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(CNN)   Not news: Yet another tactical jet fighter debuts. News: Costs one-eighth as much to operate as an F-16. Fark: It's from a company that makes golf carts and Cessnas, and absolutely nobody asked for it   (cnn.com) divider line 145
    More: Strange, F-16s, Air National Guard, jet fighters, Aviation Week  
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8542 clicks; posted to Business » on 21 Sep 2013 at 10:32 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-21 08:39:11 AM  
It's so cute when these small timers think they can just waltz into the Military Industrial Club and order a drink.
 
2013-09-21 09:10:10 AM  
I'm not seeing it. This might sell overseas to tin pot dictators, but it seems to me that drones are a better bet for the future.
 
2013-09-21 09:20:24 AM  
"We began development of the Scorpion in January 2012 with the objective to design, build and fly the world's most affordable tactical jet aircraft capable of performing lower-threat battlefield and homeland security missions," Textron Chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly said in a statement.

Makes sense for those applications. Wonder what the range is?
 
2013-09-21 09:31:16 AM  
So this guy has come up with a fighter jet that's as good as (or perhaps better than) most of the jets that the Navy and Air Force currently have; and costs so much less than the F22 and F35 that Congress could buy twice as many of his planes as the amount of the other two that they ordered, give tax breaks to billionaires, fully fund Obamacare, expand spending on social welfare programs (welfare, food stamps, unemployment, Social Security, etc) and infrastructure upgrades, give more tax breaks to billionaires, and still have enough money left over to eliminate the deficit.

Any guesses as to how long until he gets killed in an airplane "accident?"
 
2013-09-21 09:42:14 AM  
Umm... Doesn't Cessna make Cessnas?
 
2013-09-21 09:47:08 AM  
The joint venture, Textron AirLand...

Lord. I hope the plane is better than that name.
 
2013-09-21 10:02:31 AM  
Neither shocked nor awed.
 
2013-09-21 10:06:49 AM  

King Something: So this guy has come up with a fighter jet that's as good as (or perhaps better than) most of the jets that the Navy and Air Force currently have


Did you read the article? The thing is basically only useful when the enemy has a) no aircraft and b) no air defenses.
 
2013-09-21 10:07:18 AM  

King Something: So this guy has come up with a fighter jet that's as good as (or perhaps better than) most of the jets that the Navy and Air Force currently have;


It's not "better than" the others, necessarily. It's suited for lighter missions that do not call for the capabilities of an F-16 or F-22. It's like, well, using a golf cart to get around the golf course instead of a Ferrari.
 
2013-09-21 10:31:32 AM  
 
2013-09-21 10:39:37 AM  

vartian: The joint venture, Textron AirLand...

Lord. I hope the plane is better than that name.


Do you get the feeling that the Air and Land part of the plane will merge regularly?
 
2013-09-21 10:51:29 AM  
Hah, my dad used to design aircraft engines for Textron!  No, they don't (or at least didn't) make airplanes, just the engines. He originally worked for Avco Lycoming, but Avco was bought out by Textron about three years before he left the company.  My dad worked on engines that were used in Pipers, Cessnas, and some other small aircraft.

Dad worked for a number of other companies, including another aerospace company, but I think he enjoyed his time at Textron the most.
 
2013-09-21 10:51:44 AM  
Nah we have to buy F35s because buying cost effective planes is socialism. See all that socialist money that could go to things like feeding people and healing the sick is more importantly spent blowing up afghans at 15k per fuel hour.

Call me when someone successfully does the world a favor and starts wasting people at the top of the military industrial prison complex.
 
2013-09-21 11:02:56 AM  
I'd love to see something like this happen, but much like corporations, the government loves to over pay for things that don't do the job the best.
 
2013-09-21 11:04:15 AM  

Nabb1: King Something: So this guy has come up with a fighter jet that's as good as (or perhaps better than) most of the jets that the Navy and Air Force currently have;

It's not "better than" the others, necessarily. It's suited for lighter missions that do not call for the capabilities of an F-16 or F-22. It's like, well, using a golf cart to get around the golf course instead of a Ferrari.


It probably has much better loiter time on-station with a weapons load than an F-16 or F-35. So from the perspective of an infantryman who just wants air support on-tap and doesn't care how sexy the pilot feels doing it, it's probably objectively quite a lot better to have in the sky. And a 3,000 lb payload is quite a number of Small Diameter Bombs or Hydra rockets, plus a small gun pod. In fact, that's more weight than A-10s typically carry externally in a combat zone (the A-10 can carry a lot more than 3,000lb, of course, but it impacts the maneuverability to the extent that they never carry anything close to their maximum load into battle).

Light attack jets like this are farking brilliant for cooperating with ground troops, as long as you've already got air superiority. And it's not like establishing air superiority is a problem for the US Air Force.

The main question is, is this a solution in need of a problem? A-10s are going to be flying for quite a while to come, and they can do the same job just as well if not better (being less vulnerable to ground fire), and drones are really effective at the overwatch mission since they don't have to deal with pilot fatigue during a long flight.
 
2013-09-21 11:04:33 AM  

edmo: It's so cute when these small timers think they can just waltz into the Military Industrial Club and order a drink.




Textron purchased Bell Helicopter in 1960.
Bell of course, now makes the V22 tilt rotor, a plane which is pretty much worthless. First plane the Marine Corp ever purchased with no armaments.

strikehold.files.wordpress.com
Overpriced, unsafe and inadequate.
 
2013-09-21 11:05:49 AM  

Vodka Zombie: Umm... Doesn't Cessna make Cessnas?


Cessna is a subsidiary of Textron.
 
2013-09-21 11:19:56 AM  

flak attack: Vodka Zombie: Umm... Doesn't Cessna make Cessnas?

Cessna is a subsidiary of Textron.


It's like an onion, man. Layers upon layers!
 
2013-09-21 11:24:41 AM  

Ricardo Klement: I'm not seeing it. This might sell overseas to tin pot dictators, but it seems to me that drones are a better bet for the future.


Good point; this sounds like a economy-class buggy whip.  But would they be allowed to sell them to tin-pot dictators?  The ones who have money tend to be enemies of the US.
 
2013-09-21 11:33:03 AM  
Wasn't the last fighter jet named Scorpion too unwieldy for combat with all of them rocket pods in the wingtip?
 
2013-09-21 11:33:17 AM  
No, the shape of the wings tell the whole story of FAIL!
 
2013-09-21 11:35:11 AM  
That's actually pretty cool, but why use these instead of drones?

Hell, it's getting hard to justify the use of fighter aircraft, period, now that drones are so sophisticated.
 
2013-09-21 11:38:03 AM  

flondrix: Ricardo Klement: I'm not seeing it. This might sell overseas to tin pot dictators, but it seems to me that drones are a better bet for the future.

Good point; this sounds like a economy-class buggy whip.  But would they be allowed to sell them to tin-pot dictators?  The ones who have money tend to be enemies of the US.


Why not? They make for great target practice if we decide we want some foreign adventurism.
 
2013-09-21 11:38:26 AM  

Ricardo Klement: I'm not seeing it. This might sell overseas to tin pot dictators, but it seems to me that drones are a better bet for the future.


i.imgur.com

It doesn´t have any weapons though.

However, the above plane was one a Swedish guy exported to Biaffra during the Nigerian civil war. With rockets mounted on the wings, and flown by skilled pilots, they totally caught the Nigerian airforce by surprise, destroying several of sophisticated Mig fighters on the ground.

They continued service throughout the war (thus a picture of a surviving example).
 
2013-09-21 11:43:01 AM  

spawn73: Ricardo Klement: I'm not seeing it. This might sell overseas to tin pot dictators, but it seems to me that drones are a better bet for the future.

[i.imgur.com image 500x333]

It doesn´t have any weapons though.

However, the above plane was one a Swedish guy exported to Biaffra during the Nigerian civil war. With rockets mounted on the wings, and flown by skilled pilots, they totally caught the Nigerian airforce by surprise, destroying several of sophisticated Mig fighters on the ground.

They continued service throughout the war (thus a picture of a surviving example).


What doesn't have any weapons? The Scorpion in the article can carry 3,000lbs of ordnance.
 
2013-09-21 12:02:36 PM  

Ricardo Klement: I'm not seeing it. This might sell overseas to tin pot dictators, but it seems to me that drones are a better bet for the future.


Drones are likely better bet for the US and a few other nations.  But they not only require air superiority, but space and transmission band capability/superiority so they can be flow by somebody across the globe.

So if you are not the US/UK/China/Russia, I wonder how much you can really trust that your communications system can't be hijacked or shutdown by the NSA and the like. So I can see these good for not just small dictators, but nations just under super power status.
 
2013-09-21 12:10:54 PM  

realmolo: That's actually pretty cool, but why use these instead of drones?

Hell, it's getting hard to justify the use of fighter aircraft, period, now that drones are so sophisticated.


For now, the human visual system still beats a grainy camera image with satellite delay. Operating a drone is supposedly like looking through a straw at the world below. Live humans can scan a much bigger area faster, particularly when flying low and fast, where the drone's narrow field-of-view would be stifling. Making a precision strike on a known target is one thing, but when you have to respond to a battlefield as it develops, it's hard to beat having a real person on the scene.
 
2013-09-21 12:19:16 PM  

Ricardo Klement: spawn73: Ricardo Klement: I'm not seeing it. This might sell overseas to tin pot dictators, but it seems to me that drones are a better bet for the future.

[i.imgur.com image 500x333]

It doesn´t have any weapons though.

However, the above plane was one a Swedish guy exported to Biaffra during the Nigerian civil war. With rockets mounted on the wings, and flown by skilled pilots, they totally caught the Nigerian airforce by surprise, destroying several of sophisticated Mig fighters on the ground.

They continued service throughout the war (thus a picture of a surviving example).

What doesn't have any weapons? The Scorpion in the article can carry 3,000lbs of ordnance.


Oh OK, I was just looking at it and thought it didn´t.
 
2013-09-21 12:27:57 PM  
Either that or peru will get some great fuel-efficient fighter jets. Seriously, though, what a random way to jump into the DOD market..
 
2013-09-21 12:54:38 PM  

Nabb1: King Something: So this guy has come up with a fighter jet that's as good as (or perhaps better than) most of the jets that the Navy and Air Force currently have;

It's not "better than" the others, necessarily. It's suited for lighter missions that do not call for the capabilities of an F-16 or F-22. It's like, well, using a golf cart to get around the golf course instead of a Ferrari.


I like that golf-cart/Ferrari analogy.  Who wouldn't want a Ferrari?  But I'd wager there are a few more golf-carts than Ferraris in the world doing more useful work.
 
2013-09-21 01:02:27 PM  
I'd want that plane if I were a billionaire with a pilots license.
 
2013-09-21 01:20:07 PM  
To many of the commenters here:

Look, is this really so hard to figure out? You use the right tool for the job, and you try to have the right mix of tools in your toolbox.

If there's a niche this plane can fill better than an F-22 / F-35 or a drone, they should have a fair chance to make their case.
 
2013-09-21 01:27:32 PM  

edmo: It's so cute when these small timers think they can just waltz into the Military Industrial Club and order a drink.


Textron's already a member.
 
2013-09-21 01:29:17 PM  
Well, if your name is Costa Rica, or Zaire or something like that, and you've never been in a war, or at least a war requiring the most sophisticated jets, and you only need aircraft for patrols and the occasional interdiction, then something like this may be right up your alley,  Hell, if your name is Nigeria or Yemen and you have the occasional internal issues but really never involve yourself in outside wars, this still may fit your needs.
 
2013-09-21 01:29:24 PM  

HempHead: the V22 tilt rotor, a plane which is pretty much worthless. First plane the Marine Corp ever purchased with no armaments


It has the same kind of armament as the Sea Knight it's replacing.
 
2013-09-21 01:37:58 PM  
Sometimes when I hop on an EZ-GO cart I notice the "A Textron Company" logo and I remember that my experience with Textron is far different than the people who know Textron as a company that rains death upon them.
 
2013-09-21 01:58:22 PM  

wingnut396: Ricardo Klement: I'm not seeing it. This might sell overseas to tin pot dictators, but it seems to me that drones are a better bet for the future.

Drones are likely better bet for the US and a few other nations.  But they not only require air superiority, but space and transmission band capability/superiority so they can be flow by somebody across the globe.

So if you are not the US/UK/China/Russia, I wonder how much you can really trust that your communications system can't be hijacked or shutdown by the NSA and the like. So I can see these good for not just small dictators, but nations just under super power status.


Nations just under super power status will either a) have air superiority, in which case drones are better, or b) won't have air superiority, in which case, these things will last about 15 seconds.
 
2013-09-21 02:11:01 PM  

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Nabb1: King Something: So this guy has come up with a fighter jet that's as good as (or perhaps better than) most of the jets that the Navy and Air Force currently have;

It's not "better than" the others, necessarily. It's suited for lighter missions that do not call for the capabilities of an F-16 or F-22. It's like, well, using a golf cart to get around the golf course instead of a Ferrari.

It probably has much better loiter time on-station with a weapons load than an F-16 or F-35. So from the perspective of an infantryman who just wants air support on-tap and doesn't care how sexy the pilot feels doing it, it's probably objectively quite a lot better to have in the sky. And a 3,000 lb payload is quite a number of Small Diameter Bombs or Hydra rockets, plus a small gun pod. In fact, that's more weight than A-10s typically carry externally in a combat zone (the A-10 can carry a lot more than 3,000lb, of course, but it impacts the maneuverability to the extent that they never carry anything close to their maximum load into battle).

Light attack jets like this are farking brilliant for cooperating with ground troops, as long as you've already got air superiority. And it's not like establishing air superiority is a problem for the US Air Force.

The main question is, is this a solution in need of a problem? A-10s are going to be flying for quite a while to come, and they can do the same job just as well if not better (being less vulnerable to ground fire), and drones are really effective at the overwatch mission since they don't have to deal with pilot fatigue during a long flight.


A-10's for awhile yet?  Maybe not.
 
2013-09-21 02:14:24 PM  

edmo: It's so cute when these small timers think they can just waltz into the Military Industrial Club and order a drink.


Yeah, this.
They're going to wake up robbed and raped in a motel room with a dead hooker.
 
2013-09-21 02:16:23 PM  

Ricardo Klement: King Something: So this guy has come up with a fighter jet that's as good as (or perhaps better than) most of the jets that the Navy and Air Force currently have

Did you read the article? The thing is basically only useful when the enemy has a) no aircraft and b) no air defenses.


In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades.  Sounds perfect.  Next time we start feeling we need to go blow up random brown people in some goat farking cave, we can send these instead of tens of billions of dollars of state of the art military technology.
 
2013-09-21 02:20:35 PM  

Spaced Cowboy: Ricardo Klement: King Something: So this guy has come up with a fighter jet that's as good as (or perhaps better than) most of the jets that the Navy and Air Force currently have

Did you read the article? The thing is basically only useful when the enemy has a) no aircraft and b) no air defenses.

In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades.  Sounds perfect.  Next time we start feeling we need to go blow up random brown people in some goat farking cave, we can send these instead of tens of billions of dollars of state of the art military technology.


Even the maker would not say that Iraq had no air defenses. This thing wouldn't have made it out of Iraq in 2003, much less 1991. Nor would it have fared well in Libya nor in a hypothetical Syria scenario.
 
2013-09-21 02:23:40 PM  

Ricardo Klement: Spaced Cowboy: Ricardo Klement: King Something: So this guy has come up with a fighter jet that's as good as (or perhaps better than) most of the jets that the Navy and Air Force currently have

Did you read the article? The thing is basically only useful when the enemy has a) no aircraft and b) no air defenses.

In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades.  Sounds perfect.  Next time we start feeling we need to go blow up random brown people in some goat farking cave, we can send these instead of tens of billions of dollars of state of the art military technology.

Even the maker would not say that Iraq had no air defenses. This thing wouldn't have made it out of Iraq in 2003, much less 1991. Nor would it have fared well in Libya nor in a hypothetical Syria scenario.


Iraq had air defense for all of what? 3 days?  After that, why fly the $25k / hr plane instead of the $3k / hr plane once you've destroyed everything that resembles AA technology of the country you are invading.  I don't think this plane is meant to replace every other option we have.  It's meant to fill in when we have a laughable advantage over some 3rd world piece of shiat country.  The only way we "lose" those wars is by draining billions of dollars fighting against hundred dollar toys.

We have air superiority within hours.  We invade countries for years.  Work it out.
 
2013-09-21 02:27:55 PM  

Spaced Cowboy: Ricardo Klement: Spaced Cowboy: Ricardo Klement: King Something: So this guy has come up with a fighter jet that's as good as (or perhaps better than) most of the jets that the Navy and Air Force currently have

Did you read the article? The thing is basically only useful when the enemy has a) no aircraft and b) no air defenses.

In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades.  Sounds perfect.  Next time we start feeling we need to go blow up random brown people in some goat farking cave, we can send these instead of tens of billions of dollars of state of the art military technology.

Even the maker would not say that Iraq had no air defenses. This thing wouldn't have made it out of Iraq in 2003, much less 1991. Nor would it have fared well in Libya nor in a hypothetical Syria scenario.

Iraq had air defense for all of what? 3 days?  After that, why fly the $25k / hr plane instead of the $3k / hr plane once you've destroyed everything that resembles AA technology of the country you are invading.  I don't think this plane is meant to replace every other option we have.  It's meant to fill in when we have a laughable advantage over some 3rd world piece of shiat country.  The only way we "lose" those wars is by draining billions of dollars fighting against hundred dollar toys.

We have air superiority within hours.  We invade countries for years.  Work it out.


So what you're saying is that we needed the high-tech planes to start with. Because these things would never have gotten to the targets to destroy the air defenses.
 
2013-09-21 02:36:06 PM  

Ricardo Klement: So what you're saying is that we needed the high-tech planes to start with..


Correct. And after April 2003, we didn't need to be flying F-16s at a cost of $25,000.00/hour
 
2013-09-21 02:37:17 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: To many of the commenters here:

Look, is this really so hard to figure out? You use the right tool for the job, and you try to have the right mix of tools in your toolbox.

If there's a niche this plane can fill better than an F-22 / F-35 or a drone, they should have a fair chance to make their case.


You're talking about a bunch of people who brag about the specs on their system that they use to watch heavily pixelated 4-color animated GIFs of a cat falling down...
 
2013-09-21 02:37:34 PM  

jaytkay: HempHead: the V22 tilt rotor, a plane which is pretty much worthless. First plane the Marine Corp ever purchased with no armaments

It has the same kind of armament as the Sea Knight it's replacing.




Sea Knight has two door mounted .50 caliber Browning M2s.
 
2013-09-21 02:39:00 PM  
**AK-47 armament sold separately.
 
2013-09-21 02:41:24 PM  

HempHead: edmo: It's so cute when these small timers think they can just waltz into the Military Industrial Club and order a drink.

Textron purchased Bell Helicopter in 1960.
Bell of course, now makes the V22 tilt rotor, a plane which is pretty much worthless. First plane the Marine Corp ever purchased with no armaments.

[strikehold.files.wordpress.com image 850x607]
Overpriced, unsafe and inadequate.


The Osprey has killed more Marines than have been killed by combatant enemies.
 
2013-09-21 02:45:03 PM  

realmolo: That's actually pretty cool, but why use these instead of drones?

Hell, it's getting hard to justify the use of fighter aircraft, period, now that drones are so sophisticated.


Every third world dictator will want 100 of these.  Iran is still using F-4's from the 1960's.  Imagine how shoddy the "air force" of some really backward places are.  What do you suppose the air force of the Congo is like?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of _t he_Congo#Aircraft

Notice Cessna all over that thing.
 
2013-09-21 02:45:16 PM  

Ricardo Klement: Spaced Cowboy: Ricardo Klement: Spaced Cowboy: Ricardo Klement: King Something: So this guy has come up with a fighter jet that's as good as (or perhaps better than) most of the jets that the Navy and Air Force currently have

Did you read the article? The thing is basically only useful when the enemy has a) no aircraft and b) no air defenses.

In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades.  Sounds perfect.  Next time we start feeling we need to go blow up random brown people in some goat farking cave, we can send these instead of tens of billions of dollars of state of the art military technology.

Even the maker would not say that Iraq had no air defenses. This thing wouldn't have made it out of Iraq in 2003, much less 1991. Nor would it have fared well in Libya nor in a hypothetical Syria scenario.

Iraq had air defense for all of what? 3 days?  After that, why fly the $25k / hr plane instead of the $3k / hr plane once you've destroyed everything that resembles AA technology of the country you are invading.  I don't think this plane is meant to replace every other option we have.  It's meant to fill in when we have a laughable advantage over some 3rd world piece of shiat country.  The only way we "lose" those wars is by draining billions of dollars fighting against hundred dollar toys.

We have air superiority within hours.  We invade countries for years.  Work it out.

So what you're saying is that we needed the high-tech planes to start with. Because these things would never have gotten to the targets to destroy the air defenses.


I'm pretty sure any plane we've flown in the last 50 years would have handled Iraq's mighty air defense and air force just fine, up to and including this little toy plane we're discussing.  I don't think you understand exactly how superior our military really is.  Largely because we don't find out about most of it until a decade or two after we start using it.

Again, this cheapy little plane isn't meant to be the only weapon we have.  I'm not sure why you keep insinuating that other than that you don't understand the military doctrine of the United States.
 
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