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Showing posts from July, 2015

Would a bomber make a better fighter?

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Sorry I missed posting last week.

Looks like a whopping 47% of you believe that the Su-35 should be the designated "bad guy" when considering future threats.  Fair enough.  It's fast, agile, and nasty.

For this week, I wanted to slightly revisit the question "Is the dogfight dead".  While the majority of you disagree with that statement, it would seem that those pushing for the F-35 have hitched their horse to the BVR combat wagon.

Undoubtedly, BVR combat has become the norm, rather than the exception.  Better sensors and better missiles have lead to the point where if a pilot finds themselves in a fur-ball, than something has probably gone wrong.  Better to take out the enemy unseen, from a distance, without the need to burn excess fuel.  This is the case for the F-35.

If there is validity to this argument; that fighter aircraft no longer need to maneuver, then why not push the concept further?

Fighters like the F-35 and F-22 are indeed stealthy, but they …

QOTW: WHAT IS THE "REFERENCE THREAT"?

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No discussion about Canada's next fighter would be complete without asking the simple question:  What could they be up against?

During the Cold War, the answer was easy:  Whatever the Soviets were flying.

These days, the answer is a lot more complicated.  With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has become less of a threat.  Recent events in the Ukraine have brought some of those Cold War tensions back, however.

Russian fighters are quite well known among aviation enthusiasts.  Cold War era Su-27 Flanker and MiG-29 Fulcrums have been updated to keep with the times.  Sukhoi's latest, the Su-35, may look like its 80's vintage predecessor, but the addition of thrust vectoring, fly-by-wire, RCS improvements, and a PESA radar make it a thoroughly modern fighter.

Then, of course, there is also the impressive PAK FA on the horizon.



Russia is not the only possibly adversary, however.  China's predominance has brought it up to the status of full-blown superpower.  In th…

JUST A REMINDER... BE RESPECTFUL, OR BE BANNED.

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It's amazing how nasty people can get when defending their favorite airplanes.

It's also amazing that they believe they can make a convincing argument by insulting, berating, and brow-beating those that don't see their point-of-view.

Since that is the only sort of language these people seem to understand, allow me to speak to them in their native tongue...

BE RESPECTFUL GET THE FUCK OUT.

I'm sick of moderating comments of assholes who think they can come here and insult everybody.  

If I get so much as a whiff of an inkling that your intent here is to troll, berate, or otherwise cause shit...  You get banned.  No warning, no "friendly reminders"...  Just banned.  Warnings take a lot more time than the simple two clicks I have to perform in order to ban someone.  

You want to talk down to someone?  Do it somewhere else.  I'm out of patience.  

I honestly don't give a damn if your pro-JSF or anti-JSF.  I honestly don't give a damn if you talk shit to me…

F-35 ZOMBIE SHUFFLE: FLEET SIZE "UNDER REVIEW".

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It would seem as though the summer is a very unlucky time for the Joint Strike Fighter.

Last summer, the F-35 weathered some stormy PR after spontaneously combusting during take off.  This would have been bad enough by itself, but the incident caused the JSF to be a no-show at its international debut.

This summer, Lockheed Martin and Joint Program Office are mobilizing their PR departments once again after a not-so-complimentary report was leaked detailing the F-35's lack of dogfighting prowess.  Some have dismissed the report as "garbage" (yet still slam the JSF for being a "bloated failure").  Whatever the merit of the report, it is still a harsh blow to a program that once boasted of the JSF's superiority compared to fourth-generation fighters.

This latest bit of PR shenanigans may soon be forgotten if this next shoe drops, however...

In a document addressed to the United States of America's Senate Armed Services Committee, (SASC), Marine General Jo…

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: IS THE DOGFIGHT DEAD?

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Welcome to QUESTION OF THE WEEK!  During the summer, I hope to post a (hopefully) weekly series asking a simple question with a difficult answer!


Last weeks revelation that the F-35 fared poorly against a F-16 in a simulated dogfight seems to have left aviation experts (and the not-so experts) debating as to whether or not the test was even relevant, given the fact that the F-35 in question was not fitted with some of its more advanced features that would typically give it the advantage.
“It [the F-35 in question] is not equipped with the weapons or software that allow the F-35 pilot to turn, aim a weapon with the helmet, and fire at an enemy without having to point the airplane at its target.” This excuse for the F-35's poor performance only highlights what many see as one of the JSF's glaring problems.  It is a "one-trick-pony".  Without its much publicized stealth and sensor technology, the aircraft cannot match fighter designs that are decades old and available fo…

F-35 CAN'T DOGFIGHT. SUPRISED?

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Were you surprised by the recent hullaballoo regarding the F-35's lack of dogfighting prowess?  If so, you have not been paying much attention.

Several days ago, an article was posted on the "War is Boring" blogsite entitled:  Test Pilot Admits the F-35 Can't Dogfight.  The article described a 5-page report in which a test pilot criticized the JSF's performance during combat testing against a F-16D Fighting Falcon.  Shortly after, War is Boring published the entire report.

Aviation week has hosted the report in PDF form here. Or you can read it below.

F-35 High AoA Maneuvers
The exercise, which occurred in January, pitted an early production F-35A (the standard CTOL model) against a Block 40 F-16D.  The F-35 had no stealth coating, nor did it have weapons mounted internally or externally.  The F-16D carried no weapons, but did mount two 370 gallon wing tanks.

The F-35A seemed to have every advantage.  Its stealth coating would have been on no use in WVR combat, b…