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View Diary: Cold War Relics - MiG-23 (67 comments)

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  •  I suspect the need for stealth too is a factor (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, RiveroftheWest, Bluefin

    If you're trying to design an aircraft with as low a radar profile as you can manage, geometry is critical - and having the aircraft changing configuration in a significant way has to really add complexity to the problem.

    Look at all the effort going into conformal fuel tanks and munitions carried internally to avoid messing up the stealth features. It's a real concern.

    Then there's the F-35B. The STOVL variant looks like a step backward compared to the Harrier in one respect. I doubt you'd want to open the dorsal air intake at any kind of speed - it looks like a giant air brake. The Harrier, with it's swiveling engine nozzles, could deploy them throughout  its performance envelope, making it quite maneuverable. IIRC, one tactic Harrier pilots developed was to roll on their backs and 'push' straight down. (At altitude, of course!) Pretty tough for an adversary to counter.

         On the other hand, the F-35B is supersonic which the Harrier is not, and I believe they could still swivel the engine nozzle in flight for vectored thrust. I'm curious if and how they'd use that in a dogfight. The vertical landing capability is an interesting trade off in another way as well - the F-35B doesn't have to be beefed up to survive the 'controlled crash' of a normal carrier landing. Does that compensate for weight of the ducted fan and doors? Does it make deck ops for a carrier simpler?

    Any airplane is a bunch of design compromises flying in formation - the question is, how well do they work together when all is said and done?

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:56:16 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Wow... that really is a "barn door" up there. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, RiveroftheWest

      But... I suppose it's lighter and simpler than any "sliding" hatch they must have considered.

      “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
      he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

      by jjohnjj on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 04:11:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not much of a problem. (0+ / 0-)

        The whole F-35 is a barn door, anyway.

        I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

        by Farugia on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 08:33:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wonder how long it will take…. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          Before someone decides to get something cool painted on the bottom side of that 'barn door'.

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:01:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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