Cancelling the B-70 was just a stupid political move.

  2. #2
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    B-52 is still used because it is a big bomb truck that can launch missiles from 5000-10000 km aways. You don't need a fast aircraft that is several times more expensive to do that.

  3. #3
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    what's more, the B-52 is an old horse that can be adapted to any needs.. the Russians had the Myasitchev M-50 even earlier in the pipeline which was disposed of in the early 1960's as they developed missiles to do the job (a lot cheaper to maintain).. same thing: the mission for which it was made disappeared

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mig-31bm View Post
    B-52 is still used because it is a big bomb truck that can launch missiles from 5000-10000 km aways. You don't need a fast aircraft that is several times more expensive to do that.
    5000 to 10,000 km?. what is price of those missiles?fast aircraft not expensive. Why all the time B1 flying in Middleast and NK.

  5. #5
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    First since the B-52 is still a valued aircraft, why wouldnt an aircraft that flys twice as high and 4 times faster be better.
    Because flying and maintaining a mach3 aircraft, one that had no obvious mission and weighted 50% more than a B-52, would have bankrupted the USAF.

    Second, since the SR-71 was never shot down, why wouldnt the B-70 achieve the same results.
    The SR-71 was retired in 1998, the Dragon Lady still flies, there´s a lesson in there.

    Third, with all the large supersonic flying experience it would have had, cancelling it probably set aviation back 30 years. There is no reason we should not have supersonic transports flying all over the world right now.
    It would have been such an invaluable experience for the civilian aviation having a great supersonic airframe flying around.
    Hmmmmmmmmmm
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  6. #6
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    @Mig 31.

    The B 52 is not a bomb truck. Its a bomb hay wagon. The B 70, if configured to just be a bomb truck, would have been more efficent. Hard not to be.

    I agree with the poster. The B 52 still has doggy low bypass engines ffs.
    Last edited by KGB; 12th October 2017 at 18:22.

  7. #7
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    @Sintra

    The Concorde was not a failure. It flew til 2003 and 911 regulations and the resulting depression in the industry grounded it.

    The crashes were not its fault most of the time. It had a good safety record.

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    Crashes? the Concorde crashed only once... one time too many, of course, but only once

    The main problem of the Concorde was in two facts:

    - the US protectionism that forbid it from flying over continental USA

    - the 1974 crisis when oil prices jumped through the roof, resulting in the impossibility to make any profit with the Concorde (as the ticket price to make profits would have been so high that way too few people would be able to afford it). British Airways and Air France both had their part of the Concorde initial production which they kept flying for prestige reasons, even if they made no direct money on it

  9. #9
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    KGB:
    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.

    That's a failure.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

  10. #10
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    The B 52 is not a bomb truck. Its a bomb hay wagon. The B 70, if configured to just be a bomb truck, would have been more efficent. Hard not to be.

    I agree with the poster. The B 52 still has doggy low bypass engines ffs.
    The B-70 would have less range than the B-52, carrying 1/3 of the bomb load, while consuming more fuel and an RCS that could rival the USS Gerald R. Ford.
    Last edited by Sintra; 12th October 2017 at 19:12.

  11. #11
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    swerve

    it became a failure after the oil crisis. the USA reaction (which was not unlike the tax they've put on Bombardier sale to Delta recently) was just another thing that made sure it would be profitable. if the oil did remain at the prices it had before, it would still have operated over a certain number of routes and potentially make profits.

  12. #12
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    First since the B-52 is still a valued aircraft, why wouldnt an aircraft that flys twice as high and 4 times faster be better.
    But probably a bazillion times more expensive to operate too.

    Second, since the SR-71 was never shot down, why wouldnt the B-70 achieve the same results.
    The Sr 71 never overflew enemy territory. For a bomber you would have to.

    Nic

  13. #13
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    No long-range missile - no effective aircraft

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  14. #14
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    BTW thanks Logical1 for such a fun topic. There's not enough of these.

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    @Toocool

    There's still a myth lingering out there that the Concorde was dangerous.

    The Concorde made it through the fuel price spike. It had little to do with the cancelling in 2003. Which was a time of very cheap fuel prices.

    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.

  16. #16
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    @Swerve

    This isn't an economics forum. But sure. In this era where air travel is Greyhound with wings, it was a failure. But maybe not.

    Because part of that economic calculation had to do with the way the industry was deregulated in some areas and not in others and how it all evolved.

    You just cant deny that there would be demand for supersonic travel. (monarchs, pro sports, celebs, business tycoons) And we had the technology to do it. So if those 2 things are true, the culprit for its death or non profitablity lies in government regulation.

    The whole noise pollution thing, if you look into it, was largely a scam. It had the same underpinnings of all neo-eviromentalists. The whole idea behind the movement was to slow down technology and capitalism. And the Concorde was a huge target because it represented Jetsons level technical advancement. But here we are 30 years later. We don't question the validity of the noise pollution issue. We just take it at face value. There were other ways, other routes and procedures that could have mitigated the noise. But nope. It was a clear win for the enviro lobby.

    And this is relevant to the topic b/c it has to do with aviation evolution.

  17. #17
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    The Sr 71 never overflew enemy territory. For a bomber you would have to.
    Sure it did. Just not USSR/China.

    At least Vietnam and N.Korea were oveflown.
    Last edited by Z1pp0; 12th October 2017 at 23:16.
    Latencia Profecionalis

  18. #18
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    @KGB
    The noise pollution thing wasn't a scam....I live on one of the flight paths to Heathrow Airport (almost 30 km away) one of the busiest airports in the world....when Concorde used to fly over the whole house would shake...if you were on the phone you had wait until it had gone to carry on talking...it really was awful! Hundreds of planes fly every day but you can't hear a thing....modern jets are silent by comparison ;-)

  19. #19
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    XB-70 didn't even have a bay for bombs. That was a technical hurdle yet to tackle.

    It made more sense in the electronics day & age to resurrect YF-12A as a standoff high-speed, high-altitude smartbomb-release platform. The B-70 was affordable if you operated like ten and cancelled B-52, FB-111A, and B-58 - and never initiated B-1A development - to offset operational costs.
    Go Huskers!

  20. #20
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    @Tony

    Of course the boom was real. But they could have mitigated the noise pollution. Instead they banned it

  21. #21
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    @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 at 02:30.
    Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone...Sophie Scholl (9 May 1921 - 22 February 1943)

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

  23. #23
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    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

  24. #24
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    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.
    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

  25. #25
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    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.

  26. #26
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    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 at 10:02. Reason: Clarified paragraph on cockpit door

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

  28. #28
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    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/

  29. #29
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    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 at 12:22.

  30. #30
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    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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