#Taranislive

BAE are going into PR overload today at a press day on the progress of Taranis and a move into FCAS

Bloody fantastic stuff

Read more at BAE, click here

 

As one of our commenters said,

Right, lets give it away to the French

Too true but I think the term is ‘collaborative project’

 

Media

 	Taranis, Taxiing at BAE Systems, Warton, Lanacashire  	Taranis during trials at Warton  	Taranis in flight  	Taranis in flight  	Taranis in flight  	Taranis in testing at BAE Systems Warton, Lancashire  	Taranis, Taxiing at BAE Systems, Warton, Lanacashire  	Taranis, Taxiing at BAE Systems, Warton, Lanacashire  	Taranis taxiing at Warton, Lancashire

 

I will keep this page updated

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wf
wf
February 5, 2014 10:51 am

What a great achievement. Now we shall give it all away to the French :-(

East_Anglian
East_Anglian
February 5, 2014 11:04 am

Flying off the QE2 and PoW sometime in 2025?

– agreed – amazing and well done.

Derek
Derek
February 5, 2014 11:45 am

Yeah because the French have done nothing to develop UAV’s, Neuron must be a figment of my imagination.

EA,

FCAS won’t appear until at least 2030. And because the UK has decided it it is going to operate an LHA rather than a strike carrier it is going CTOL which puts serious limits PoW/QE’s future use of UCAV’s. Along with STOVL producing a less capable strike capability in the near term it also restricts future aircraft use.

Chris
Chris
February 5, 2014 12:14 pm

OK – its a cool bit of kit, its a technical tour de force, its British hurrah and hussah, but what’s it for? Is it intended to be the form of the UK’s future photo-recce platform? Is it the precursor to a high speed Reaper replacement with ground-strike GW to launch? Is it the prototype of a system to carry dumb bombs for area denial? Is its future production aircraft supposed to dogfight? The role is central.

If its RPAS only – no autonomy of action – and photo-recce then I have no problem with it – well done chaps for inventing a new capability. I am concerned if it is to engage targets under remote pilot control; I am equally concerned with Reaper too for the simple reason that I think it is too easy for the remote pilot to fall into the “its just a computer game” mentality where due consideration of the very real consequences of loosing weapons is abandoned. I can’t see how RPAS can dogfight at all – the latency of the control loop would surely make close quarters targeting and evasion impossible.

Autonomy then. I have grave misgivings of allowing fast aircraft free range to decide their own flightpath. The US has only recently created apparently safe ground vehicle autonomous control (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqPUH5SwY54) and although TerraMax reached a creditable 40mph before the data processing ran out of steam, humans still have greater capacity to cope with the unexpected. How much more difficult is freedom in 3 dimensions at ten times the speed? If the thing takes a sharp self determined turn into the path of a manned aircraft or the likes, what will its pre-determined algorithms decide to do? But horror of horrors if it was to be autonomous in weapons release too – despite having people in the loop, the Vincennes incident was largely an issue of remote sensor data; had anyone been able to put a Mk1 eyeball on the Iranian airliner perhaps it wouldn’t have been destroyed. To allow dumb machines to shoot at anything that meets a parametric profile defining ‘enemy’ is a recipe for carnage.

The BAE website states it is remotely piloted, and it does just do recce and target marking (under pilot control too I hope). Hurrah then for Taranis; its a fine machine…

Derek
Derek
February 5, 2014 12:21 pm

Neuron is 50% French funded and Dassault is the lead contractor.

Tell me again what the UK would be giving away to the French…?

martin
Editor
February 5, 2014 12:24 pm

That is so f**king cool. Some times we can still do it right.

Can’t see any bomb bays on it but mind you when the landing gear hatches sealed up you can’t see anything on it. Kind of looks like the ship in flight of the navigator :-)

Wouldn’t it be nice if David Cameron reached between his legs and found a pair and decided that the UK could go it alone on this and built a UK only version.

Would be great to find out some hard facts on range, speed, payload etc but I doubt we will get these for a decade to come.

Also seems to quite handily fit inside a C17 with great ease.

Peter Elliott
February 5, 2014 12:31 pm

@Derek

That all depends on the actual capabilities and roles of both nEuron and Taranis.

So far I see them both as demonstrators only: no clearance to fly in unsegregated airspace; no developed concept of operations; and no warload in terms of either weapons or sensors.

Now one or the other project might be further forward in tacking these issues. But until we see something published from either camp that begins to make some of these issues clear its a pure guessing game on who has more to win or lose from whom.

martin
Editor
February 5, 2014 12:34 pm

@ Chirs – Its main role is to look really cool which is does exceptionally well :-)

In fairness it is only a tech demonstrator not a weapon system and it could morph into a number of roles. I would say the challenge of autonomy is far easier in aircraft than ground vehicles as there is simply less information that needs to be processed. Not sure what a manned aircraft would do at mach 1 if another aircraft turned into its path but I recon an unmanned aircraft would have a better chance of avoiding it.

Personally I would like this worked up to carrier out a role similar to the Tornado’s original intended mission of something like the F117 in GW1 Deep penetration of contested airspace with the ability to drop two 2000 lb bunker buster bombs. The ability to loiter in contested airspace and fire SPEAR 3 for SEAD mission would also come in dead handy.

wf
wf
February 5, 2014 12:52 pm

@Derek: doubtless Taranis, just like EAP, will be subsumed into a Euro program that will be run badly and produce something very late, just like Typhoon. This time, the French will participate and will demand project leadership…hence given to the French. We did the same with MBDA :-(

Mark
Mark
February 5, 2014 1:15 pm

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/first-flight-trials-of-taranis-aircraft–4

Well done to all those finally able to get public acknowledgment for there efforts.

Jules
Jules
February 5, 2014 1:41 pm

thought I could see a Bay on it in the shot of it banking away the three Landing gear doors are clearly visible but there are more in the middle of the fuselage???

wf
wf
February 5, 2014 2:06 pm

If BAE and the UK Govt have a brain, prove the concept and design, then create a scaled up version using an un-reheated EJ200, simple radar and FLIR, Link 16 and a good datalink. Don’t waste money trying to make it all singing or dancing, a manned cruise missile with it’s own sensors and ECM that can take 3-4 tonnes of weapons to a reasonable range is just great. Assume it’s a learning experience, not a BAE jobs program, have the RAF and FAA play with 40 or so, getting experience.

In the meantime, get up to speed by getting the Reaper cleared for civil airspace :-)

Brian Black
Brian Black
February 5, 2014 2:15 pm

What is it that we’ve actually done?

Have we just reinvented and repackaged Reaper?

Are the design, airframe materials, and paint job impressively stealthy; or like the ‘stealth relevant’ design of the X47b, does it simply utilise an approximate form in order to demonstrate feasibility and stealth potential?

What is special about Taranis? What does it do that can’t be done by other already operational unmanned aircraft?

ND
ND
February 5, 2014 2:43 pm

@Brian Black

Presumably we (the Brits) don’t have full control and autonomy over the blue-prints of “other already operational unmanned aircraft” making them to us, for all intents and purposes, black-boxes of magic that do things which their makers say they can do and not much else.

TAS
TAS
February 5, 2014 3:23 pm

F**k me, we develop a fantastic new aircraft with huge potential for the future in total secrecy – and we get the most miserable bunch of cretinous critics the world has seen commenting on how crap this is.

A lack of dependence on US exports and a healthy future for the UK’s UCAV potential suits me fine. This is just a demonstrator – of course there is potential for more but to prove the concept and capability – brilliant. Does that make us the second nation on earth to develop a fully capable autonomous combat aircraft? If they have kept the lid on this for this long, I’d be willing to bet the first weapon drops are not far off.

The UK has a track record of being much further ahead of the US in developing UAV’s that can fly in controlled airspace. That was always the failure of Reaper and similar systems. Unlike the US, we recognise that we cannot simply shut down commercial air operations when it suits us to do so.

Just goes to prove that armchair admirals/air marshals/generals know bugger all except what the media want them to know.

Well done British Industry. Again!

Simon257
Simon257
February 5, 2014 3:30 pm

It shouldn’t be that long before BAE and Rolls Royce, start to propose a V/STOL UAV, for the RN. How far did R/R get with the alternative engine for the F35B?

Brian Black
Brian Black
February 5, 2014 3:52 pm

It’s all good and well, ND, being able to produce our own remotely piloted aircraft. That is of course a capability that we should have.

But it doesn’t explain what it is that we’ve actually achieved. Have we merely reached the point the Americans were at twenty years ago with Predator, though repackaged into a form that suggests greater stealth potential? Or perhaps stealth is the big achievement here, rather than the remote control aspect. Or perhaps Taranis has substantial autonomous ability.

I’m asking what is it that we’ve actually done? What justifies Taranis being “the best the UK has ever achieved in terms if defence capability”? Or perhaps phrases like that are no more substantial than the smoke and light show when Taranis was first unveiled.

a
a
February 5, 2014 4:07 pm

The US has only recently created apparently safe ground vehicle autonomous control

Autonomous cars have been driving around US cities for the last couple of years with no accidents… legal since March 2012.

Chris
Chris
February 5, 2014 4:14 pm

TAS – apologies for upsetting your sensibilities – please note I did not dismiss this machine I said well done. However I did criticize any future attempt at autonomous weaponry. Unlike those you dismiss as the unthinking dross, I do think about such things quite a lot. In my view there is an uncomfortable parallel between autonomous weapons and the banned types such as landmines or chemical & biological weapons – once deployed they are uncontrolled and potentially indiscriminate. If Taranis and its descendants are remotely piloted and there remains a real person determining target and engagement I have no issue; if they are to fly wherever they feel like going for a few hours trying to find something their algorithms calculate to be good enough to destroy, I am not content.

Which is why I said the role is central.

My apologies if I misunderstood your comment.

wf
wf
February 5, 2014 4:30 pm

@Brian Black: Taranis is potentially somethings that can a) work in contested airspace and b) can be largely “parked” during peacetime with crew training concentrating on actual exercises involving tactical employment, without the need to fly just to maintain currency in flight and c) can greatly increase the capacity of our air forces without a large cost increase. All of which look great to me :-)

Chris
Chris
February 5, 2014 4:39 pm

a – I am reminded of the early Mini Metro and Fiat Ritmo production line stories – before the robots were put on the production line every vehicle shell made it to the end of the line, some with inconsistencies and variations but all looking like cars. Once the robots took over there were two types of bodyshells that arrived at the end of the line – ones dimensionally absolutely perfect, and scrap. The robots could neither recognize nor accommodate errors from an earlier stage of the build. People are flexible and reactive and resourceful – useful characteristics in a less than perfect world.

I recall a few months back a thread where various (including me) were trying to persuade the experienced (notably Observer and RT) that a recce vehicle could be crewed by just two soldiers, because all the fancy EO/IR, acoustic, possibly radar sensors and associated data fusion with the greater tactical picture would reduce workload. The answer was a loud resounding ‘there must be three in a recce vehicle crew’. People it seems add value.

You say some US cities allow cars to guide and drive themselves? If they are entirely segregated from biologic-driven vehicles (!) then maybe their secluded world runs to neat tidy rules and perfect driving safety follows. I prefer on the whole to trust the approximately good enough human driven world rather than the polarized one of absolute driving perfection or total destruction.

My computers crash on average once a week, and need the help of a free-thinking humanoid to make them happy to work again…

WiseApe
February 5, 2014 5:22 pm

Interesting but utterly pointless without follow up investment. Is there a development plan? Has MoD told industry what it wants, or just said “show us what you can do on this budget?”

Randomer
Randomer
February 5, 2014 5:46 pm

@ Brian Black

Not exactly true about the Google cars having no crashes.

Ironically one was rear ended at a traffic light by a human driver who wasn’t paying sufficient attention….

The second crash was when the human driver onboard misjudged a turn and hit something when driving to a test location.

A theme here perhaps.

Derek
Derek
February 5, 2014 5:53 pm

Chris,

Using 1980s car production lines as a stick with which to beat a UAS concept not planned for service entry until 2030 is just a bit weak. Please try harder next time.

Mark
Mark
February 5, 2014 5:53 pm

This is 20+ years of r and d to get to this point in low observable technology, in flight controls systems, in uav engine technology and work allowing uavs to fly in civil airspace and to do so in weather, its shows the aero industry in this country is very capable.

Its reason for being

“The aircraft has been designed to demonstrate the UK’s ability to create an unmanned air system which, under the control of a human operator, is capable of undertaking sustained surveillance, marking targets, gathering intelligence, deterring adversaries and carrying out strikes in hostile territory.”

the weapons or sensors it carries in a payload bay, and the ground stations that control it should be what is open for cooperation with people like France but the air vehicle and the avionics software that make it work should be kept to ourselves it is the airborne equivalent of our submarine technology. I hope the government see fit to follow the Swedish model on this one.

The roles this can undertake in supporting manned aircraft in peace and in war are what makes this program of huge importance it’s not just a fastjet replacement.

Observer
Observer
February 5, 2014 5:57 pm

Chris, it’s just the sheer number of jobs needed to be done on a light tank (a “recce vehicle” gives the impression of an ATV instead of a tank based recce platform). Work overload for 2 men. If you were talking about ATV/foot based recce units, I used to say 4 is the approximate number needed, but I’m fast reappraising it to 6 with the amount of bells and whistles that needs to be carried nowadays. Less manpower? Not from where I’m standing. The tech toys added manpower needs, not reduced it.

TAS, not saying that it isn’t an achievement or impressive, but I’ve made it known before that I do believe that UAV development has reached a plateau in effectiveness. Nothing against Neuron, Taranis, Reaper etc, it’s not the technology breakthroughs, but their concept of use and operations. Even now, there is no case or proposed design of a UCAV able to take on manned air superiority fighters, and though it does not mean that they are useless (if they were, then bombers/helicopters would be useless by that same argument too), there are a lot of other things out there more flexible in usage than a UCAV. A multi-role manned fighter can do air superiority one day and be a mobile bomb truck the next. The only advantage I can think of is suicide runs, but then, how often do people plan for kamikaze attacks and why can’t a Harpoon/Tomahawk work in its stead?

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see how well it turns out.

Rocket Banana
February 5, 2014 6:18 pm

With my fingers in my ears and my head in the sand I say: “la, la, la, waste of money, what’s the point”.

Once I stand up and look around I say: “crikey, well done chaps”.

Regardless of what happens (even if we transfer the tech/leaning to FA-XX) it’s a great bit of kit.

Couldn’t give two hoots if we partner up with France to do this. Personally I’d prefer this to partnering with the USA. It’s about time we reminded to world that we’re still on the map.

Just imagine Libya done with these. The main upgrade requirement would be more comfortable seats for the remote pilots – probably with a drinks holder and foot rest ;-)

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth
February 5, 2014 6:34 pm

I am intrigued by the interview video. Something on the display in the background has been edited out with a big white rectangle. Some important details I expect.

wf said: “If BAE and the UK Govt have a brain, prove the concept and design, then create a scaled up version using an un-reheated EJ200, simple radar and FLIR, Link 16 and a good datalink. ”

Scale it up even further, add more engines and some seats and call it Vulcan 2.

jedibeeftrix
February 5, 2014 6:54 pm

more please vicar.

and make a successor that can fly off the QE’s.

jedibeeftrix
February 5, 2014 7:12 pm

“Scale it up even further, add more engines […] and call it Vulcan 2.0”

We didn’t spend all that money on the Herti program for nothing. ;)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 5, 2014 7:20 pm

@ Chris,

I’ll echo Observer’s point. A crew of 3 is needed to keep a 10 tonne wagon going, particularly as the Commander is mostly part time on maintenance, what with having other duties such as being on radio stag or taking forward a couple of the boys on a close target recce, manning an OP, attending Orders Groups, making tactical plans, etc etc etc.

You might be able to slightly change the dynamic if the wagon and onboard weapons / surveillance systems are a step change down in complexity, but no one is thinking that going lighter is a good idea (apart from me, with Chenowths or similar). Design for us a simple light beach buggy that can have all of the maintenance done by the driver alone, has a WMIK ring and a stepped tandem seating arrangement, and you might have a point. And some sales…….

Tim
Tim
February 5, 2014 7:21 pm

Ditch the disastrous JSF , extend the tornado life span and keep the tranche 1 typhoons flying and put everything into taranis . The JSF is too late, doesn’t work and is nothing but a semi stealthy bomb truck with appalling range.

Rocket Banana
February 5, 2014 7:40 pm

Gents (in particular NaB),

I’m going to ask a bit of an annoying question but I think it’s worth exploring especially if the Taranis technology moves swiftly.

If what Tim says comes to pass then what are the genuine chances of cutting a great big hole in the stern of QE and fitting a well deck. I appreciate it will be expensive, but can the rear quarter be replaced and would it be stable enough to work?

Result = Worlds largest LHD.

x
x
February 5, 2014 7:46 pm

@ Simon

None.

Chris.B.
February 5, 2014 8:06 pm

“F**k me, we develop a fantastic new aircraft with huge potential for the future in total secrecy”

Unless you happen to have an interest in these sort of things and Internet access. In which case people have known about this project for several years.

Elm Creek Smith
Elm Creek Smith
February 5, 2014 8:14 pm

Great! Where does the gun go?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 5, 2014 8:16 pm

Effing obllocks TD, can you please sort out your spam monster?

Long post short:

@ Chris, we need 3 because one (Commander) is always doing other proper recce stuff. The one thing that the human factor wonks in Alvis never understood is that the wagon is only ever a means to an end. It’s pretty immaterial how wonderful the wagon is, it only gets the boys to the right sort of area to do the day job. Simpler is better.

@ all, UCAVs are nothing special. We’ve had them for years, called Torpedoes. What is the essential functional difference between a UCAV and an armed UAV? Very little, apart from speed and stealth, which are merely self-protective measures of the platform.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
February 5, 2014 8:35 pm

What X said. Nothing to do with stability, everything to do with arrangement. Oh – and the fact that it’s a fallacious idea.

Taranis is a stealthy (from all appearances) fbw airframe with an as yet undefined and unproven ability to lift payload. Only someone with intimate access to the proposed development path of the aircraft (or an internet spod) could translate such a test flight into a viable alternative to the most comprehensive manned aircraft programme on the planet (for all its woes).

Clearly Tim is privy to inside information which supports the “disastrous JSF” contention and has a comprehensive understanding of the feasibility, cost and performance of a life-extended Tornado and the development path for UK UCAVs. Or not.

More pertinently, all this guff about RPAS/UCAV etc needs putting in perspective. All of them need near continuous comms / datalinks to be effective. How vulnerable do you think those links are? A number of people (some not very sophisticated) can already pirate RPAS data feeds (allegedly). True “autonomy” is a significant way off and may never be realised (not least because of the very real perception that Skynet will be upon us!). Look up EuroHawk for an example of people letting technology get ahead of their understanding of how to integrate it into the actual world we live in.

Elm Creek Smith
Elm Creek Smith
February 5, 2014 9:09 pm

@RT – Torpedos? Maybe this is the forerunner of a true “aerial torpedo?” :D

Rocket Banana
February 5, 2014 9:18 pm

Cripes,

Very defensive answers – although I’m not surprised ;-)

It’s pretty sound logic to suggest that UAVs will ultimately replace strike aircraft. To suggest that “true autonomy” is a pipedream really does speak volumes about some people’s understanding of modern IT capabilities.

Besides, there are ways of securing comms which rely on practically impossible maths. Intercepting and sabotaging these links doesn’t matter if the device can work “offline” – like Tomahawk, for example. You really need to remember that the “real world” of applied defence technology is about a decade behind the bleeding edge, predominantly due to appaling politics, procurement and bigotry.

I’m only really asking the question because it will eventually get asked and possibly (much to our dismay) by someone who can see though the knee-jerk reactions and offer up genuine engineering/financial solutions.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
February 5, 2014 9:30 pm

@Simon

I don’t think any one would risk the political fall out in the near to middle term, the carriers are costing more already plus the waste of money due to the flip flop over cats and traps. It would take a brave defence minister to announce a multi million pound adjustment make the all important carriers an LHD.

Why would you want to? Would it not be easier to just build a smaller purpose built LHD, and retire a carrier?

Jules
Jules
February 5, 2014 9:37 pm

It’s stealthy, we flew it for four months and nobody knew! Doesn’t get any more stealthy than that!
it’s a Tech demonstrator I expect anything that goes into production to be a bit bigger, hence all the intercontinental range slavva that’s been touted.
By the time anything comes into Squadron service we’ll be looking at whether we need the Looksmart F37E, so all the carrier basher’s can just shut it right! QE and POW (always a bad acronym) will be at their half life stage and will be re-fitted then for whatever is available at the time.
It’s a marvellous British achievement, we did it on our own !
Nueron whilst it flew a little earlier had a lot more financial backing and took half of Europe to make it go.
Watching that first flight vid made me proud and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention.
Currently feeling all cosy warm, safe and British with me with me cup of hot choccy…
The Guys and Gals at BAE have absolutely every right to be proud of themselves today…

oh yeah and I lost three posts last night too, only a little bit annoying but thought I’d mention it in any case.

wf
wf
February 5, 2014 9:44 pm

@Jules: I’m drinking French wine. Ironically, naturellement :-)

Tim
Tim
February 5, 2014 9:45 pm

JSF disastrous ….. a pork barrel program for lockhed martin.

http://f35baddeal.com/2014/02/04/the-jet-that-ate-the-pentagon/

http://f35baddeal.com

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2013/09/joint-strike-fighter-lockheed-martin

Head of Air Combat Command explains how without the F22 the JSF can not defend itself

http://theaviationist.com/2014/02/04/f-35-needs-f-22-acc-says/

Ask anyone in DC abut this plane and their eyes roll, fact Mr “Not a Boffin”.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 5, 2014 9:45 pm

@ ECS,

I’ve heard the phrase “aerial torpedo” before, but never had a need to know what one actually is. Presumably something powered, agile, explosive and that if it overshoots the target keeps relentlessly turning back for another go. Which strikes me as being something of rather greater value for money than the average Kevin, who always has an excuse for not achieving what he is told to do, even in wartime. Honestly, you expect lame excuses from a junior officer, but not from an entire service. Or an aerial torpedo, whatever it is.

Tim
Tim
February 5, 2014 9:46 pm

iPhone typos apologies.

Jules
Jules
February 5, 2014 9:48 pm

: Santé!

Jules
Jules
February 5, 2014 9:55 pm

F35 has it’s problems for sure, I notice that the American’ts are blaming the vast majority of it on the fact that it has too many partners involved, too many cooks spoil the broth and all that.
I really don’t know how they work that one out really as they are in complete control of what goes on, or not depending on your point of view!
It’s one of those programs that has just go too big to fail and they won’t let it, it may well take a few more bucket loads of cash like a good old fashioned banking crisis to do it but succeed it will.
F35c looks like the weak bird to me but I cannot see any version being cancelled now…

Observer
Observer
February 5, 2014 10:08 pm

“POW (always a bad acronym)”

Yup, mentioned it before. The history of the name Prince of Wales isn’t that good either.

Simon, proposing that CUAVs/UCAVs etc can replace strike aircraft en mass is putting the cart before the horse. I’m not British and I do work with secure and AJ comms, which is why I get a first hand view of the problems of how comms and comms lag can cause problems in a system that needs twitch level responses. You do NOT want a 2 second anti-jamming or decrypting lag when you’re flying NOE at Mach 0.8-0.9, it’s likely to put you into a cliff or a tree. And it’s a Goldilocks problem. The more complicated your encrypting, the more time and processing power it takes to decrypt and the greater the lag. Go easy on the encrypting and you get people doing funny stuff. Neither here nor there.

Remember that UAVs have had critical hull losses due to lack of situational awareness too, notably 2 cases (maybe more) by the Germans and that the US has lost 20+ UAVs in Afghan ops, some of which is due to the terrible flying environment and fragile nature of UAVs, but some I believe due to the lack of SA for UAVs too. Can you afford to lose 2 Taranis in daily ops or 20 of them in a low intensity conflict?

As for Tim, he’s just influenced by the anti-F-35 media, the current version is decent enough to be considered borderline operational already. Still expensive as hell, but that’s the same complaint for all modern aircraft. Especially since they make you pay the R&D cost for the entire program into the first few airframes.

The Other Chris
February 5, 2014 10:09 pm

@Tim

I caution against criticism without qualification. Especially consider your citations and references in particular. More credibility is leant to primary sources such as Ministry and industrial releases by way of example combined with your own reasoned interpretation rather than links to sites specifically established to campaign against a system.

If you want to take the latter route, I would recommend you submit a point raised in a linked argument for considered debate rather than presenting the article as whole to back up an opinion as gospel truth.

Lastly, a few commenter’s here are known to be “the real deal”. You’re still entitled (and encouraged!) to disagree with them. Let’s keep it civil though, eh?

Tim
Tim
February 5, 2014 10:26 pm

Real Deal ? My sources are not BAE or Lockheed but current hi level military who are friends in the US. They hate the JSF. It’s poor performance and cost over runs will affect the US military on a multitude of damaging levels.

As the article says it’s eating the Pentagon budget, and when the Senior Officer of Air Command says the JSF cannot operate in a hi-threat environment without the F22 what does that say for all those nations relying on it as their main jet ?

Lockheed over promised , undelivered and have lied to the USAF and Pentagon. The concurrency program suckered the pentagon in and there is no way back.

Of course the plane will end up working to some acceptable level, but it will still go down as the worst procurement program in military history.

I guess a number here have a vested interest in the JSF and its adoption by the UK in larger numbers than currently ordered.

Observer
Observer
February 5, 2014 10:34 pm

Tim, not American nor British so the JSF sinking or swimming really is a null issue for me, but even I think that your viewpoints are severely slanted.

“current hi level military who are friends in the US. They hate the JSF. It’s poor performance and cost over runs will affect the US military on a multitude of damaging levels.”

Oh? Mine is the aunt of the grandson of the roommate of the secretary of the friend of the cousin of the JSF. :P

Oh well, worst case, we can lean on the Russians for a few -PAKs. I doubt it’ll come to that though, the program is almost done. Tim, if you want negativity, the internet is full of it. The skill comes in knowing which are the emo and the biased and which might contain some meat. F-35 boo-hoos are really overdone and are more a backlash from the cost and time overruns than the technical faults.

WiseApe
February 5, 2014 10:38 pm

@Simon – I haven’t seen the detailed plans but I’m guessing that if you cut a big hole in the back of QE and PoW* that would have a detrimental effect on the drive shafts! And isn’t that where the aviation fuel is stored?

*Just on PoW – a commenter on Solomon’s site called her Duke of Wales :D

“I guess a number here have a vested interest in the JSF…” – I wish I owned shares.

dave haine
dave haine
February 5, 2014 10:41 pm
All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
February 5, 2014 10:48 pm

JSF divides opinion, look a the articles from Air power Australia :)

I know several quite high level US Officers who think it will be good and also that the UK test Pilots like it but as I say it polarises opinion massively.

Can someone find the link to that article because I having skimmed it the other day am pretty sure the last quote about the F35 needing F22 was slipped in but was not made by the General himself.

Chris
Chris
February 5, 2014 10:52 pm

RT – sorry about the delay – ref vehicles just a dull transport mechanism – perhaps a little harsh; you could have cashed your CVR(T) in for an RB44 if that was the case. I agree its part of a bigger system and sometimes (not often, obviously, said the vehicle designer) the other parts are more important. Indeed much to my annoyance I was forced to increase the size of one of my designs just to fit in some electronic units; the smallest I could find at that, but still too big for the vehicle.

Ref your idea for a lightweight all-terrain Apache cockpit with ringmount – yes of course it could be done – right up until all the MOD experts get involved – must meet all high mobility criteria; must achieve 120mph; must be inaudible at two paces; must accommodate all sizes of personnel from giants to tiny people; must carry half a dozen electronic systems each in 27 different electronic boxes; must run on diesel and travel 1000 miles on a single jerrycan of fuel; must be 100% reliable; must ford 4m depth of water (new ‘Somerset’ requirement); must fit inside V22; must protect occupants against any threat the Daily Mail could hold MOD to account over; must be nice to the environment; must be made by BAE Systems or equivalent. Pragmatism is rare.

I agree simple is better; I try to design in minimalist form, but knowing the approach of MOD I have to make allowance for all the typical electronics boxes, air con/heater, air filtration, big people, and of course BV and water cans. I also assume a high protection level will be required and aim for as high a mobility as the overall vehicle configuration can achieve. All of these make for bigger heavier vehicles than I would like. Hey ho….

As for the much praised Chenowth – I recall some 20 years back there were many similar desert raider type open frame vehicles with ringmounts; I also recall they never really caught on. Maybe there was a good reason for that?

H_K
H_K
February 5, 2014 10:55 pm

Here’s a comprehensive update on Neuron and outline of the futur FCAS programme:
http://www.amgroupes.fr/admin/compte_rendus/697_compte_rendu.pdf

Fairly self-explanatory, even though it’s in French. References to Meteor integration, “optional” carrier integration, automated target detection trials & weapon release later this year should be music to people’s ears.

Check out slide 39 for their (succint!) commentary on Anglo-French cooperation. ;-)

Observer
Observer
February 5, 2014 10:57 pm

Wise, isn’t that suppose to be the Duke of Edinburgh or Earl of Chester? Either way, both are slightly better vs PoW, though being reminded of Prince Charles is a bit of a mixed blessing. Nothing against him mind you, it’s his wife.

As for LM shares, that might be a good idea, with the JSF program approaching completion, and pretty much a captive market for the next-gen light fighter, their profit margin is bound to improve, and the American economy is picking up on a medium term trend. Might work if you’re working on a 5 year plan, more likely a 10 year plan. Did a bit of google fu, price is about 150 USD per share, which is about 15k for a 100 units. hmm…

Ace Rimmer
February 5, 2014 10:59 pm

How much did we build it for? £185million?

I for one think its a truly great achievement, what would I do next?

I’d stick a cockpit in it a field the world’s first prototype 6th generation light strike fighter!

The Other Chris
February 5, 2014 11:01 pm

@APATS

Air Force Times interview?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
February 5, 2014 11:07 pm

@TOC

Cheers, so he says nothing about surviving or operating in a “high threat environment”. He simply states that it is not designed as an ” air superiority platform” and it is not, certainly not to the sort of levels of kinetic performance that the US have always wanted from something like an F22 and that we look for with Typhoon.
It is a multirole aircraft.

We must also remember that there is a world of difference between an aircraft designed to establish air superiority and one that can operate in a high threat environment. F35 may not be scrambling and supercruising to 60k but if you have to try and hunt a stealthy ship like F35 with fantastic missiles and amazing sensor fusion then it is not easy at all.

Observer
Observer
February 5, 2014 11:18 pm

” I am fighting to the end, I am going to fight to the death to protect the F-35 because I truly believe that the only way we will make it through the next decade is with a sufficient fleet of F-35s”

Interesting how this does not fit with Tim’s position, yet he hold’s this guy’s view up to be totally correct.

Mark
Mark
February 5, 2014 11:25 pm

He says that without the f22 the f35 is frankly irrelevant which is an interesting choice of words. A italian airforce representative did recently say that the f35 is unable to offer the high end air to air capability of typhoon so likely both talking about the same thing after all f35 is roughly comparable in size weight with a tornado gr4 so it’s hardly surprising as it was always designed as a ground attack aircraft, Lockheed pr kinda got silly when it started taking about f15/typhoon fighter capability. It is likely some uav and f35 teaming is what’s being looked as the uav is there to aid missions not to replace manned aircraft entirely.

It’s some way from being an operational fighter and will not see contracted specs to at least 2020 if current issues are resolved as hoped. The us navy asking to delay any further purchases by 3 years just adds to the sense of unease with the program.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
February 5, 2014 11:29 pm

@mark

Yes I really do not understand the air forces buying them as primary air defence interceptors.
That is what the Gneral and the Italians are getting at.
Their stealth and ability to fuse data combined with modern missiles will make them deadly but they are/ will not be a primary air superiority fighter.
I understand the USN will only ask for a 2 year delay if budget cuts are pushed through.

Observer
Observer
February 5, 2014 11:47 pm

Well APATS, you use what you can get, not what you wish you had. Enough of them can get the job done as well, just with a slightly higher casualty rate. Cold blooded I agree, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. The alternative is to roll over and die.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
February 5, 2014 11:49 pm

Simon – while being primarily acquainted with bashing metal, I do have some knowledge of modern IT and indeed comms. You need to remember that “autonomy” is reacting in a predictable, controllable way to unplanned and unsequenced events, without human intervention. That isn’t comms or IT per se, it’s software architecture, coding and most importantly integration with mission systems and acceptance.

At present the vast majority of that is achieved by having a mixture of man in the loop (to make decisions) or managed airspace (to avoid the machine having to make decisions). Both those functions are highly dependent on real-time high-bandwidth comms bearers, which are vulnerable to disruption and / or penetration. Where vehicles don’t have access to those sorts of comms they’re just scratching the surface of autonomy. Even in environments where there is no “threat”, merely the need to detect and navigate around obstacles in 2D, it is not unknown for the “autonomy” to consist of colliding with an object, reversing and applying a course correction before proceeding again. If a collision occurs, then repeat the routine until it doesn’t……and that’s cutting edge commercial kit now.

Having lots of “difficult maths”-based crypto for security is good, but that eats bandwidth as well. It also potentially exposes your crypto to accidental compromise, which may just be a bit of a worry bead, given that the classification of crypto capabilities is right up there with nuclear weapons design and one or two other hot potatoes.

If cyber security wasn’t an issue, it wouldn’t be a growth industry. Nor would wireless networks be worried about virus protection or hacking and that’s before you get to certificating and proving the hundreds of software driven components in a system and the addressing the vulnerability of that supply chain.

Elm Creek Smith
Elm Creek Smith
February 5, 2014 11:57 pm

The P-51 Mustang wasn’t designed to be the pre-eminent air superiority fighter of World War 2. It was designed to replace the P-40 Kittyhawk/Tomahawk/Warhawk for you guys.

The P-38 Lightning wasn’t designed to be the long-range Yamamoto-killer of the Pacific Theater in World War 2. It was designed to be a fast-climbing bomber killer.

The F-4 Phantom wasn’t designed to be a fighter-bomber for half the world. It was designed to be a missile-shootin’ fleet defense fighter.

The F-15 Eagle wasn’t designed to be a precision strike aircraft like the F-15E Strike Eagle. It was designed to be an air superiority fighter.

Let’s just see where the F-35’s end up before screaming about waste and failure, okay? That way, I don’t have to bring up the TSR-2 or the Avro Arrow which may have been the best aircraft never to enter service…

Ace Rimmer
February 6, 2014 12:55 am

Good point LCS, we haven’t got anything else that offers what the F-35 can, how many other ‘greats’ have had a difficult inception?

martin
Editor
February 6, 2014 1:19 am

@ Chris

“prefer on the whole to trust the approximately good enough human driven world rather than the polarized one of absolute driving perfection or total destruction.”

You have never driven in Asia. I will take the google car any day :-)

Three US sates have allowed self driven cars on normal roads with no segregation and so far there have been no incidents when the cars are under computer control.

tim
tim
February 6, 2014 5:36 am

As per usual the JSF “lovers” bae/lockheed” employees appear to defend their disastrous pile of doo.

Anyway lets see what happens when the raf typhoons take on raf f-35’s , then the reality will hit home that the JSF is nothing more than the milli vanili of fighter jets.

mr.fred
mr.fred
February 6, 2014 7:43 am

So what is your stake in this tim?
What are the basis for your accusations?

Observer
Observer
February 6, 2014 7:50 am

Tim has shares in Northrop. Probably has a relative working on the F-22 assembly line and one of their managers is slipping him a few grand on the side to get the JSF cancelled and he moonlights for Iran.

Not that I really believe it, but he deserves some of the same ammo he’s been dishing out. No sympathy for anyone who starts an attack run and gets downed by return fire.

That being said, I won’t really be surprised if Tim was a paid shill.

Jules
Jules
February 6, 2014 7:51 am

@H_K: LOL slide 39!
I like JSF as a VTOL/CTOL/STOL whatever harrier replacement that’s about it really!
It uses stealth and situational awareness in a large measure because it needs it, it’s not an ambush predator like an F22.
As such I recognise that we could not have done that one on our own as the cost would just be prohibitive, I’d really like to se a re-vamped Euroblunder MKIV, with at least increased frontal stealth and all the F35 toys, in a plane that can fly the pants off anything out there… oh it can already do that…
Conformals give us a chance to play with fuselage shape recessed missiles help too, maybe some panniers for bombs etc, when required, to help reduce RCS further, you know that sort of thing but not rocket science, more of an evolution than a revolution…

Peter Elliott
February 6, 2014 10:51 am

Perhaps Tim is an Enchanter?

dave haine
dave haine
February 6, 2014 2:00 pm

Elliott

And the white rabbit, with the nasty pointy teeth?

Overseas
Overseas
February 6, 2014 2:06 pm

I’m going to digress from the Taranis aspect of the thread just briefly to ask a Q about naval fleet ops.

What level of protection, in terms of fleet defence, would half a dozen Wildcats with air-to-air provide in the event of a hostile attack (instead of say, the F35)?

On Taranis, I have actually zero 1st, 2nd or 3rd hand knowledge about the project but showcasing technological ability to this level is no mean feat. What price continued dvp of it? Finally, would it not be a better idea to dedicate all the dvp funds (past, present and future) to the Skylon and Sabre projects? We can always buy our drones from allies or indeed rely on theirs when needed.

Just thoughts.

Peter Elliott
February 6, 2014 2:31 pm

“That’s no ordinary rabbit”

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
February 6, 2014 3:43 pm

Bring forth the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch………..

Which would be significantly more effective than Wildcats armed for A2A. You’d probably be better off with F4F Wildcats for A2A to be honest….

Observer
Observer
February 6, 2014 3:58 pm

Overseas, unfortunately NaB is right. Most FJs are designed to kill other aircraft, especially those on par with them in terms of performance. Wildcats would just be flying targets or worse actually interfere with the fleet air defence as the SAMs cannot fire with friendlies in the area. Combat Air Patrols are usually done beyond SAM range to prevent friendly fire. They call this “deconflicting airspace”.

Re: Skylon and Sabre, that may actually be a good argument. Engines are still one field that the UK is very very good at. Some potential for military applications too and transport. In terms of military applications, what would be a possible use of the Sabre engine? Interested in some brainstorming for ideas.

dave haine
dave haine
February 6, 2014 4:14 pm

“Go and change your armour, sir Robin…”

Pte. James Frazer
Pte. James Frazer
February 6, 2014 4:37 pm

Re Taranis vs Skylon / Sabre.

Come on gents, UK plc (with MoD / Technology Strategy Board / ESA etc. support as appropriate) could and should do both.

Certainly US thinks hypersonic ‘craft’ will be the next paradigm shift like ‘stealth’ has become – US Air Force Research Laboratory is interested in Sabre.

Overseas, imo if ever there was an area where we need sovereign design & update / maintenance capabilities it’s ‘drones’…..not least just in case a monopoly technology gets compromised.

The Other Chris
February 6, 2014 4:53 pm

There’s already significant UK investment in the Pre-cooler technology. Remember that Skylon and Lapcat themselves are primarily reference designs to provide a context for the development of the enabling technology.

Reaction Engines have received enough funding to move on to the next stage of development. Why throw more money than is needed at the project if it is moving along successfully and at a sustainable pace?

Observer
Observer
February 6, 2014 4:56 pm

@James

Why UAVs? At least with Sabre, it’s a monopoly technology you can export to your benefit to a niche market where you are top dog. With UAVs, you have to compete with the Israelis, the Americans, the French, the Chinese and sooner or later the Russians. If you need a backup monopoly technology, it should be one were no one else has a significant presence.

I used to think that hypersonic bombers were viable too until I compared the speeds of ABM systems. Might still be usable as missiles though, enough of them on a suicidal profile might still get through. Something like ATAC rockets but with longer range.

“Run away! Run away!”

WiseApe
February 6, 2014 6:10 pm

I actually thought he meant F4Fs and was wondering why he didn’t plump for the much better F6Fs, which naturally lead me on to thinking about Sea Furies, which is always a good thing.

As for Neuron: “No thanks, we’ve already got one.”

Peter Elliott
February 6, 2014 6:13 pm

Fleet air defence: “Jetez la vache”

John Hartley
John Hartley
February 6, 2014 6:55 pm

Me being me, I would like Taranis bigger. Say able to fly 3500 miles, drop a guided 22.000 lb bomb from its internal bomb bay, then fly 3500 miles home, without needing air refuelling.

wf
wf
February 6, 2014 7:39 pm

Hartley: well, we can all dream :-)

Overseas
Overseas
February 6, 2014 11:28 pm

@ All.

Thanks for info guys Re Helo A2A. Ignorance cleared, blue skies ahead.

In which case why F35 given the performance (with some 2nd hand knowledge) it’s behind the curve (in terms of angle of attack etc) of 1980’s Soviet JF performance?

Final on drones, well yes, agree with Obs. We can steal a march in other areas of air/space tech, just not UAV;s.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
February 6, 2014 11:54 pm

Because AoA is soooo last century (maybe).

Rather more seriously, if you pick a performance characteristic (max speed, range, time to height, ceiling, sustained g) it is probable that you’ll find many “modern” jets are inferior in one or two of those categories to predecessors. Primarily because priorities change. Once upon a time, max speed and time to height were driving parameters, then people decided endurance and payload were more important, then sustained g, SEP, AoA have all had their turn. Where F35 is concerned, the priorities have been low RCS, SA, possibly “supercruise” and TLS costs. Time will tell if they were the right points to optimise around – point is those were the important points chosen this time around. Next time, it will be something else.

As a case in point, which was the more effective aircraft – the A5A Vigilante or the A6A intruder? Both carrier-based nuclear strike bombers, both very different in performance.

Observer
Observer
February 7, 2014 1:13 am

There was also a time in the past where air defence was all the rage and a huge amount of fighters were designed as interceptors with incredibly scary performance parameters even by today’s standards, but they sacrificed some things to get that performance, namely endurance and payload, then as NaB said, the parameters shifted to multi-role and balanced aircraft became the norm.

A really classic example of this is the F-5. Compare the F-5’s performance parameters with modern jets. You’ll find that in many areas, it’s actually superior, but the sacrifice for this is payload and fuel, which is why its successor, the F-16, is almost twice its’ size.

dave haine
dave haine
February 7, 2014 8:33 am

I think the EE lightning should serve to you all as an example of what happens when you design to an absolute. As an interceptor, outstanding, well over 1:1 power to weight- you must all remember the vertical climb outs it could do, 0-30,000 in a minute or so, wonderfully manoeuvrable, endurance of a asthmatic. There’s a reason why no civvies ones are flying- it hasn’t got enough fuel load to have a go-around reserve.

Chris
Chris
February 7, 2014 8:47 am

DH – 15 minute endurance if I remember right, leading firstly to a pregnant belly (which improved the look, strangely) and then to some seriously iffy looking over-wing fuel tanks on pylons. http://www.airteamimages.com/pics/43/43865_800.jpg

Interesting aero point here – if the theory of flight is that the airflow under a wing should be on a shorter path so the air can go slower and the airflow over the wing faster because there’s more wing to move over, thus creating lower pressure above than below, why is the underside of a fighty pointy jet wing almost invisible behind pylonfuls of different shaped pods drums and assemblages? Surely at speed the air behind all this guff gets trapped behind interlocking leading edge wakes, forcing the outer boundary of all the bric-a-brac to become the new virtual wing underside, now longer and bumpier than the wing upper surface? Or is this another case where logic & aeroengineering don’t mix?

wf
wf
February 7, 2014 8:49 am

@dave haine: http://www.incredible-adventures.com/capetown2.html

Lightning still seems to be flying :-)

Tom
Tom
February 7, 2014 10:18 am

It’s interesting what sort of concepts people have for future use/development of Taranis. The key idea that should be taken through in my is that it is being designed to work in close concert with manned a/c. I don’t think the RAF/UK mil is thinking about fleets of armed UCAS flying with the only control being some FlOf in Waddington.

My own reading of the word autonomy in the context of Taranis, is that it should be able to [b]fly[/b] itself without serious amount of input. So the operator would send a command as simple as: ‘Fly to co-ord: xxxxxxx and enter holding pattern’ and the Son-Of-Taranis would be able to do that as well as any manned platform, conforming to the rules of the air and being able to react to things like weather or potential collision risks. This could also be extended not unreasonably to being able to conduct “passive” missions, like photo recce.

It terms of being armed, I see only three types of situations being acceptable in the foreseeable future:

– 1) Working in close concert with a manned platform, which has a direct line of sight comm link to the Son-Of-Taranis, essentially acting as an extension of the manned platform. e.g. A Typhoon fitted out for A2A and the Tarnis carrying the A2G ordnance.

– 2) Working in close concert with a ground force, which the Son-Of-Taranis is providing overwatch for, i.e. giving the FAC direct weapons control. More tricky and would probably require some kind of back-up airborne LoS link to a overall air command authority in case links to the ground became comprised. Would probably only be acceptable in somewhere like Afgan, where the risk of EW is relatively low.

– 3) Working as essentially a cruise missile. Son-Of-Taranis is launched with a A2G payload and told to bomb grid-ref xxxxxxxx. Comms link only similar to current Cruise missiles, or perhaps it enters some form of radio silence until it returns to the certain air space. Once the ordnance had been dropped then it would fly a pre-programmed route back to the air base.

a
a
February 7, 2014 10:55 am

Interesting aero point here – if the theory of flight is that the airflow under a wing should be on a shorter path so the air can go slower and the airflow over the wing faster because there’s more wing to move over, thus creating lower pressure above than below, why is the underside of a fighty pointy jet wing almost invisible behind pylonfuls of different shaped pods drums and assemblages? Surely at speed the air behind all this guff gets trapped behind interlocking leading edge wakes, forcing the outer boundary of all the bric-a-brac to become the new virtual wing underside, now longer and bumpier than the wing upper surface? Or is this another case where logic & aeroengineering don’t mix?

The idea that aircraft fly because the airflow over the wing is faster, lower pressure, creates lift, Bernouilli effect etc is, in most important respects, wrong. (To take one point: how come aircraft can fly inverted, then?) See here for an explanation using the power of SCIENCE. http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/wrong1.html

Basically, aircraft mostly fly because the wings deflect air downwards, and this creates an opposite force pushing the aircraft upwards. (The Bernouilli effect creates a bit of lift, but not very much.)

As for all the guff under the wings – yes, that does get in the way, which is why it’s all as streamlined and faired as possible, and/or stowed away in the fuselage if it can be. But it doesn’t interfere completely with the wing’s basic role, which is to be a thing that air bangs into and bounces off in a vaguely downwards direction.

Observer
Observer
February 7, 2014 12:03 pm

a, think that came about because the very old planes were Bernoulli lift dependent planes, modern day planes are more akin to rockets than propeller planes. The faster you go, the less Bernoulli’s Principle actually works.

dave haine
dave haine
February 7, 2014 12:39 pm

Thundercity finished trading in 2010. And they only ever flew in SA, where the rules on having sufficient fuel reserves, for go-arounds and diversions etc are ‘different’.

Our own sons of fun, the somewhat more cautious CAA, won’t give the Lightning an airworthiness certificate because, I think the total endurance, to tanks dry is about two hrs (an hour and forty-five minutes for the T5)

Oh….and BTW the bloody thing could do 0-50,000ft in a minute, and get to 70,000ft, although it has been recorded at 88,000ft. Not bad by todays standards, let alone the sixties and seventies.

wf
wf
February 7, 2014 12:48 pm

@dave haine: apologies for my error. What a pity :-(

Doing a skydiving course in the US a long time ago, I was repeatedly told that the British Parachuting Association actually stood for “Ban Parachuting Altogether”. Sad to see the CAA has the same attitude.

Mark
Mark
February 7, 2014 12:53 pm

I thought NASA was going to changed the laws of physics but thankfully nope still the same ones we’ve always used. Mr Bernoulli and prandl lifting line are still the fundamentals of how aircraft produce lift. What the nasa article does it debunk the equal path theory, I still remember our aero lecturer telling us that was what he describe as the a-level answer.

The things that make a gd fighter today are the same things that made a gd fighter 50 years ago, likewise the same things that made a gd strike platform are the same things that they always were, the f35 is very much a strike aircraft which is how it was designed. Technology may allow it to preform the air to air mission better than jets like tornado or phantom but well have to wait a few years to see.

There’s only one jet worthy of the lightning name the rocket ship itself

dave haine
dave haine
February 7, 2014 12:55 pm

@ WF

It is a pity, isn’t it….what a ride, even for ten minutes!

Chris.B.
February 7, 2014 2:44 pm

@ a,

What’s slightly ironic about your post is that if you had just clicked to the next slide then you would have seen your own theory of lift (the skipping stone theory) debunked; http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/wrong2.html

Rocket Banana
February 7, 2014 3:38 pm

Dammit,

I’ve missed some interceptor/fighter comments.

Hey ho.

Love the “lift theories” though. Perhaps people should do some testing themselves – it can be fun and very educational, although you need one hell of a vacuum cleaner to demonstrate mach effects ;-)

The only accurate way of “doing lift” is by getting down to the atomic level, where temperature dissipation, skin friction, compressibility, and the horse-shoe vortex all add their own subtle nuances to the standard theories.

Mark
Mark
February 14, 2014 9:57 pm

Bill sweetman
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_02_17_2014_p33-662743.xml

BAE Systems’ Taranis unmanned combat air system demonstrator is designed to defeat new counter-stealth radars, and may use thrust vectoring as a primary means of flight control and an innovative high-precision, passive navigation and guidance system, an AW&ST analysis indicates.

Taranis is a blended wing-body shape with no tail surfaces, like most UCAS designs for wide-band, all-aspect stealth. It has a triangular top-mounted inlet and 2-D V-shaped exhaust nozzle. The underside is flat, with visible outlines representing weapon-bay doors. Panels under the leading edge point to provision for a dual-antenna radar like a smaller version of that fitted to the B-2 bomber. The demonstrator may be designed so that functional weapon bays and sensors can be installed for a follow-on program.

The demonstrator’s gear comes from the Saab Gripen

The navigation and guidance system for Taranis, perhaps not yet installed, very probably uses an advanced concept called simultaneous localization and mapping (Slam). BAE Systems Australia has been developing a highly autonomous Slam-based system and is responsible for the Taranis navigation and guidance gear, which it refuses to discuss (AW&ST April 1, 2013, p. 24).