F-35C Lands at Lakehurst For Testing

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post22 May 2018, 05:39

:applause: Thanks a bunch DRAGoonIe! :mrgreen:
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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 15:43

For the interest of 'John Will' and myself at least there are two links to stories (there are many more) in this thread about the F-111B (& F-35C) and the trials and travails of same: viewtopic.php?f=57&t=15767&p=371082&hilit=Coral#p371082 & viewtopic.php?f=57&t=15767&p=275681&hilit=Coral#p275681
Was the Navy’s F-111 Really That Bad? [LONG ARTICLE - GOOD PHOTOS]
Sep 2018 Robert Bernier; Air & Space Magazine

"The controversy swirling around the F-35 joint strike fighter echoes previous battles fought over aircraft tasked with serving more than one master. Perhaps the central question in today’s debate is whether a single airplane designed to perform many missions adequately is a better and truly more affordable choice than several airplanes, each designed to perform a single mission flawlessly. In 1968, the Navy had an unequivocal answer: No. But were they right?...

…[McNamara] designated the Air Force to be the TFX program manager, forcing a reluctant Navy to adopt what would essentially be a version of the Air Force’s bomber. Both services initially agreed on a twin-engine, two-seat airframe, featuring a novel swing-wing design. Beyond that, their design requirements quickly diverged, and as “McNamara’s airplane” developed, so did the Navy’s opposition to it....

...Future air battles would be fought well beyond visual range, won by whichever side came equipped with the best sensors and missiles. The launch platform could fly like a dog; the real dogfighting would be done by the missiles. The Missileer was canceled, but the concept evolved into the Navy’s version of the TFX, which was soon designated the F-111B.

General Dynamics lacked experience in building carrier airplanes, so it partnered with venerable Grumman Aircraft to build the F-111B. Grumman had not only earned a reputation for building tough airplanes, it also had previous experience building a swing-wing fighter prototype, the XF10F Jaguar. The Jaguar was scrubbed in 1953, but lessons learned would be applied to the F-111.

The F-111B was to be the most sophisticated design of its era. Not only would it be the first production warplane with a variable-sweep wing, an ambitious undertaking, it would also be the first to incorporate afterburning turbofan engines, capable of propelling the airplane to Mach 2 while still boasting a long range in fuel-efficient cruise. A brand-new, ultra-long-range radar would find targets for the new Hughes AIM-54A air-to-air missile, which itself had a 100-mile range....

...The interceptor was big—it had to be, to carry hours of loiter fuel and a load of six 13-foot-long Phoenix missiles weighing 1,000 pounds each. (With a maximum takeoff weight of 88,000 pounds, a fully loaded F-111B was heavier than a similarly equipped F-14; both were far weightier than other fighters of the time.) Then there was the Air Force requirement for a ground-hugging supersonic speed capability, which called for design features not wanted by naval planners that added weight and expense to the common F-111 airframe. Commonality, along with engine headaches, hindered progress and increased costs.

Engineers worked tenaciously to make the F-111B acceptable for carrier duty. They trimmed more than a ton of weight from the airframe, which along with aerodynamic refinements lowered the airplane’s landing speed to 115 knots (132 mph). Higher-thrust versions of the TF30 turbofan enhanced performance, and redesigned engine inlets all but eliminated compressor stalls....

...McNamara resigned his position in February 1968, and the controversial F-111 program lost its strongest promoter in the Pentagon. By then, the price of the Navy’s version had skyrocketed from a projected $3 million per copy to $8 million ($59 million in 2018 dollars)….

...As a young maintenance supervisor, Mike Glenn worked on the four F-111Bs loaned to Hughes Aircraft for Phoenix missile testing. Later, he would also support early F-14s flown by the company. Glenn got a close look at both big airplanes.

Not shy about expressing an opinion, Glenn believes the Navy would have been smart to buy about 40 or so F-111Bs and deploy small detachments of them to carriers for fleet air defense. “This would have given Grumman time to properly develop the F-14,” he explains. The Tomcats had their own share of teething problems. “By the last F-111B built, Grumman and GD had worked out the bugs. I will tell you that [prototype] number 7 could fly circles around our early F-14s—longer, faster, and very maintenance-friendly compared to earlier F-111Bs and F-14s.”

One justification then given for scrubbing the interceptor was its perceived lack of carrier compatibility, but oddly, the airplane wasn’t tested aboard a carrier until after its cancellation, and only then “at the insistence of Secretary Ignatius,” notes Coulam.

In the summer of 1968, when the fifth F-111B prototype flew its carrier trials, Pete Pettigrew was aboard the USS Coral Sea. To the surprise of many, the big interceptor completed its evaluations without major problems. “It flew a nice approach, wasn’t too fast, and performed well on the ball,” says Pettigrew. “They were pretty happy about it.” But he quickly adds, “If all you were trying to do was land aboard ship…then the plane was all right.”


Several analysts have pointed to the Navy’s experience with the F-111 as a cautionary tale for services deploying the F-35. One pattern the airplanes share is harsh judgment leveled by a chorus of critics before the craft proved themselves in operations. Though the Navy never took to the F-111, the Air Force accepted more than 500 in various roles, including strategic bombing and electronic warfare. Despite an inauspicious combat introduction over Southeast Asia in 1968, Air Force F-111s would mature into exceptional attack aircraft. Indeed, different versions of “McNamara’s airplane” went on to serve for 30 years, with EF-111 electronic warfare variants deployed to the Persian Gulf as late as 1998. The Australian air force picked up two dozen more, and kept the F-111 as its main attack airplane until 2010.

The Air Force and Navy have proved that a single airframe can be adapted for their different needs—the F-4 Phantom flew for both services beginning in the 1960s until, for the Navy, well into the 1980s, and for the Air Force, into the 1990s. Yet the debate continues, as heated now as it was decades ago when the Pentagon introduced the then-novel concept of an “affordable” joint-use warplane."

Source: https://www.airspacemag.com/military-av ... 180969916/
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sferrin

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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 16:10

The F-111B wasn't bad but an F-14 it was not (especially if the Tomcat had gotten the engine it was meant for from the beginning instead of the "interim" TF30). The F-111B would have made an excellent USN striker though.

Ever notice how the F-35 haters always trot out the F-111 as an example of why services shouldn't share designs? Wonder why they don't point to the F-4. :wink:
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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 16:43

I agree. More broadly, the Navy has made numerous bureaucratic attempts to extract themselves from F-35 dating from the days of JAST. But, I think this article is an exercise in shaping that probably accompanies a storyline being used in and around the Beltway to justify separate NGAD/F/A-XX funding lines.

"Don't make us do another one of these (i.e. a Joint program) again..."
Last edited by quicksilver on 26 Aug 2018, 17:42, edited 1 time in total.
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sferrin

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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 17:15

quicksilver wrote:I agree. More broadly, the Navy has made numerous bureaucratic attempts to extract themselves from F-35 dating from the days of JAST. But, I think this article is a exercise in shaping that probably accompanies a storyline being used in and around the Beltway to justify separate NGAD/F/A-XX funding lines.

"Don't make us do another one of these (i.e. a Joint program) again..."


Are they currently trying to ditch the F-35C? Considering the last non-joint aircraft they got was the Tomcat, I'd be careful about looking a gift-horse in the mouth were I the USN.
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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 17:29

'sferrin' asked: "Are they currently trying to ditch the F-35C?..." Where do you get that idea? There is skads of evidence that the USN requires the F-35C just not as quickly as some here would like - that is all on other threads. SHIRLEY this thread and others complimentary about the F-35C by the USN and test pilots gives you the impression the USN is keen?
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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 17:35

sferrin wrote:
quicksilver wrote:I agree. More broadly, the Navy has made numerous bureaucratic attempts to extract themselves from F-35 dating from the days of JAST. But, I think this article is a exercise in shaping that probably accompanies a storyline being used in and around the Beltway to justify separate NGAD/F/A-XX funding lines.

"Don't make us do another one of these (i.e. a Joint program) again..."


Are they currently trying to ditch the F-35C? Considering the last non-joint aircraft they got was the Tomcat, I'd be careful about looking a gift-horse in the mouth were I the USN.


As I stated, the article is about NGAD/FA-XX, not F-35C.
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Unread post26 Aug 2018, 21:46

spazsinbad wrote:For the interest of 'John Will' and myself at least there are two links to stories (there are many more) in this thread about the F-111B (& F-35C) and the trials and travails of same: viewtopic.php?f=57&t=15767&p=371082&hilit=Coral#p371082 & viewtopic.php?f=57&t=15767&p=275681&hilit=Coral#p275681


As always, much appreciation for your F-111B related posts.
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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 04:17

quicksilver wrote:I agree. More broadly, the Navy has made numerous bureaucratic attempts to extract themselves from F-35 dating from the days of JAST. But, I think this article is an exercise in shaping that probably accompanies a storyline being used in and around the Beltway to justify separate NGAD/F/A-XX funding lines.

"Don't make us do another one of these (i.e. a Joint program) again..."



Absurd just like the endless comments that the Navy was a reluctant partner in the JSF. Which, has no basis in truth....
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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 04:43

Corsair1963 wrote:
quicksilver wrote:I agree. More broadly, the Navy has made numerous bureaucratic attempts to extract themselves from F-35 dating from the days of JAST. But, I think this article is an exercise in shaping that probably accompanies a storyline being used in and around the Beltway to justify separate NGAD/F/A-XX funding lines.

"Don't make us do another one of these (i.e. a Joint program) again..."



Absurd just like the endless comments that the Navy was a reluctant partner in the JSF. Which, has no basis in truth....


You’re right. They were not reluctant; they were very reluctant, but had little choice in the matter.
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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 05:28

Then you won't have a problem providing countless sources then.......... :wink:
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charlielima223

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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 05:39

sferrin wrote:Ever notice how the F-35 haters always trot out the F-111 as an example of why services shouldn't share designs? Wonder why they don't point to the F-4. :wink:


They do point to the F-4. They point out that the F-4s reliance on missiles was its downfall and the F-35's reliance on stealth and BVR will also be its downfall. They see it as a repeat all over again.
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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 05:48

charlielima223 wrote:
sferrin wrote:Ever notice how the F-35 haters always trot out the F-111 as an example of why services shouldn't share designs? Wonder why they don't point to the F-4. :wink:


They do point to the F-4. They point out that the F-4s reliance on missiles was its downfall and the F-35's reliance on stealth and BVR will also be its downfall. They see it as a repeat all over again.



The F-4 was considered a successful design last time I checked. As a matter of fact the losses early in the Vietnam War. Had to do far more with the way it was "employed". Then shortcomings in the general design......
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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 07:37

Here's the thing about the F-4. The Navy was happy to participate in a joint services program because it was a Navy airplane to start. I would not have been surprised if the Navy had rejected it had it been of USAF origin.
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Unread post27 Aug 2018, 07:43

johnwill wrote:Here's the thing about the F-4. The Navy was happy to participate in a joint services program because it was a Navy airplane to start. I would not have been surprised if the Navy had rejected it had it been of USAF origin.



Well, Navy aircraft can be adopted for land based use with little problem. Yet, the reverse is not always the case........ :shock:
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