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Thread: Views on UK Losing Harrier

  1. #1 Views on UK Losing Harrier 
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    Hey,

    Just wondered what other people think about the decommissioning of the Harrier Jump jet?


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    An old (40 plus years), hard to maintain, and difficult to fly aircraft that needed replacement.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    An old (40 plus years), hard to maintain, and difficult to fly aircraft that needed replacement.
    I would guess that, like the A-10, its retirement will not be complete. While the F-35 is a great plane, the Harrier has some unique capabilities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    An old (40 plus years), hard to maintain, and difficult to fly aircraft that needed replacement.
    I would guess that, like the A-10, its retirement will not be complete. While the F-35 is a great plane, the Harrier has some unique capabilities.
    There's very little if anything the harrier can do that the F35B can't do a lot better.

    The A10 on the other hand has one stand out characteristic--unmatched and superb durability. It's ability to remain over the fight and kill anything a ground pounder wants are especially appreciated. It also relatively cheap and can be supported from austere airfields if necessary. The A10 will probably be in service for another ten to fifteen years.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    There's very little if anything the harrier can do that the F35B can't do a lot better.
    1. VTOL

    2. Fly around with Arnold Schwarzeneger at the stick and Jamie Lee Curtis hanging on outside.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The A10 on the other hand has one stand out characteristic--unmatched and superb durability. It's ability to remain over the fight and kill anything a ground pounder wants are especially appreciated. It also relatively cheap and can be supported from austere airfields if necessary. The A10 will probably be in service for another ten to fifteen years.
    The GAU-8 strikes me as a stand-out characteristic. The plane was basically designed around the gun -- snd rather well designed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    There's very little if anything the harrier can do that the F35B can't do a lot better.
    1. VTOL

    2. Fly around with Arnold Schwarzeneger at the stick and Jamie Lee Curtis hanging on outside.
    LOL. It could have been done with F35B just as well.

    http://gizmodo.com/5062451/awesome-f...e-transformers

    The GAU-8 strikes me as a stand-out characteristic. The plane was basically designed around the gun -- snd rather well designed.
    Agreed--another stand out characteristic.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    There's very little if anything the harrier can do that the F35B can't do a lot better.
    1. VTOL

    2. Fly around with Arnold Schwarzeneger at the stick and Jamie Lee Curtis hanging on outside.
    LOL. It could have been done with F35B just as well.

    http://gizmodo.com/5062451/awesome-f...e-transformers
    Interesting video, but apparently from the very early development program prior to LockMart being declared the winner. I seem to recall that ther was then some issue of VTOL vs STOVL. I lost track and have not been able to really determine if the F35B is going to really be STOVL or VTOL, though STOVL is what is quoted. Thewre also seems to be an issue as to whether any F35Bs will actually be produced. The program seems to be in serious trouble with cost approaching and perhaps exceeding the more capable F22, which has already been drastically curtailed.

    I find a lot of discussion bemoaning shortcomings in the F35B but I discount most of that.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...887891598.html
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    DrR, you continue to astound me. Math, physics and also an afficionado of modern military aircraft ??
    The F-35b is VTOL capable, but I would think only off a carrier deck, as the exhaust of its rotatable propulsion/lift engine is too energetic for foreward basing. It needs a hardened surface. Its front geared lift only fan has no such problem. The harrier on the other hand, had much less energetic efflux from its engine (no reheat) and so could be, in a pinch (or a big cloud of dust and debris) be used on un-hardened foreward bases,.

    The Royal navy has already stepped back from procurement of the b version of the F-35 and may go with the c version on their new catapult equipped carriers. As far as I know only the Marines and the Italians are still interested in the F-35b.

    Cancellation of this version, although a very real possibility, would be a big mistake in terms of lost opportunities and tech know-how, of the same magnitude of the P-1154 cancellation 45 yrs ago ( wow thats a long time ago ).
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MigL
    DrR, you continue to astound me. Math, physics and also an afficionado of modern military aircraft ??
    I've spent a lot of professional time with rockets (ICBMs, space launchers, tactical, divert propulsion, space propulsion,...), other munitions, explosives, ammunition and composite materials,other aerospacey stuff. Not so much aircraft per se, but they are hard to avoid entirely -- one has to protect them and shoot them down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    I've spent a lot of professional time with rockets (ICBMs, space launchers, tactical, divert propulsion, space propulsion,...), other munitions, explosives, ammunition and composite materials,other aerospacey stuff. Not so much aircraft per se, but they are hard to avoid entirely -- one has to protect them and shoot them down.
    I'd love to have a beer or three with you. [/Offtopic_Comments_about_which_nobody_cares]
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    For this area of interest, military aviation and related technology, I participate in the Key Publishing Forum, 'modern military aviation'. There is plenty of discussion, if not downright arguing, concerning military aircraft and associated topics like stealth and radar cross-section, radar/IRST/ecm characteristics, maneuverability and control of various design choices, etc. as well as up to date news which are always a little stale in publications. A knowledgeable voice would certainly be appreciated there also
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MigL
    and associated topics like stealth and radar cross-section, radar/IRST/ecm characteristics, maneuverability and control of various design choices, etc. as well as up to date news ...
    I don't know how you can say anything interesting without getting into at least ITAR-controlled, if not actually DOD secret stuff.

    I'm retired now, so out of the loop on current restrictions, but caution would keep me silent on specifics.

    The nice thing about mathematics and physics is that the principles are not subject to such restrictions. Not so with interesting military technology.
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    Nonetheless it would be interesting to hear your views on topics like the direction stealth is taking and wether, given enough computational power, purely electronic stealth is possible using active signal cancellation to reduce the reflected radar signal in the direction of any incoming scan to below noise levels, effectively making even a B747 invisible to radar. Such a system could be retrofit to existing aircraft, without the need for aerodynamic compromises for the sake of stealth. I don't think we're there yet computationally as it would involve massive parallelism and even the F-22 only uses i486 processor technology due to its long developement cycle, but that technology is improving very rapidly... Or, maybe we are there already but us common peons aren't allowed to know about it.
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    I'm at work and trying to while away 12 hrs in a chemical plant (my parent company makes composites for F-22s and 787s ), but just out of curiosity, what kind of work did you do before retirement and who did you do it for. I previously thought you were in academia but I should have realised that with your lack of patience for fools and uneducated, you could never have been a teacher. I certainly don't mean that as a slight, but I would have hated to have you as a prof in University. Then again, the ones that had the biggest impact on me, in retrospect, were always the toughest SOBs, so maybe its not a bad quality for a teacher to have.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MigL
    I'm at work and trying to while away 12 hrs in a chemical plant (my parent company makes composites for F-22s and 787s ), but just out of curiosity, what kind of work did you do before retirement and who did you do it for. I previously thought you were in academia but I should have realised that with your lack of patience for fools and uneducated, you could never have been a teacher. I certainly don't mean that as a slight, but I would have hated to have you as a prof in University. Then again, the ones that had the biggest impact on me, in retrospect, were always the toughest SOBs, so maybe its not a bad quality for a teacher to have.
    I did both. Good students liked me. Lazy ones hated me.

    Then I went into aerospace/defense. I was involved in and responsible for technical issues across the corporation-- lots of different and interesting stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MigL
    Nonetheless it would be interesting to hear your views on topics like the direction stealth is taking and wether, given enough computational power, purely electronic stealth is possible using active signal cancellation to reduce the reflected radar signal in the direction of any incoming scan to below noise levels, effectively making even a B747 invisible to radar. Such a system could be retrofit to existing aircraft, without the need for aerodynamic compromises for the sake of stealth. I don't think we're there yet computationally as it would involve massive parallelism and even the F-22 only uses i486 processor technology due to its long developement cycle, but that technology is improving very rapidly... Or, maybe we are there already but us common peons aren't allowed to know about it.
    I dunno.

    But I have seen some of the work being done in academia on "cloaking" and am extremely skeptical. Bullshit is the appropriate word.

    The electronic warfare game is constantly changing and I think always will be. There are just too many ways to design countermeasures and counter-countermeasures.

    I am not sure how much aerodynamics is currently sacrificed for stealth -- I would think that is classified. The F-17 is certainly an aerodynamic mess, but I believe the problem way back then was that the available electromagnetic codes could not handle curved surfaces -- hence the faceted design of the F-17. Newer birds look pretty sleek to me.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MigL
    I'm at work and trying to while away 12 hrs in a chemical plant (my parent company makes composites for F-22s and 787s ),
    Materials (resins, fibers, prepreps) or structures ?
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    Materials, the company is Cytec. I'm actually at a Canadian plant where we make phosphine and organic derivatives. Our hi purity phosphine is used as a dopant for semiconductors, mostly LEDs.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MigL
    Materials, the company is Cytec. I'm actually at a Canadian plant where we make phosphine and organic derivatives. Our hi purity phosphine is used as a dopant for semiconductors, mostly LEDs.
    Then Cytec Fiberite is the group making the materials, primarily pre-pregs in the case if the 787 and F-22 I would think..
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  22. #21  
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    I just know them as the Cytec Engineered Materials division, and we are apparently, one of the biggest composite and thermoplastic producers.
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    At what institution did you teach, and which corporation did you move to? Was it one of the biggies like LM, N-G or Boeing. Or were you there before the amalgamations and take-overs of the last 20 yrs when there were close to a dozen aerospace firms?

    As to stealth, I wouldn't presume to lecture you, but radar cross section is not solely dependant on reflection. So even if modern computational methods have made facetting obsolete, Radar, being a wave has many other effects such as diffraction, refraction, re-transmission etc which must all be taken into consideration to reduce cross-section.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MigL
    At what institution did you teach, and which corporation did you move to? Was it one of the biggies like LM, N-G or Boeing. Or were you there before the amalgamations and take-overs of the last 20 yrs when there were close to a dozen aerospace firms?
    If I told you that it would be too easy for some people to figure out who I am. I get enough junk mail now.


    Quote Originally Posted by MigL
    As to stealth, I wouldn't presume to lecture you, but radar cross section is not solely dependant on reflection. So even if modern computational methods have made facetting obsolete, Radar, being a wave has many other effects such as diffraction, refraction, re-transmission etc which must all be taken into consideration to reduce cross-section.
    I agree. I was pointing out that designing for stealth requires an ability to solve the rather complex equations of electrodynamics, and that early stealth designs were severely constrained by the rudimentary codes of the time -- hence the ungainly F-17. Things are better now, the codes are much better, and so are materials and materials characterization. We have much better manufacturing methods -- for instance the fiber placement machines that use some of the materials made by your company.

    There is a lot going on when waves are reflected and the reflected waves interfere with one another, which is the fundamental source of the phenomena that you mention -- it all goes back to Huygens Principle. Huygens Principle is both important and subtle -- a critical role is played by the fact that we have 3 spatial dimensions. http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath242/kmath242.htm

    I don't know all of the tricks being used, and I suspect that specifics are classified. I know that some aspects of composites manufacturing technology are or at least were export-controlled.
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    Well at least you didn't say that if you told me you'd have to kill me.

    But seriously, I hope you and your family had a very merry Christmas ( or holiday if you're not of the Christian persuasion ).
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