Why is the F-35 replacing the A-10?

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spazsinbad

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Unread post05 May 2016, 05:10

Thanks for detail. Was the F-117 emergency hook like the F-16/F-35A emergency hook? Can you remember the colours of the AoA Indexer - arrow at top pointing down, arrow at bottom pointing up and doughnut. How was the AoA indexer used?
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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MD

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Unread post05 May 2016, 05:28

spazsinbad wrote:Thanks for detail. Was the F-117 emergency hook like the F-16/F-35A emergency hook? Can you remember the colours of the AoA Indexer - arrow at top pointing down, arrow at bottom pointing up and doughnut. How was the AoA indexer used?


The tailhook was pretty much like a standard-smaller tailhook, F-16 style, as opposed to something beefy like an F-4 tailhook or other external-mounted hook.

It was Air Force AOA, as opposed to Navy AOA. In that, the on-speed indication was green (green donut), as opposed to yellow in Naval aircraft. Slow was the top chevron pointing downwards (red), and fast was the bottom arrow pointing up (yellow). The indexer illuminated only when the landing gear was down and weight was off wheels, so in takeoff/landing configuration. The indexer itself was used to confirm that computed approach/landing speeds were accurate for the aircrafts weight, etc, as the AOA is the most accurate measurement. Also, if there were any airspeed anomalies or malfunctions, AOA then became the primary reference. The AOA gauge on the panel was only used to setting maximum range/endurance profiles and ensuring that you are the right reference for those, as opposed to a speed.

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Unread post05 May 2016, 05:36

Thanks 'MD' very interesting stuff for me. I'll add it to my 'USAF' AoA Indexer pages in my 'How to Deck Land' section. Is that indexer an F-117 variety - what aircraft otherwise may it be in/stolen from :roll: for example - if you know.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post05 May 2016, 05:55

spazsinbad wrote:Thanks 'MD' very interesting stuff for me. I'll add it to my 'USAF' AoA Indexer pages in my 'How to Deck Land' section. Is that indexer an F-117 variety - what aircraft otherwise may it be in/stolen from :roll: for example - if you know.


The indexer I used in the pic? It's a stock pic of a new LED indexer, but it's in Air Force style lighting-wise. The AOA indexers were mostly the same in these older aircraft, just installed in slightly different places.

I've never known why the AF and Navy do it differently.
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Unread post05 May 2016, 06:13

OK - tah. I have not seen an explanation for the colors in USN AoA Indexers but they have been standardised since the beginning I think. First Indexer as seen was on an A-4B because - with the delta wing - they had to accurately calculate and fly the carrier landing pattern; especially the base turn where some early A-4s ended up in the drink - STALLED!

I'll post a forum link to a PDF & some entries about this - 1 page PDF attached - my guess reason for colours is as follows:

RED arrow UP (below doughnut) pull nose UP = Fast - BAD for arrestor gear and hook/aircraft breakage and puts the hook UP compared to optimum 'hook/eye' clearance on glideslope & is likely to cause a bolter also.

ORANGE doughnut optimum AoA (meatball is orange)

GREEN arrow DOWN (above doughnut) put nose DOWN = Slow - BAD for aircraft performance on glideslope and puts the hook DOWN compared to optimum 'hook/eye' clearance for safe arrest. Puts the hook point nearer to round down/ramp which is BAD.

Searching forum with indexer I see we have had quite the discussion in various places - just not for the F-117.... :mrgreen:

Applies to F-35 variants: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=25172&p=266965&hilit=indexer+deck+%2A+Land#p266965

'HUD cripples': viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=215297&hilit=indexer+deck+%2A+Land#p215297

"May I take your bag maam?": viewtopic.php?f=22&t=27304&p=290639&hilit=indexer#p290639

F-16 & USN AoA Indexer pilot comments: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=245210&hilit=indexer#p245210
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AoA Indexer USN APPROACH Jan-Feb 2011 PRN.pdf
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AoAindexerShornet.gif
Last edited by spazsinbad on 05 May 2016, 07:49, edited 6 times in total.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post05 May 2016, 06:40

Didn't realize the -117 had the FLCS from the Viper. You guys still have the pinch pull mech and the 54 step FLCS BIT with multiple ADV's and the pinch pull at 52 and 54? Granted it hasn't failed me yet in a true sense, that system is pretty ghetto by modern standards.

BTW, this is ///AMG if you hadn't guessed already
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Unread post05 May 2016, 06:46

35_aoa wrote:Didn't realize the -117 had the FLCS from the Viper. You guys still have the pinch pull mech and the 54 step FLCS BIT with multiple ADV's and the pinch pull at 52 and 54? Granted it hasn't failed me yet in a true sense, that system is pretty ghetto by modern standards.

BTW, this is ///AMG if you hadn't guessed already


How you doing man? Good to see you. The BIT for ours, I'll have to look up in the old checklists what exactly we did for that. As I vaguely remember, it was a fully automated BIT, because I remember we'd push some different buttons, and as I did other things in the cockpit, the crew chief would be calling out on the intercom what the jet was doing with its flight controls. But I'll have to look back for the specifics on it.
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Unread post05 May 2016, 06:57

Hi MD,

Is there any chance that the CIA could take over the remaining stock of F-117's that are in storage at Tonapah?

They could reuse them for tactical insertion of people, stealthy bombings of targets, etc.

I'm sure the creativity of the CIA and their private Air Force could be quite interesting.

Plus the F-117 is already paid for.

=D

Just have to keep up the maintenance / modernization for their purposes.

Maybe get some old F-117 staff to keep it working.

Apparently there was one flying long after it's official retirement date.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvyaG7EIC18

There are numerous ideas I could see the F-117 could be useful for.
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Unread post05 May 2016, 06:59

MD wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:MD, as someone has flown both ends of the spectrum with the A-10 and F-117 whats your take on this generally speaking?

I mean a lot of people have decided that armor=survivability but as an F-117 guy its almost the complete opposite concept, and historically we have had tactically better survivability with the stealth airplane. What are your thoughts?

Greeting from Freezing New Mexico BTW


Speaking of New Mexico, the first Blake's Lotaburger in Arizona just opened in Tucson. lol.

The big thing is it depends on what you're trying to do and what the tactical situation requires, but that being said, low and slow is something that gets you shot up or shot down. So unless the tactical situation requires it, you just don't do it. Armor-wise, we had A-10s shot up and shot down in Desert Storm by SAMs and AAA. Sturdiness is nice, but its no guarantee of anything. And at medium altitude, it won't matter anyway, as a double digit SAM doesn't care what kind of armor there is.

Funny thing about the titanium bathtub......it's nice, but it's not the cats meow. Because while the front windscreen of the Hog is thick and reinforced, the canopy is simple plexiglass, mainly for weight purposes when it comes to jettisoning the canopy for ejection. You can't have a heavy canopy that won't clear far enough away for ejection purposes, namely in zero-zero conditions on the ground. So with that, if down low maneuvering hard, and I take a round through the plexiglass canopy while in a hard bank turn, that cool titanium bathtub, now becomes a titanium catchers-mitt, with my pink body in the middle. That's the part that's not really considered.

There's a reason we moved up to medium altitude for CAS, and a reason the A-10 was modified in the C model to join the "CAS stack" with far more effectiveness than the A-model had. Because down low got us killed in Desert Storm. With regards to stealth, I can't really see a CAS scenario where stealth would be required; in that, if friendly troops are on the ground, 1. the cat's out of the bag that we're there, and 2. we're not going to operate in CAS without SEADing the threats that would require a stealth aircraft.....much less have friendly troops that close to the enemy who is protected by a heavy IADS like that. But I could be wrong. To me, I'd picture the F-35 going into a scenario like that with it's external racks installed and going to work much like an F-16, just with it's advanced sensors and it's own way of prosecuting the CAS puzzle.

So in my opinion, while there's time and place for low altitude and medium altitude, the times for low altitude are getting lesser than they used to be, while the times for medium altitude are getting more due to the constantly evolving ability to reach out and touch the enemy, without them being able to touch you necessarily, or their ability having been sufficiently degraded. This is what the A-10 fanboy types don't seem to realize.

Hope that answers your question.


MD what about pop up threats? Can you envision a scenario like eastern Poland or Kalingrad, where advanced SAMs are in abundance? Or if they cant be cleared before we have the air? Do you feel the F-35 will do well in this scenario? Or would that be skinning the cat incorrectly?
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Unread post05 May 2016, 07:29

KamenRiderBlade wrote:There are numerous ideas I could see the F-117 could be useful for.


A couple of them were kept around for technology testing for a few years after the operational retirement. Whether they will ever be brought out of cold storage at Tonopah, I'm not sure they will. They're fairly well stripped and disassembled, and with their singular mission capability, they wouldn't be cost effective to run, much less the cost of reactivation and training of crews.

jessmo111 wrote:MD what about pop up threats? Can you envision a scenario like eastern Poland or Kalingrad, where advanced SAMs are in abundance? Or if they cant be cleared before we have the air? Do you feel the F-35 will do well in this scenario? Or would that be skinning the cat incorrectly?


I believe this will be an area where planes like the F-35/F-22 will do well, much like the F-117 which the -22 replaced. The air interdiction role would be a bread and butter job of the F-35....kicking down the door of the IADS, so to speak. Along with cruise missiles and the like. And just due to technology, they should have an easier go of it than the old 117 ever had, it having been a first generation stealth aircraft.
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Unread post05 May 2016, 07:44

MD I know I sound nostalgic for the old F-117 birds. Was it really a hanger queen like they say? If you needed cruise bomb truck, you can get a lot closer in a F-117 than a F-16. Some say that it was a nightmare to maintain the skin. Id love to see one back in action, with the new fancy smancy F-35 coatings that are more salt a weather resistant. Maybe a Data link to talk to F-35s. Im sorry for my WIDE eyed adoration, but its the plane I grew up with. I had an old uncle who painted SR-71s when I was a kid. he really kick started my love for aviation. When the F-117 was revealed as a kid, it was like something from another planet to us. :shock:
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Unread post05 May 2016, 15:33

F-35 vs. A-10: Air Force Test Pilot Weighs In
05 May 2016 Lara Seligman

"So which platform is better for protecting soldiers in a firefight: the A-10 or the F-35? Lt. Col. Raja Chari, who started out flying F-15 Strike Eagles and is now director of the F-35 integrated test force and commander of the 461st flight test squadron, weighed in during an interview here with Defense News.

“You need to really define: What exactly are you talking about when you say [close-air support]? The way you define the question will dramatically affect the answer that you come up with,” Chari said Tuesday, fresh off his latest F-35 test flight. “Are you talking about CAS in a low-threat environment, or CAS in a high-threat environment? Basically, contested or uncontested?”

If US forces are fighting in a high-threat environment, the A-10 “isn’t really in the conversation,” Chari said. While the Warthog performs well in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the skies are uncontested, it is not suited for operating against more sophisticated air defenses.

Commanders can send an A-10 into a high-threat battlefield, “but you can only do it once,” Chari said.

Critics of the Air Force’s plan to retire the A-10 and replace it with the F-35 often claim that the Warthog can loiter over the target for 90 minutes, while the F-35A can only stay on station for 20 to 30 minutes. But Chari said in an uncontested environment, where tankers would be available, the F-35 can easily loiter above the battlefield for an hour and a half.

“If you are talking a non-contested environment, which would be the only place you could make that comparison with the A-10, you are going to have tankers, so it’s kind of moot,” Chari said. “You could easily get to 90 minutes if you are 15 minutes from where you are going to loiter.”

In current operations against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, commanders use a variety of platforms to perform CAS: the A-10, the F-15, the B-1 bomber and unmanned MQ-9 Reapers. The F-35 will have the same advantages of the F-15 — that it can get to a target faster than the A-10, and it also has a bigger gun, Chari noted.

“I’m not downplaying the A-10, it’s an awesome platform, but it’s also — you have to know the role it can fit in,” Chari said."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /83961964/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post05 May 2016, 16:24

" Commanders can send an A-10 into a high-threat battlefield, “but you can only do it once,” Chari said.

Critics of the Air Force’s plan to retire the A-10 and replace it with the F-35 often claim that the Warthog can loiter over the target for 90 minutes, while the F-35A can only stay on station for 20 to 30 minutes. But Chari said in an uncontested environment, where tankers would be available, the F-35 can easily loiter above the battlefield for an hour and a half. "

That says it all for me!
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Unread post05 May 2016, 16:44

Salute!

I really like this guy Chari.

Sucker makes the same points that all of us that have been there and done that do. Time and a place for every system, but ya gotta pay for it, and except for a great ejection seat, you don't spend a lot on something you will only use once in a thousand scenarios.
++++++++

The AoA symbology philosophy has always bugged me. My first experience was in the VooDoo, but it was a large round thing with a barber pole needle to show the AoA limit and the moving needle went clockwise as AoA increased. Next was the Sluf HUD and the indexer lights.

I flew with Brit and USN exchange pilots in the Sluf and Viper. They seemed to like the USAF display that raised the AoA "bracket" when you pulled back and lowered it when pushing forward. Had to do with "increasing AoA makes the doofer go "up" and decreasing makes it go down". The indexer was same concept, so follow the wedge thingies to keep the middle light on.

+++++++

As good as the 117 was thirty years ago, we have come a long way WRT the "skin" and the maintenance requirements. My conversations with the crew chiefs and such at Eglin leave me with the impression that the Stubby is lots easier on the "coating" crapola, but still takes some effort if removing/replacing a big panel. The aero also is better nowadays, although you could fly almost anything back in the late 70's using the Viper FLCS hdwe and custom firmware ( remember, it wasn't digital).

So keeping a few Nighthawks around for history seems O.K., but seems we also have better and cheaper ways to exploit low observable platforms ( manned or unmanned).

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Unread post05 May 2016, 17:40

KamenRiderBlade wrote:Apparently there was one flying long after it's official retirement date.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvyaG7EIC18

The Nighthawk's were kept in Type 1000 storage at Tonopah which meant that they needed to be able to be reactivated fairly quickly, so they flew them from time to time to validate these requirements are being met:
Since its retirement from active flying status in 2008, the Air Force’s cadre of F-117 Nighthawks have been maintained at their original, climate-friendly hangars at the Tonopah Test Range Airport in Nevada. Given the cost of establishing secure storage facilities at Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB), the Air Force chose instead to store the retired F-117s at the pre-existing secure facilities at Tonopah Test Range.

Per Congressional direction within the FY07 National Defense Authorization Act the aircraft were placed in Type 1000, flyable storage for potential recall to future service. In order to confirm the effectiveness of the flyable storage program, some F-117 aircraft are occasionally flown.
http://intercepts.defensenews.com/2014/11/we-now-know-why-the-f-117-is-still-flying/

This is actually why the Air Force requested the requirement be removed this week, type 1000 storage isn't cheap. Evidently the HASC has now bought off on removing the requirement and they will now be scrapped.
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