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cmatthewbacon

The End: no more jets for me

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Looking at those Italeri F-35 sprue shots in 1/72, and assuming that one day there'll be mainstream (non-Panda) kits of the thing in service, I'm declaring the official end of my interest in the latest military hardware. In my teens, I built 200+ more or less "current" 1/72 aircraft from Hunters and Mirages right through to state of the art Eagles and F-16s. I had a model of every current USN aircraft, and most of the combatants from Israel and her enemies.

But now we're not only in the era of boring grey jets, but they're even UGLY boring grey jets. I bought an Academy F-22, but can I be bothered to make it? The last cool jets were the Eagle and Su-27... IMHO.

So, in my view, we're officially at "the end of history" for military aircraft. Instead of ten new types a year, we have planes designed to be in service for decades, with software upgrades. Plus they don't even look good...

Good job there's plenty of history to go at, and other modelling genres, eh? Bring on the McLaren F1 and Avro Mirage 720, I say...

Bestest

M.

Edited by cmatthewbacon

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Not disagreeing with you there mate, can't stand the latest designs, one of the costs of progress I guess

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Gone are the days where aircraft designers were artists, now theres so many rules they have to stick to that aircraft designs are almost dictated before pencil hits paper (or stylus hits cintiq as the case is now) I agree that most new aircraft have stopped being interesting, but there are still a few exceptions to the rule, aircraft coming out of india at the moment are quite interesting, Iran seems to be amusing the masses with their attempts at pulling the wool over every-bodies eyes. And russia will always come out with interesting stuff right up untill their economy completly collapses and they end up as a 3rd world country, at which point mercenary factions will start designing awesome stuff.

Just wait until we start colonising the galaxy, then the combat aircraft will start looking cool again.

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On Pprune John Farley put up a quote he got from his proof reader, a 70 year old lady who knows nothing about aeroplanes but whose grammar is immaculate:

You can’t have a Lightning II. Especially when THE Lightning had a red hot exhaust and was quite attractive and this thing looks like it should come down your street sucking out the drains.

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On Pprune John Farley put up a quote he got from his proof reader, a 70 year old lady who knows nothing about aeroplanes but whose grammar is immaculate:[/size]You can’t have a Lightning II. Especially when THE Lightning had a red hot exhaust and was quite attractive and this thing looks like it should come down your street sucking out the drains.

Love it!

Couldn't agree with you more, Matt. The annoncement that Trumpeter is releasing a 1/48 YF-23 left me distictly unimpressed. the F-22 is ugly, though pretty cool to watch, and the F-35 is indeed a Flying Streetsweeper.....

Luckily, Tornadoes, Mig-21s and other assorted 70's jets will be around a bit longer yet.

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I think it's a fact of modern life. Standard jack-of-all-trades, so we end up with a couple of generic types that satisfy the ultimate service needs of (non) visibility, manoeuvrability and capability. That's why we only have two combat capable types in the RAF compared to maybe 10 years ago when we had 6 or 7..

It's the same on the railway. Everyone bemoaned the passing of steam in '68, most fell in love with the classes of diesel/DMU/DEMU until they all went about 10 years ago and now everyone looks at endless Class 66's, Pendolino's, HST's and various permutations of Javelins, Electrostars...blah-blah and says "awful"

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I have to agree! this obsession with stealth technology is making most jets really boring to look at! they all look the same!

Fortunately! the advancement of RADAR technology is now making all this stealth rubbish useless! and thus obsolete!

So hopefully this will mean aircraft manufactures will soon abandon stealth! and return to designing more sensible aircraft with individual characters!

thus giving us modellers more interesting subject mater to build!.

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The next technology will bring "Egg Planes" to the fore,only joking

or am I?

Edited by hawker

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Anything later than the first gulf war holds exactly zero interest for me. Couldn't tell you an F-35A from a Typhoon.

Easy, one is a proven primary strike fighter/bomber, the other currently heading toward 'white elephant' status. Now airliners...I think we have had this (light-hearted) discussion before!

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Worse is yet to come could the F35 be the last major "manned" aircraft to enter service can,t say drones set my pulse racing at all!

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According to the Beeb, the USAF has been taking mothballed F-16A a/c from AMARC and flying them as a version of the RQ-9/RQ-4 (so a QF-16) to look at 'possibilities' of use. Apparently they were flown pilotless at Mach 1.4!

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An interesting point of view from a professor at Sandhurst (sorry, can't remember his name) was "Why build the "not quite as good as its cracked up to be" F-22 at stupendous cost, keep it out of harm's way, and why then follow it with a clearly inferior in terms of spec stupendously expensive and late F-35, when the F/A-18, modded F-15 and F-16 are *good enough*?". He also included the Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale as good, solid, get the job done airaft. His point really was what are we pitting these super-stealthy (allegedly) aircraft against, and do we need to be so far in advance (allegedly) of said putative enemy?

I thought it was an interesting point, and after some thought, can't come up with a reasonable argument against it.

That said, I don't mind the F-22 or the F-35. But they're nowhere near as good-looking as the previous two or three generations...

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On Pprune John Farley put up a quote he got from his proof reader, a 70 year old lady who knows nothing about aeroplanes but whose grammar is immaculate:

You can’t have a Lightning II. Especially when THE Lightning had a red hot exhaust and was quite attractive and this thing looks like it should come down your street sucking out the drains.

I LOVE that quote!!!!!

David

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Personally, I wonder whether the whole multi-role thing has gone way too far. Let's think about it - today you use drones and satellites for recce, cruise missiles for strategic first-wave attacks on military infrastructure, and manned combat aircraft have 4 uses - air superiority, cheap(ish) bomb delivery platform once superiority is assured, delivery of specialised (e.g. Bunker buster ordnance) and close air support. (Radar-only) stealth isn't the biggest factor in the first or the last, though it is useful in the other two, particularly the third. In the new-shape RAF it seems the Typhoon will work well for the first and maybe second roles, while the Lightning II won't have the loiter time for CAS nor the range or payload for a true IDS role. What exactly is the point, then? Should have kept the Harriers, thank goodness they did keep the Tornadoes (for now).

Shame they can't reinvent TSR.2. With modern engine and aero tech, as well as modern computer power, imagine what a few of those could do, flying 20ft off the deck and launching stand-off weapons....!

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I work in the mobile phone business. In the last five years, the phones we sell have gone from a range covering every price point from £30 -- £600 (of which Nokia made one at each end and a lot more in between) to a range that consists only of expensive flagships (iPhone and Galaxy S4) and cheap "good enough" Android phones and a few really low budget talk only phones. And the second hand market is booming.

I think military aircraft have gone the same way. There are a few "silver bullet" technology leaders, affordable only by a select group, which are vastly more capable than they need to be, fighting the war before the last one. And a lot more "a bit better than the neighbours' planes... probably" affordable or second-hand last generation but still pretty good "mass market" alternatives. It would be interesting (academically, though I hope it never comes to it) to see what happens if you put up drones up against well-flown F-16s or Mig-29s rather than convoys of Land Cruisers...

bestest,

M.

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Once the Russian SAM technology improves

as it will do, then the F35 will be less capable

than a Hawker Hunter. And a lot less capable

than a Harrier. Does the USAF think that an

F35 will be more effective than an F111 or

even an F4 at low level attack? Pathetic.

Never mind, early 1950's B52s and late

60's B1's still protect us. Cheers :)

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Quite. If they're sensible about drones, they'll keep them small and low-observable. Even a semi-competent air defence could take out a predator or global hawk, surely? The Vietnamese took down plenty of Ryan drones in the 60s, without manpads...

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I think it`s total folly to take the human element out of warfare!

A robot doesn't know who it`s fighting for!

it`s so easy with modern electronic counter measures to knock out or even reprogram a drone in mid flight! to send it back to attack it`s own country!

you can`t do that to a human pilot!.

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Once the Russian SAM technology improves

as it will do, then the F35 will be less capable

than a Hawker Hunter. And a lot less capable

than a Harrier. Does the USAF think that an

F35 will be more effective than an F111 or

even an F4 at low level attack? Pathetic.

Never mind, early 1950's B52s and late

60's B1's still protect us. Cheers :)

Sorry, but: no. How will it be less capable than a Hunter, which, with the best will in the world, couldn't compete in terms of precision weapons delivery and which had a built in avionics suite of which the most advanced aspect was arguably Brain, Human, Mk1? And how will it be 'a lot less capable than a Harrier'? And both of them would stand rock all chance of survival against the sort of GBAD threat you're positing there.

The USAF has no intention of using the F-35 for low level attack in a high-threat area, or for low level work generally. The low level area still has some relevance, but the USAF was moving towards medium level ops long before the RAF did (there is an article by ACM Sir Stuart Peach, current VCDS, in an old RAF AIr Power Review where he makes this point; can't recall which edition). As an illustration, I could point you in the direction of a former F-111 driver who over a beer or three at Bracknell suggested that the only reason he was there talking to me was because he egressed one particular target at M1.4 which rather spoiled the AAA gunners' aim (and, he realised later, reduced the risk from the unguided fire simply being poured into the air in the hope a round or two might hit something). He was a much happier bunny at medium level, particularly when he moved onto the F-15E.

While there are all sorts of issues with the F-35 in terms of the value and durability of the capability compared to the cost of getting it, let's not go to the extent of using hyperbolic comparisons with older platforms which'd face serious survivability questions in a non-permissive air environment and which could only be claimed to be more capable than a F-35 if we're talking about an F-35 with the avionics switched off...

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According to the Beeb, the USAF has been taking mothballed F-16A a/c from AMARC and flying them as a version of the RQ-9/RQ-4 (so a QF-16) to look at 'possibilities' of use. Apparently they were flown pilotless at Mach 1.4!

Here`s a link to that story!

http://theaviationist.com/2013/09/23/qf-16-unmanned-flight/#.UkPe9L5wbIU

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Love the John Farley story though I think the criticism on the F35 sometimes a bit heavy it is the ugly bird at the dance. Trouble is there is not many birds dancing at all and almost no stunners so from a modeling perspective our future models will be painted "warts and all" to borrow from Cromwell

On the last manned aircraft scenario I don't think Steve needs worry too much. The very prescient (not!) Duncan Sandys defence paper reckoned that in the 1950 s. It was wrong then and still is now.

There is a place for unmanned drones etc but as part of a balanced force. I always worry about data link security in these matters. I heard a quote that the USA won the space race because "our German scientists were better than their German scientists". Could we have a quote "we won because our geek hackers were better than their geek hackers"?

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It would be interesting (academically, though I hope it never comes to it) to see what happens if you put up drones up against well-flown F-16s or Mig-29s rather than convoys of Land Cruisers...

bestest,

M.

A human pilot going into harms way will be on alert & ready to react to any threat he/she encounters. Replace a pilot with a computer nerd, put him/her in a nice wee room miles away from danger and what happens? Well, it's human nature. When not under threat we relax. Attention lapses. Along comes an ancient manned MiG 21 which then blows the bejesus out of our brand new,expensive state of the art drone before our expensively trained nerd has time to wake up and react? As for "stealth"? Well, are designers not OVER emphasising the "importance" of same? A single breakthrough in detection technology could render these vastly expensive "stealthy" supaplanes obsolete. What then for the air force that has placed all its eggs in the stealth basket. Added to which, can we guarantee security of the electronic data link to our oh so wonderful ,jack of all trade drones?? Any electronic link can be jammed or disrupted. Maybe we can look forward to the formation of a squadron known as the "Nerd Jammers"?

Allan

Edited by Albeback52

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