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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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8506 clicks; posted to Business » on 21 Sep 2013 at 10:32 AM (29 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-21 06:34:07 PM

Flint Ironstag: Ricardo Klement: Spaced Cowboy: You do realize we have multiple ways of dealing with enemy radar and detection systems, right?  It's not all about the plane being flown over head.  Again, I don't think you quite understand how our military's combined forces doctrine works or the level of top secret power we have at our disposal.  This plane would have been fine.  We could have sent trainer planes into Iraq and been fine.  Possibly not 100% casualty free, but I don't think we would have been in a panic about losing air superiority, regardless of what we were flying.

This cheap plane would merely be a tool in our toolbelt.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It also happens to be a tool that won't send us another few billion into debt when we decide that syripakiranistan needs some of it's caves blowed the fark up.  Not really sure what's to dislike here, or what exactly you're arguing about.

I'm sure you're some kind of expert on our top secret power. But I suggest if you think this is a great plane, you go talk to some combat aviators and ask them how it'd do. Especially since the builder disagrees with your assessment of it.

Who are you arguing with? You seem to be saying the US should have nothing but F22s and that a more basic plane is worthless. That's like saying the US army should only have Abrams tanks and no Humvees. A Humvee is nowhere near as advanced as a Abrams but do you really think the army should scrap all their Humvees and buy thousands of Abrams to replace them?

This plane is designed to be a Humvee. After the Abrams have destroyed the enemy front line the Humvee is used by soldiers to keep control of the rear. Just as this is designed to let the F-22s gain air superiority and be used in theatres were there is no air threat or it has already been destroyed.
Why is that so hard to understand?


This was the comment I responded to that triggered the landslide:

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


I called BS on it, and said that would be true if the target had no air defenses and no combat aircraft. Then the "expert" chimed in:

Spaced Cowboy: In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades.


Do either of the bolded statements sound true to you?
 
2013-09-21 06:35:02 PM
But is it as good as this plane?
www.flightglobal.com
 
2013-09-21 06:51:34 PM

Fear_and_Loathing: red5ish: The military didn't ask for it. They asked for this and it's super neat-o.
[img844.imageshack.us image 640x480]

The Air Force has been trying to get rid of the A-10 for decades.  The Army wants them if they don't.


I wasn't aware that the AF didn't like 'em. I can understand why the Army wants them.
 
2013-09-21 06:55:45 PM

ReapTheChaos: You obviously know nothing about military weapons systems.


The plane was designed as a military airplane, I'm sure they've already included everything it needs. And while certain planes get every bell and whistle, some don't. The A-10 has avionics that by and large would be familiar to a pilot in the 50s. It never had a need for stuff like what the F-16 got. Hell even the F-15 wasn't decked out in bells and whistles, just what it needed to do its job. The plane in TFA needs little more than instrumentation so the pilot can fly safely and a basic weapons system.
 
2013-09-21 07:18:40 PM
All they really need is a small, compact laser, a mounted optical mirror and a tracking system.   They can vaporize anything from space.

Just ask Chris Knight.
 
2013-09-21 07:21:33 PM

Ricardo Klement: This was the comment I responded to that triggered the landslide:

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

I called BS on it, and said that would be true if the target had no air defenses and no combat aircraft. Then the "expert" chimed in:

Spaced Cowboy: In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades.

Do either of the bolded statements sound true to you?


Spaced Cowboy's full comment was "In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades. 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.

The US got in and out of Pakistan in three helicopters. (Well, three went in and two came back, but nothing to do with enemy action, just vortex ring action) There are plenty of US actions where a plane such as this would be as effective as a far more advanced fighter/ground support aircraft. More so if there are more of them so able to cover far greater area.
 
2013-09-21 07:23:31 PM

flondrix: But would they be allowed to sell them to tin-pot dictators? The ones who have money tend to be enemies of the US.


They're probably targeting their sales at South America, Israel, and small Sub-Saharan Africa countries, none of which need to worry about being up against modern US attack craft.
 
2013-09-21 07:28:59 PM

Flint Ironstag: Ricardo Klement: This was the comment I responded to that triggered the landslide:

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

I called BS on it, and said that would be true if the target had no air defenses and no combat aircraft. Then the "expert" chimed in:

Spaced Cowboy: In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades.

Do either of the bolded statements sound true to you?

Spaced Cowboy's full comment was "In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades. 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.

The US got in and out of Pakistan in three helicopters. (Well, three went in and two came back, but nothing to do with enemy action, just vortex ring action) There are plenty of US actions where a plane such as this would be as effective as a far more advanced fighter/ground support aircraft. More so if there are more of them so able to cover far greater area.


Please. I could say, "Spaced Cowboy rape of that young girl for which Glenn Beck was framed. 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." That doesn't make the first sentence any smarter.
 
2013-09-21 07:54:25 PM

Ricardo Klement: Flint Ironstag: Ricardo Klement: This was the comment I responded to that triggered the landslide:

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

I called BS on it, and said that would be true if the target had no air defenses and no combat aircraft. Then the "expert" chimed in:

Spaced Cowboy: In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades.

Do either of the bolded statements sound true to you?

Spaced Cowboy's full comment was "In other words, every country we've gone to war with over the last few decades. 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.

The US got in and out of Pakistan in three helicopters. (Well, three went in and two came back, but nothing to do with enemy action, just vortex ring action) There are plenty of US actions where a plane such as this would be as effective as a far more advanced fighter/ground support aircraft. More so if there are more of them so able to cover far greater area.

Please. I could say, "Spaced Cowboy rape of that young girl for which Glenn Beck was framed. 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." That doesn't make the first sentence any smarter.


If you plan to dig that hole of yours any deeper, you're going to need some help.  Here, you can borrow my hat:

us.123rf.com
 
2013-09-21 08:02:52 PM

jpo2269: Do not want-does not look cool.  Plus couldn't a high performance turbo prop plane perform the same missions as this plane at yet a fraction of the cost?


A "high-performance" turboprop generally tops out around 350-400 mph. They can go a fair bit faster (as evidenced by the Russian Tu-95 bomber) but the cost starts to go up considerably. This aircraft is supposed to be capable of 500+ mph (speed is life when someone on the ground might be pointing a shoulder-fired missile at you) and to reach those speeds a turboprop would end up costing just as much as a jet, but with vibration problems, less efficient cruise, a bigger radar signature, and most likely a lot more noise.

The Scorpion's major turboprop competition, the Embraer Super Tucano, tops out at only 367 mph. The Scorpion should be able to cruise at that speed using only half its available power.
 
2013-09-21 08:31:23 PM
They should stick to their corporate core competencies and make flying golf carts.
 
2013-09-21 08:51:09 PM

ReapTheChaos: WhyteRaven74: ReapTheChaos: , but by the time you add all the systems that are required on military aircraft it's going to cost just as much

I'm sure it has those already. Most of it what it needs is cheap stuff you can get off the shelf. It hardly needs things like advanced radar or other systems.

You obviously know nothing about military weapons systems.


My guess is that, as a major defence contractor that already builds advanced military aircraft, Textron already have access to the more advanced stuff and have planned for it. Plus, it won't require the most advanced of everything.

I doubt they will sell any to the USAF for a number of reasons, but development cost was minimal for a combat aircraft and if they can sell a few to some third or fourth rate air forces, then they will make their money. And it is also putting their name on the "list of people that can make combat aircraft" the next time the US is thinking about that.
 
2013-09-21 09:34:30 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.


Overpriced, unsafe and inadequate.


A) it's a transport.

B) it's not an airplane

C) it has a .50cal or a minigun in the tail
 
2013-09-21 09:50:23 PM

real_headhoncho: [4.bp.blogspot.com image 544x304]
Did someone say drone?

/obscure?


"State-of-the-art?! MY ASS!"

I loved that movie, it was bad, but still enjoyable and was a good commentary on our military industrial complex.
 
2013-09-21 10:03:59 PM

eyeq360: But is it as good as this plane?
[www.flightglobal.com image 560x373]


You mean the plane with the Radio Shack avionics stack, and the totally non-functional cowl seal?
aviationintel.com
/snerk
 
2013-09-21 10:08:59 PM
The taliban destroyed six AV-8B Harriers at 30 million dollars each. The cost per hour for a Harrier is roughly 12,000 dollars per hour.
So for about the same total cost as one Harrier a Scorpion squadron could be bought and fly.
And do the same job that the Harriers were doing in Afghanistan.
Now the Scorpion is not a VTOL but the Harriers were operating from a airfield.
Sometimes quantity is quality.
It might not hurt to try two or three squadrons.
Besides it looks like a fighter and the Air Force seems to be embarrassed to fly the A-10.
 
2013-09-21 10:16:13 PM
either they keep the bigger defense companies on their toes or embraer and eads come in with better products
 
2013-09-21 10:20:55 PM

WhyteRaven74: ReapTheChaos: You obviously know nothing about military weapons systems.

The plane was designed as a military airplane, I'm sure they've already included everything it needs. And while certain planes get every bell and whistle, some don't. The A-10 has avionics that by and large would be familiar to a pilot in the 50s. It never had a need for stuff like what the F-16 got. Hell even the F-15 wasn't decked out in bells and whistles, just what it needed to do its job. The plane in TFA needs little more than instrumentation so the pilot can fly safely and a basic weapons system.


The systems on military aircraft are classified secret or above, civilian companies wouldn't have access to them or the technology unless they were contracted by the military to build it. The systems on board military aircraft, while some may perform the same basic function, are far more advanced then whats on civilian aircraft. So no, they wouldn't already have everything they need.
 
2013-09-21 10:26:22 PM

ReapTheChaos: WhyteRaven74: ReapTheChaos: You obviously know nothing about military weapons systems.

The plane was designed as a military airplane, I'm sure they've already included everything it needs. And while certain planes get every bell and whistle, some don't. The A-10 has avionics that by and large would be familiar to a pilot in the 50s. It never had a need for stuff like what the F-16 got. Hell even the F-15 wasn't decked out in bells and whistles, just what it needed to do its job. The plane in TFA needs little more than instrumentation so the pilot can fly safely and a basic weapons system.

The systems on military aircraft are classified secret or above, civilian companies wouldn't have access to them or the technology unless they were contracted by the military to build it. The systems on board military aircraft, while some may perform the same basic function, are far more advanced then whats on civilian aircraft. So no, they wouldn't already have everything they need.


You do know that Textron and its subsidiaries build a number of other military aircraft, right? They just might have some inkling as to what the operating costs of a mil-spec avionics suite are, seeing as they build them. This is a non-argument.
 
2013-09-21 10:46:53 PM

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


To me it sounds like they are handing out drinks that they brought with them.  The big question is will anyone catch their buzz?
 
2013-09-21 11:17:38 PM

FuturePastNow: Market it to bored rich people; they'll have fun and some of them will die in the process, so everyone wins.


We already have the Beechcraft Bonanza for that.
 
2013-09-21 11:25:59 PM
Burt Rutans says "hello" from about 20 years ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG9LlHcX8lg
 
rka
2013-09-21 11:50:34 PM

Spaced Cowboy: Nah man, you see, we don't actualy have a sort of way to combat radar other than super expensive planes.


The problem with adding another platform is that you have to have the whole infrastructure behind it. Train more pilots for a new plane. Train new mechanics. An entirely new logistics program. Procurement cycles. Testing.

So yes, flying one cheap plane in the place of an expensive plane seems like a good idea. Until you realize that once you ramp up production, training and deployment you could have just flown the expensive plane you already had for about the same money using the already in place infrastructure for it. And the more expensive plane can already handle more missions, in more theatres of action, against a much wider threat spectrum and most likely can take more punishment (ie survive longer) to boot.

Actually buying the plane itself is but a small part of the equation.
 
2013-09-21 11:53:13 PM
Oh, so they did it the economical way.  It'll never fly.  It doesn't waste enough resources.
 
2013-09-22 12:13:00 AM

Evil Twin Skippy: 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.


Overpriced, unsafe and inadequate.

A) it's a transport.

B) it's not an airplane

C) it has a .50cal or a minigun in the tail


Some are being built from the ground up as gunships to take a role as the C-130H/C-130U's little brother.

There were also plans for a quadrotor version for even heavier transport/gunship support, but it was scrapped after Boeing backed out of development.

Seems humorous that the initial comparison was made with no regard into the individual craft's role.  It's like saying the Apache is a bad replacement for the Huey.  It is, but that's because they have very different roles.

And the fatalities have, by my recollection, been during R&D and working out the instability during the rotor tilting, which was solved by having the nacelles offset their tilting cycle by 5 -10 degrees.

The V22 is one of my favorite aircraft.
 
2013-09-22 12:16:30 AM
I understand what niche they're going for, but this plane isn't really going to make it in the US military. Certainly not unless the Key West is scrapped. And, also, that Wikipedia is right and that the payload is 6,000lbs as opposed to the CNN article that says 3,000. If it can carry 6,000, and the Army is allowed to operate high-performance fixed-wing aircraft, then maybe it could take the ground-attack role from the Apache.

As it is, though, it doesn't appear to have any multi-role ambitions, which pretty much zeroes out any chance the Air Force is going to consider it for more than a heartbeat. And they probably shouldn't.
 
2013-09-22 12:36:22 AM

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.


Anyone who thinks the Osprey is worthless must have last read about it 20 years ago.
 
2013-09-22 12:41:25 AM

cretinbob: 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.

Anyone who thinks the Osprey is worthless must have last read about it 20 years ago.


An awful lot of platforms earn a bad reputation during development but end up experiencing deployment successes.
 
2013-09-22 12:43:00 AM
i thought 16 year olds with virtual reality helmets flew everything.
 
2013-09-22 12:44:40 AM

craigzy: i thought 16 year olds with virtual reality helmets flew everything.


Is Ender's Game out already?
 
2013-09-22 01:18:42 AM

vygramul: cretinbob: 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.

Anyone who thinks the Osprey is worthless must have last read about it 20 years ago.

An awful lot of platforms earn a bad reputation during development but end up experiencing deployment successes.


yup
 
2013-09-22 04:32:33 AM
Simply, another thing to spend money on...
 
2013-09-22 04:53:01 AM
I agree with everyone who says the US military won't give this plane a second glance.  Heck, maybe not even a first glance.  And although operating costs appear low, I haven't seen any indication of per-unit purchase price.  So yeah, the observation / interdiction / ground support role seems likely.  I think there's also some money to be made selling them to allies who want to make their neighbors think twice before invading.  Due to export restrictions, they unfortunately won't be able to cater to where the  real money is - countries that want to make the US think twice before invading.  If I were the "democratically elected" leader of Wadiya or some other country not on great terms with the US, I'd love to have a few hundred cheap attack jets I could throw at anything that crossed the border.
 
2013-09-22 06:59:23 AM

Nabb1: It's like, well, using a golf cart to get around the golf course instead of a Ferrari.


I've been doing it wrong.
 
2013-09-22 07:36:53 AM
Why would the military want the golf cart of jet fighters?  That straight wing and under powered engines is why the thing is lazy dog slow for jet fighters.  Sure the A10 is slower, but they call it a flying tank for a reason.  We haven't taken a jet into combat that slow without the armor like the A10's since Vietnam.  Why would the military would want to give the enemy RPG targets?  If they make money on this, it will be to the millionaires who have pilot licenses.
 
2013-09-22 07:40:25 AM

bingo the psych-o: edmo: It's so cute when these small timers think they can just waltz into the Military Industrial Club and order a drink. To me it sounds like they are handing out drinks that they brought with them.  The big question is will anyone catch their buzz?

The answer is: probably not.




Every now and then someone thinks they're being cute by trying to sell the military something they think it needs.
Sometimes its successful (as in the case of the first predator style drones), more often it just catches a few headlines and disappears into obscurity.

As for the light and cheap fighter, its a concept that's been around many times.
Some try to modify commercial aircraft (Cessna especially), sometimes they'll try to mount rockets on a home build (long ez has been a favorite, even Russia had a version), sometimes they try to built it from scratch (like the afore mentioned Rutan attempt), and then there's jokers like this who turn up at trade shows with something they built in flight simulator and expect piles of cash for it.
dl.dropboxusercontent.com



The basic problem is that the military has enough money to order up exactly what it wants, and it doesn't want an upgunned Cessna.
...But by the time they are done specifying, you get something built in very small lots that is, naturally, going to be expensive as hell to fly.

Cheap air power should have been a hotter seller in foreign markets, but it seems their militaries are just as demanding as ours. So no one wants F-5's or tucanos, they want export versions of the F-35.

These guys can try, but unless they've got some kind of inside connection I doubt it will become more than a rich mans sport jet.
 
2013-09-22 08:02:23 AM
The Pilatus Porter is still operated by many countries, including the US.   It is a very cool aircraft that can be can land/take off on a runway that is the length of a football field.
richard-seaman.com
 
2013-09-22 09:09:57 AM

Flint Ironstag: Ricardo Klement: Spaced Cowboy: You do realize we have multiple ways of dealing with enemy radar and detection systems, right?  It's not all about the plane being flown over head.  Again, I don't think you quite understand how our military's combined forces doctrine works or the level of top secret power we have at our disposal.  This plane would have been fine.  We could have sent trainer planes into Iraq and been fine.  Possibly not 100% casualty free, but I don't think we would have been in a panic about losing air superiority, regardless of what we were flying.

This cheap plane would merely be a tool in our toolbelt.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It also happens to be a tool that won't send us another few billion into debt when we decide that syripakiranistan needs some of it's caves blowed the fark up.  Not really sure what's to dislike here, or what exactly you're arguing about.

I'm sure you're some kind of expert on our top secret power. But I suggest if you think this is a great plane, you go talk to some combat aviators and ask them how it'd do. Especially since the builder disagrees with your assessment of it.

Who are you arguing with? You seem to be saying the US should have nothing but F22s and that a more basic plane is worthless. That's like saying the US army should only have Abrams tanks and no Humvees. A Humvee is nowhere near as advanced as a Abrams but do you really think the army should scrap all their Humvees and buy thousands of Abrams to replace them?

This plane is designed to be a Humvee. After the Abrams have destroyed the enemy front line the Humvee is used by soldiers to keep control of the rear. Just as this is designed to let the F-22s gain air superiority and be used in theatres were there is no air threat or it has already been destroyed.
Why is that so hard to understand?


We have a less sophisticated plane. It's called the F-16. And if it were any more basic, it would come with a manual transmission and no air conditioning. The F-18 is also a very advanced, simple to a fault aircraft.

They are both the survivors of decades of attempts to replace them. They are paid for, and that's hard to dislodge.

This plane in this article doesn't even meet the specs for the F-20. And that plane *was* made for the cheap export market.
 
2013-09-22 09:42:48 AM
Textron isn't exactly small time or a newcomer.  They also manufacture armored transports and hovercraft.
 
2013-09-22 12:21:04 PM

jaytkay: centrifugal bumblepuppy: Short memories?
The F-20 was much more comparable to an F-16.
TFA is about a subsonic plane with 3,000 lb bomb capacity
Tigershark was a Mach 2+ plane with an 8,000 lb bomb capacity.
/ Great aircraft, the Tigershark


Problem was, the Northrop didn't sell a single Tigershark.

The business cases have a little something in common: a manufacturer introducing an affordable product and looking for buyers. It's the opposite of the multi-billion dollar flyoffs or stealth projects that the military typically buys these days. Besides, how many congressional districts will this be built in?
 
2013-09-22 12:22:21 PM

centrifugal bumblepuppy: jaytkay: centrifugal bumblepuppy: Short memories?
The F-20 was much more comparable to an F-16.
TFA is about a subsonic plane with 3,000 lb bomb capacity
Tigershark was a Mach 2+ plane with an 8,000 lb bomb capacity.
/ Great aircraft, the Tigershark

Problem was, the Northrop didn't sell a single Tigershark.

The business cases have a little something in common: a manufacturer introducing an affordable product and looking for buyers. It's the opposite of the multi-billion dollar flyoffs or stealth projects that the military typically buys these days. Besides, how many congressional districts will this be built in?


Yes, no one in the world was eagerly lining up to buy these planes, which is proof that the American MIC controls everything.
 
2013-09-22 12:26:29 PM
I see this new jet as a useful trainer for various foreign air forces, but the trainer market  is kind of over-saturated right now.
 
2013-09-22 01:16:34 PM
Someone designed a manned drone. How.. brilliant.
 
2013-09-22 01:35:38 PM

Phil Moskowitz: Someone designed a manned drone. How.. brilliant.


Wouldn't be the first time.

airpigz.com
 
2013-09-22 01:49:03 PM

dbirchall: Phil Moskowitz: Someone designed a manned drone. How.. brilliant.

Wouldn't be the first time.

[airpigz.com image 530x362]


That is pretty cool
 
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